As more physician assistants serve patients as primary care providers, particularly in underserved rural communities, these medical professionals are seeing salaries increase quite dramatically. In fact, according to the United States Department of Labor, physician assisting was among Wyoming’s top 25 highest-paying occupations in 2014.
The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported that in March 2015 physician assistants earned an average annual salary of $97,233 and an average hourly wage of $46.74. These pay rates are particularly impressive considering the overall average salary in the state was just $45,788 that year.
The Escalating Demand for Physician Assistants in Wyoming
In 2012, the United States Department of Labor found there were 200 physician assistants working in Wyoming. However, occupational projections suggest that by 2022, there will be closer to 260 PAs practicing statewide. This 33% employment growth rate is expected to produce roughly 10 annual job openings during this ten-year cycle.
As of May 2014, there were 220 physician assistants employed throughout Wyoming. At that time, the city of Casper, the Northwestern nonmetropolitan area, and the Northeastern nonmetropolitan area employed the largest numbers of physician assistants in the state.
The following employers posted online job advertisements for physician assistants in October 2015:
- Campbell County Health
- Department of Health and Human Services
- South Big Horn County Hospital District
- Universal Health Services, Inc.
- NextCare Urgent Care
- Crook County Medical Services District
- Cheyenne Regional Medical Center
- St. Johns Medical Center
- Casper-Natrona County Health Department
- Big Horn Basin Bone & Joint
It Pays to Gain Work Experience in Wyoming
Although physician assistants are among the best-paid professionals in Wyoming, it generally takes time to build up the kind of solid work history to truly achieve optimal salary offers. For example, in 2014, the United States Department of Labor, found the following correlations between physician assistant salaries and their experience level in Wyoming:
- Entry-level physician assistants received an average annual salary of $71,400 and an average hourly wage of $34.35.
- Mid-level physician assistants collected an average annual salary of $94,000 and an average hourly wage of $45.20.
- Highly experienced physician assistants earned an average annual salary of $131,500 and an average hourly wage of $63.21.
Locating High-Salaried Physician Assistant Jobs in Wyoming
Before accepting job offers in Wyoming, physician assistants should consider how geography influences salary earning potential.
For instance, in 2014, the United States Department of Labor found physician assistants working in Cheyenne and the Southwestern nonmetropolitan area took home average annual salaries under $93,000. Meanwhile, those employed in Casper, the Northwestern nonmetropolitan area, and the Southeastern nonmetropolitan area earned an average annual salary of more than $98,000:
- Casper: $98,880
- Cheyenne: $90,910
- Northwestern nonmetropolitan area: $98,320
- Southwestern nonmetropolitan area: $92,670
- Northeastern nonmetropolitan area: $94,940
- Southeastern nonmetropolitan area: $98,420
The following wage table relays a more comprehensive look at regional physician assistant salaries in Wyoming (US Department of Labor, 2014):