The primary factor in selecting your physician assistant specialty should be your areas of interest. But, there is significant variation when it comes to pay for PAs across different specialties so salary comes into play when choosing where you will work. Which physician assistants earn the most?
1. Radiology Physician Assistant ($150,000)
Radiology physician assistants perform fluoroscopies, initial interpretations of scans or X-rays, needle biopsies and insertion and removal of IV catheters. PA’s working in radiology may also administer and monitor conscious sedation.
2. Mental Health Physician Assistant ($125,840)
Mental health physician assistants diagnose and treat mental ilness. They commonly work in hospitals with in-patient psychiatric units, private mental health clinics, prisons and jails as well as county mental health facilities.
3. Emergency Department Physician Assistant ($116,366)
Physician assistants working in the emergency room provide care for patients with acute illness. They work in both the main emergency department as well as fast track settings. PA’s in the ED treat patients with symptoms such as chest pain and abdominal pain as well as perform procedures like suturing and draining abscesses.
4. Surgical Physician Assistant ($110,479)
Surgical physician asssitants work in the operative environment. They perform pre-admission assessments, testing and act as first-assists in the operating room as well as provide post-operative care. They may also work in step-down units and office-based practices.
5. Urgent Care/ Walk-In Clinic Physician Assistant ($104,237)
Physician assistants working in urgent care and walk-in clinics provide care for acute but not emergent illness. They perform procedures such as suturing and draining abscesses as well as diagnose and treat medical conditions like bronchitis and sprains.
6. Hospitalist Physician Assistant ($101,769)
Hospitalist physician assistants manage patients in the in-patient hospital setting. They treat acute and chronic medical conditions such as pneumonia and congestive heat failure. PAs are used in all areas of the hospital including units like the CCU and ICU.
7. Nursing Home/ Long-Term Care Physician Assistant ($101,000)
Physician assistants working in long-term care facilities and nursing comes care for both acute and chronic medical conditions in older adults. They improve health outcomes and quality of life for residents unable to live on their own.
8. Internal Medicine Physician Assistant ($98,555)
Internal medicine physician assistants manage chronic and acute health problems in adults. Most commonly, they work in the clinic setting caring for patients with complex, chronic medical conditions.
9. Occupational Health Physician Assistant ($98,400)
Physician assistants working in occupational health clinics provide care for employees injured at work. They also work within large companies offering primary care and walk-in services for employees. Occupational health PAs may implement and manage health and wellness programs offered to employees.
10. Dermatology Physician Assistant ($98,071)
Dermatology physician assistants diagnose and treat skin conditions. They manage chronic dermatological conditions and perform cosmetic as well as medically indicated procedures.
Note: This data is based on a report from Advance for NPs and PAs.