Positive Outlook for Physician Assistants

Positive Outlook for Physician Assistants

The Physician Assistant (PA) position was created five decades ago in response to the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid—which gave more Americans access to healthcare than ever—and the resulting shortage of physicians. PAs are now a critical component of the healthcare system; currently, there is an unprecedented demand for these professionals. In fact, according to Forbes,  PAs are rivaling primary care physicians as the most needed health professionals in the U.S. We see this demand firsthand at Jordan Search Consultants as more and more healthcare organizations aim to fill PA positions throughout their provider network.


More Options

With a projected shortage of  61,700 to 94,700 physicians on the horizon, the demand for PAs will only continue to rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted PA job demand to grow 30 percent between 2014 and 2024—a projected growth rate greater than all other professions in the same time period. Not only are job opportunities plentiful, but the position is versatile as well. PAs work in many, if not all, of the same specialties as physicians. In addition to primary care and related sub-specialties, they also work alongside physicians in the emergency room,  various surgical specialties, and in several settings, such as urgent care clinics, surgery centers, hospitals, and private practices.


Greater Compensation

According to the 2016 AAPA Salary Report, PAs saw a 3.4 percent increase in compensation between 2014 and 2015, bringing the median annual salary to $97,000 and the median hourly wage to $55. Compensation for some PAs also included bonuses—nearly 49 percent of full-time clinically-practicing PAs earned a bonus payment in 2015 and half of those providers reported a bonus of $5,000 or more. The report additionally noted that PAs employed in hospital critical access departments were the highest paid in 2015 with a $120,000 median base salary, followed by those in industrial facility and worksite settings ($114,003) and hospital intensive care and critical care units ($108,000).


In short, the state of the PA profession has never been stronger. We can expect the PA role to continue to evolve—and for additional opportunities, compensation plans/incentives, and responsibilities to emerge. And what’s perhaps even more interesting is that future PAs will be well-positioned to drive change as the U.S. healthcare system adapts to a growing and aging population, shifts towards value-based care, and renews focus on patient education and prevention.

What Might Affect Your Search

Share this story:

Are your recruitment strategies working to drive revenue?

If not, we can help. Fill out the form to connect with us and receive a free recruitment assessment or staffing consultation for your organization.