Physician Assistant Salary Guide and Career Outlook

A base physician assistant salary is high in the United States and Australia at $87,342 and AU$100,000. It is lower in Canada and the United Kingdom at around C$76,007 and £25,490. This wage varies based on job experience, geographic location, and work setting.

Physician assistants are needed globally but how does the compensation picture look around the world? If you want to be a physician assistant and are curious what the salary for this job is globally, and how factors like work experience or industry type impact the total pay, read along.

female physician assistant examining little girl

How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make per Year by Country?

The table includes the salary from six countries. In the parenthesis are the exchange rates to the U.S. dollar.

Physician Assistant SalaryUSCanadaUKAustraliaIndiaSouth Africa
Hourly Pay$47.00C$20.00 ($14.99)£12.25 ($13.34)48.07 ($36.57)Rs 142.37 ($2.13)R60.47 ($4.32)
Annual Pay$87,342C$76,007 ($56,981)£25,490 ($27,748)AU$100,000 ($76,082)Rs 296,129 ($4,425)R125,794 ($1,895)

 

Physician Assistant Salary Influencing Factors

There are consistent variables that impact salaries globally. In the section below the salary by country will be detailed. The value of that position to the respective country impacts pay, as well as the job outlook and benefits.

1. Location

How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make in the US?

In the United States, physician assistants make between $69,626 and $111,369 annually. The late-career salary is up to 18% higher than entry-level. Work environment will impact the bonus and profit sharing of these professionals. A bonus of up to $13,566, profit share of up to $15,310, and a commission of up to $56,288 is expected. The total take home pay is between $71,359 and $121,072.

How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make in Canada?

The hourly rate for a physician assistant in Canada is between C$13.00 and C$60.00 for an annual wage between C$48,264 and C$99,050. They can expect a bonus of up to C$3,064 dollars. The total annual physician assistant salary in Canada ranges from C$39,830 to C$100,718. These professionals typically have less than 10 years of experience.

How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make in the UK?

Physician assistants in the United Kingdom do not significantly increase their pay as they gain experience. In addition, there is not additional income beyond the base salary. The base salary ranges from £15,534 and £38,974 annually and £12.25 to £18.73.

How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make in Australia?

The expectation in Australia is that physician assistants will make 50% of the salary of physicians. The range of salary is between AU$95,294 and AU$105,255 dollars. For those who live in rural areas, the health services union recommends a stipend of AU$1,500 and AU$5,800.

How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make in New Zealand?

Physician assistants were not seen in New Zealand prior to the 2010 decade. Therefore, the data on their pay is not yet robust. They are not used in every health care operation so their position is still in a state of disequilibrium. However, it can be estimated that the salary will be similar to that of Australia due to their currency rate and geographic location.

How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make in India?

In India, there is a very broad range of salary for physician assistants. They can expect to earn anywhere from Rs 102,059 to Rs 609,967. A difference between physician assistants here is that it is a male-dominated profession with 67% of Payscale respondents being men. The bonus could be anywhere from Rs 0 to Rs 29,590 for a total income of Rs 102,059 to Rs 638,615.

How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make in South Africa?

The median salary in South Africa is not representative of physician assistants at opposite ends of the spectrum. The 10th percentile can expect to earn R48,322 and the 90th percentile R298,839. A typical bonus is R4,000. This increases the total pay to R52,322 and R302,839.

2. Experience

In the United States, a physician assistant salary is affected more by what type of health care office they work in than their seniority. There is a steeper increase in pay from entry-level to mid-level professionals and then the salary evens out. They can expect to go from approximately $85,000 dollars an entry-level to $97,500 after 5 years and only $101,000 after 20 years.

Physician assistants typically do not work in the field for more than 10-15 years as they progress to teaching or different positions in health care. However, the role of physician assistant in this nature is relatively new, and thus this may change over time.

3. Industry

The industries of physician assistants in the U.S. are physician offices, hospitals, outpatient centers, the government, and schools. The highest hourly wage can be found in outpatient care centers at around $51.00/hour and the lowest at physician offices at $47.00 hour. More than 57% of physician offices work in physician offices. Bonuses for physician assistants typically depend on their productivity.

Regardless of the industry, physician assistants need to advocate for themselves. The general consensus for this field is that their bonuses are a similar proportion to physician bonuses.

Bonuses definitely vary by country and their compensation structure. This ranges from no bonus expectation in the United Kingdom to approximately C$4,000 in Canada.

Schedule & Working Hours

Physician assistants in the United States may be required to work evenings and weekends depending on their office location. For example, these professionals who work in hospitals should expect to be on-call and work nights and weekends while those who work in physician offices will work a normal workweek.

Extra hours are not a normal occurrence because the job requires them to be alert and able to solve complex problems. However, there could be events where a colleague calls off and a physician assistant has to cover the shift.

Bonuses & Benefits

The base physician assistant salary is not the only perk of the job. The table below shows the benefits that physician assistants can expect in the respective countries. These are dependent on reporting to payscale.com. All of the numbers are in percentages based on 100.
Note. For Australia, there was not reporting for physician assistants so the figures for physicians are used.

CountryUnited StatesUnited KingdomCanadaAustraliaIndiaSouth Africa
Medical813673425253
Dental6096116NA29
Vision45184111NA28

Amongst all of the countries, medical insurance was the most common benefit. Only the United States and Canada offer a high percentage of other benefits.

Career Outlook

A physician assistant career is a rapidly growing profession regardless of the country. The countries who are newer to the profession are uncertain in how the role will evolve, but the benefit has been demonstrated through research.

In the United States, the industry is a very smart choice as medical facilities look to reduce costs but maintain the quality of care. The job is supposed to grow 30% by the year 2024. Being a physician assistant in a specialized field requires more education. However, the education is worth it as it is much shorter than a medical degree and job opportunities are plentiful. The states with the highest number of physician assistants are New York, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Conclusion

As health care facilities globally look to reduce cost, the role of physician assistant career(s) is becoming more and more valuable. The starting physician assistant salary is quite good in most parts of the world, but the upper limit is often dependent on the country. People will always need health care and this fact alone brings a certain level of job security.

Comments (2)

  1. K.sharon July 20, 2017
    • SHUB Editor July 20, 2017

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