What Physician Assistants are looking for in a job and where they start their search

Posted by Doximity TF Team


Physician Assistants play such a critical role in this era of accountable healthcare that two-thirds of healthcare organizations report an increase in the use of PAs and NPs last year, and two-thirds project it to increase even more over the next year, per the American Medical Group Association.

Since Doximity Talent Finder expanded its membership to NPs and PAs early
this year, we’ve been taking a deeper dive into recruiting these clinicians. We recently published this article, The number of Physician Assistants has exploded, what are you doing to recruit them? but there’s more to cover now.

Have you received care from a PA recently? If you haven’t, it’s highly likely you will soon. PAs undergo intensive medical training and provide many of the same services as doctors. Plus, they’re educated in a collaborative approach to healthcare – which experts say improves coordination and can improve patient outcomes. In fact, enhancing the unique PA/physician team dynamic is key to keeping PAs. Ellen Rathfon, senior director of professional advocacy at the AAPA says, “The main reason physicians assistants leave is not because of money. It’s because of the type of relationship with the supervising physician and the relationship with the practice, or lack of opportunities to grow.”    


PAs cite networking as their primary source for their job search.

Other factors PAs consider for their job search are flexible full time work hours, which rated as very important by more than 80 percent of PAs. Educational allowance was the most highly rated incentive. Benefits also ranked in the top for consideration, citing malpractice insurance, vacation time, and liability insurance (AMGA).

How much do PAs earn?

Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for PAs in the U.S. was $101,480 per year ($48.79 per hour). They list these ten cities with the highest salaries for PAs:

1.  Racine, Wisconsin – $139,730

2.  Gainesville, Georgia – $119,870

3.  Tyler, Texas – $118,300

4.  Yuma, Arizona– $117,470

5.  Ocala, Florida – $115,050

6.  Sebastian/Vero Beach, Florida – $111,500

7.  West Palm Beach/Boca Raton/Boynton Beach, Florida – $110,770

8.  Portland/Vancouver/Hillsboro, Oregon – $110,120

9.  Flint, Michigan – $109,800

10. Bellingham, Washington – $109,790

For a look at factors beyond salaries, Zippia dove into numbers from the BLS to figure out which states have the best opportunities for PAs overall. Their “best of the best” states ranked this way:

1.  North Dakota

2.  Idaho

3.  Vermont

4.  Wyoming

5.  Ohio

6.  South Dakota

7.  Kentucky

8.  Oklahoma

9.  New Mexico

10. Delaware

Does North Dakota deserve the #1 ranking? Here’s how they completed their research (and more about the best states for PAs).  

Are you using Doximity Talent Finder to source and recruit talented PAs? It fills the bill for the top resource PAs mention when they’re doing a job search. The platform allows you to search for candidates by specialty, location, certification, and more! To learn more about recruiting these clinicians, we invite you to download our infographic now: 8 Tips to Consider When Recruiting and Hiring Physician Assistants.

Download the Guide to Recruiting PAs

Topics: Best US states for PAs, How much PAs earn, Cities with the highest salaries for PAs, Tips for recruiting physician assistants

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