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Over the past several weeks here on ThriveAP, we’ve been looking at the latest salary trends for nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Depending on the location where you practice, compensation can vary significantly if you’re an NP or PA. Cost of living, the job market and scope of practice laws in your state are just a few of the factors affecting pay. Last week we checked out states where physician assistant salaries have increased more than $10K. But, where is compensation for PAs decreasing?

Fortunately for physician assistants, the average salary decreased in just 4 states from 2015 to 2016 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s where: 

1. Rhode Island (-$11,110)

2015 Mean Annual Wage: $114,650

2016 Mean Annual Wage: $103,540

Rhode Island might be small, but PAs practicing in the state saw a more than $11,000 decrease in average salary from 2015 to 2016. Given the smaller number of practicing physician assistants in the Ocean State, this drastic change could be partially an effect of sample size compared with other locations. 

2. Arizona (-$6,570)

2015 Mean Annual Wage: $95,920

2016 Mean Annual Wage: $89,350

If you’re a physician assistant job searching in Arizona, you may have noticed that salaries in the state are on the decline. With a more than $6,000 decrease in average pay from 2015 to 2016, AZ is second on our list when it comes to downward tending PA salaries. 

3. Texas (-$2,160) 

2015 Mean Annual Wage: $99,580

2016 Mean Annual Wage: $97,420

Everything’s bigger in Texas – except physician assistant salaries, that is. Although the decrease isn’t substantial, PAs did see average compensation drop from 2015 to 2016 in the Lone Star State. 

4. Tennessee (-$1,400) 

2015 Mean Annual Wage: $86,920

2016 Mean Annual Wage: $85,520 

Practicing in Tennessee, I can personally attest that the job market for NPs and PAs alike in the Volunteer State is tight. Home to several masters level programs, schools in TN graduate a large number of new healthcare providers each year. A prevalence of healthcare providers limits what physician assistants in the region can expect to earn, as evidenced by a slight salary decrease according to data from past years. 

How has your physician assistant salary changed from year-to-year?


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One thought on “Where are Physician Assistant Salaries Decreasing?”

  • You have written about this issue in the past. This salary decrease is explained in every ECON 101 class; supply and demand in action As the supply (oversupply) of NP’s and PA’s increases, the salary levels will continue to decrease. It is SAD that so many nursing schools are producing this oversupply. It has been said that nurses eat their own.

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