An AAPA analysis of compensation data in 2019 shows that female PAs are paid on average 92.6 cents for every dollar that male PAs are paid, and this gap becomes larger over time. This includes PAs who are compensated a base salary, an hourly wage, or some form of productivity pay. This discrepancy is found even after controlling for factors such as hours worked, major specialty area, experience, and other career variables.

AAPA is working to solve the PA pay gap by making sure that every PA has the tools they need to effectively negotiate their pay and benefits. The articles, resources, and tips on this page are the first step you can take with us to make this happen.

About the Issue

Read these published articles to learn more about the gender pay gap:

Five Ways YOU can Address the PA Pay Gap

1) Assess your Compensation and Negotiation

It is crucially important to engage in salary and benefit negotiations whenever possible, whether you are looking for a new job or having an annual review at your current one. Preparing to do so is a multi-faceted process, and includes setting ambitious and data-based salary targets that fairly reflect your experience and expertise.

The AAPA 2020 Salary Report is the best resource to establish your  ​salary targets: it offers an unparalleled wealth of data on PA salaries by state, specialty, and years of experience. Another key is developing the willingness to negotiate, to ask for more and engage an employer in a dialog about compensation rather than accepting an offer “as is.” Which brings us to…

2) Know your Value

Understanding your unique professional and personal qualities is key to effective negotiation, both to build your own confidence and to make a case for increased compensation. Think in depth about your accomplishments and diverse skills sets, both clinical and non-clinical. Framing your negotiation in terms of what you bring, what you can share, and how you will serve the mission of the practice, institution and patients is a positive approach worth trying.

3) Help Others by Advocating for Yourself

Creating a better offer through negotiation raises the bar for salary and benefits for other female PAs, as well as for you. Realizing this can make self-advocacy much easier. There is strength in solidarity—it can feel easier to negotiate when you consider the positive effects on others who will follow in your footsteps.

4) Think Like a PA

That is, think in terms of creative teamwork and mutual benefit. Negotiation should go beyond just salary:  benefits are key to quality of life and have immense monetary value, as well.  How can you and your employer think creatively about your entire package so that it reflects your value and creates a foundation for a long-term relationship?  Negotiation helps lays a foundation for team practice; advocating for yourself helps create a positive foundation for team practice, where respect and communication are essential elements of success.

5) Look for Leadership Opportunities

Resolve to be part of a movement for equity and respect. As the PA profession matures and women attain greater visibility and leadership, we can shape positive changes in compensation and benefits at the institutional level. How might you be part of this vital process? AAPA offers leadership tools and resources to build your skills to be a force for positive change.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more? These academic articles explore the gender pay gap in-depth.

Visit Career Central

Whether you are starting out as a PA student, advancing your career, or going in a new direction, AAPA’s Career Central has trusted tools and resources like the 2019 AAPA Salary Report.