Eliminating Key Practice Barriers Associated with Higher PA Salaries

AAPA Releases 2017 Salary Report

Contact: media@aapa.org

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Sept. 28, 2017) – Today, the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) released the 2017 AAPA Salary Report, the only PA (physician assistant) salary resource that provides detailed information about base salary, base hourly wage, bonus, and benefits. One of the significant findings in this year’s report is that PA base salaries are higher in states that have eliminated one of two key barriers to PA practice.

PAs are state-licensed medical providers who conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, write prescriptions, and perform medical procedures in nearly every practice setting and medical specialty. With more than 115,500 PAs today, the PA profession is projected to increase 30% from 2014 to 2024, significantly faster than average for all occupations.

“The primary goal of our annual salary report is to provide a valuable tool for PAs as they develop their careers,” said L. Gail Curtis, PA-C, MPAS, DFAAPA, president and chair of the AAPA Board of Directors. “It equips PAs and their employers with the information they need to better understand the market, and advocate for themselves and the profession.”

The data were analyzed in relation to whether states have adopted the Six Key Elements of a Modern PA Practice Act, which include:

  • “Licensure” as the regulatory term.
  • Full prescriptive authority.
  • Scope of practice determined at the practice level.
  • Adaptable collaboration requirements.
  • Cosignature requirements determined at the practice level.
  • Number of PAs a physician may collaborate with determined at the practice level.

Together, these elements are critical components of state PA practice acts that allow PAs to practice in a way that is consistent with their education and experience. States with the highest PA base salary are those where PA scope of practice is determined at the practice level and where “adaptable collaboration” is encouraged, which means there are no PA-physician proximity or onsite collaboration requirements.

A decade ago, not a single state in the nation had adopted any of the Six Key Elements. Today, seven states have adopted all six, and more than 30 have adopted at least four. Every state has adopted “licensure” as the regulatory term for PAs, the highest recognized standard for medical providers. In 2016, every state made at least one PA-positive change to their laws or regulations.

This year’s report also details the relationship between cost-of-living and the geographical area of practice, and provides state-by-state details on buying power, cost adjustments, and PA salaries. For example, to maintain the same standard of living, a PA making $100,000 salary in Indiana would need to earn $156,400 in Washington, D.C.

Data for this report were collected through the 2017 AAPA Salary Survey between Feb. 21, 2017 and March 31, 2017. The survey was sent to 70,846 PAs (both AAPA members and nonmembers), and 7,225 PAs responded to the survey. For more information on the methodology, please view the full report.


About the American Academy of PAs
AAPA is the national organization that advocates for all PAs and provides tools to improve PA practice and patient care. Founded in 1968, AAPA represents a profession of more than 115,500 PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories and the uniformed services. Visit www.aapa.org to learn more.