As the economy continues to create shifting workforce conditions, health care workers are becoming increasingly concerned about job security. As a result, the physician assistant profession is rising in popularity throughout West Virginia due to the occupation’s stable employment and salary characteristics. According to the United States Department of Labor, physician assisting was among West Virginia’s top 25 highest-paying jobs in 2014.
In that same year, physician assistants also experienced unprecedented employment levels. For example:
- West Virginia held the second highest concentration of physician assistant jobs in the country. At that time, physician assistants practicing here earned an average annual salary of $87,750 and an average hourly wage of $42.19.
- The Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH region held the sixth highest concentration of physician assistant jobs among all other metropolitan areas in the country. Physician assistants working in this district received an average annual salary of $93,800 and an average hourly wage of $45.10.
- The North Central nonmetropolitan division held the third highest employment level and the fourth highest concentration of physician assistants compared to all other metropolitan areas in the country. In that year, physician assistants located in this region were paid an average annual salary of $90,870 and an average hourly wage of $43.69.
Physician Assistant Salaries in West Virginia According to Experience Level
The number of physician assistants in West Virginia is expected to increase from 1,015 in 2012 to 1,362 by 2022. This occupational projection signifies a 2.98% annual growth rate, which is expected to produce nearly 53 annual job openings during this period.
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor found that entry-level physician assistants working in West Virginia earned an average annual salary of $62,00 and an average hourly wage of $29.79, while coworkers in mid-level positions were paid an average annual salary of $88,000 and an average hourly wage of $42.31. The most experienced physician assistants achieved a much greater average annual salary of $120,400 and an average hourly wage of $57.90.
Examples of local employers that posted online advertisements for physician assistants in Virginia through job aggregation sites in October 2015 include:
- Ohio Valley Medical Quick Care
- Pocahontas Memorial Hospital
- Charleston Area Medical Center
- St. Mary’s Hospital
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Logan Regional Medical Center
- North American Partners in Anesthesia
- Community Care of West Virginia, Inc.
- Summersville Regional Medical Center
- Medical Doctor Associates
Physician Assistant Salaries by Location in West Virginia
In May 2014, the United States Department of Labor published salary information showing that physician assistant salaries in West Virginia could vary widely between geographic locations of employment. For instance, physician assistants working in the Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna, WV-OH area earned an average annual salary of $97,960. Meanwhile, those employed in the city of Charleston netted an average annual salary of $80,900.
The table below shows a full analysis of salaries for PAs throughout West Virginia (US Department of Labor, 2014):