8 Highest Paid Physician Assistant Specialties in 2022

A physician assistant is a medical provider who carries out treatment plans after diagnosing an illness. They prescribe the medication that you would need, the necessary procedures, and helps in surgeries.

Basically, the job responsibility is almost similar to that of a doctor. According to U.S News & World Report, a physician assistant is the number one ranking job for healthcare.

Some of the five states where physician assistants earn the most money are Connecticut $125,610, Hawaii $121,120, Washington $123,980, Alaska $122,260, and California $117,230.

In the meanwhile, we will list the Highest Paid Physician Assistant Specialties in the world.

What is the Job Function of Physician Assistant Specialties?

The significant difference in terms of the job functions between a physician assistant and a doctor is that you can work freely and autonomously if you are a doctor. As a PA, however, you work under the supervision of a certified doctor.

For example, when it comes to surgeries, a doctor works together with a physician assistant. A PA can’t perform surgery alone.

To become a physician assistant, you don’t need a lot of certification, just like a doctor. 

How Much Do Physician Assistants Earn?

As of 2020, according to the National Commission On Certification Of Physician Assistants, NCCPA report, the approximate salary of a certified physician assistant was estimated to be $113,186, and the median wage was said to be $105,000.

The data shows that the highest paid physician assistant specialties are mostly the ones working in the dermatology department and they earn up to $129,246 per annum. Physician assistants in the critical care department as well earn about $125,522 every year. 

The average salary of a physician assistant over the last six years has constantly increased by 15.0 percent from the data.

If you are interested in working in the family medicine department as a physician assistant, you will likely earn an average salary of $105,286 per year. If you are more interested in an emergency medicine specialist, the approximate pay per year is $125,110.

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For physician assistants in orthopedic surgery, you are likely to make $122,477

According to Zip Recruiter data, as of July 2020, a physician assistant in America earned an average of $107,038 per year. On the lower side, yearly salaries range from $50,000 and $155,000 on the higher side.

A physician assistant in the United States earns from $92,500 to $117,000 per year.

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What Are the Highest Paid Specialties for Physician Assistants?

Just like physicians, a physician assistant can specialize in several areas. The pay of these specializations varies from one area to another.

For example, a surgical physician assistant’s salary is slightly higher ($105,000) than a pediatrics physician assistant’s salary, which is $85,000.

If you are thinking of becoming a physician assistant, below are the highest-paid PA specialties in 2022.

1. Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Cardiothoracic PAs typically work side by side with a cardiothoracic surgeon to take care and treat patients who are about to undergo surgery, let’s say of the heart, esophagus, or lungs.

One thing that you should not is that physician assistants don’t operate. Their prominent role is helping the surgeon before and after surgery.

Some of the responsibilities of a cardiothoracic PA include explaining what the procedure entails to a patient, performing the necessary exams, and finally monitoring how the patient is recovering after the surgery.

The median salary of a cardiothoracic physician assistant is around $125,000 per year.

A good number of PAs work in this field in the hospitals. They take up to 82 percent. The other 12 percent work in private practices. 

This is the first Highest Paid Physician Assistant Specialties.

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2. Pathology

Physician assistants specializing in the pathology department help provide pathology reports of different laboratory specimens, including postmortem.

In this department, a PA helps a pathologist to conclude a diagnosis. Among the highest-paid jobs in the physician assistant specialties is pathology. The median salary for pathology PA s $119,000. 

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3. Pain Medicine

Pain medicine is another highest-paying/paid physician specialty in 2022.

These PAs work in pain medicine work to ensure that patients with pain-related conditions are taken care of. PAs in this field help with management and diagnosis. Pain management physician assistants work in private practice, covering 84 percent, and 10 percent work in a hospital setting.

They conduct all forms of physical examination, make referrals, advise patients on the kind of pain medicine to take, and perform and interpret X-rays.

The median salary of a pain management PA is $115,000 per annum. 

4. Dermatology

Dermatological diagnose necessitates treating various conditions related to the skin, hair and nails carried out by Physician Assistants (PAs).

Statistics show that the number of PAs specializing in dermatology is below four percent, with the most considerable percentage practicing privately. Dermatology PAs perform surgical, cosmetics, and medical procedures; and prescribe medicines or offer counsel to patients depending on the patient’s needs.

The Dermatologist physician assistant earns a median of $115,000 per year.

They are among the highest paid Physician Assistant Specialties

5. Emergency Medicine

When discussing emergency medicine, it is worth noting that the Physician Assistants handle urgent care, critical care unit, and emergency room needs.

Their main tasks include managing and treating chronic illnesses, conducting a physical examination, performing diagnostic assessments such as x-rays, and prescribing medicines.

Emergency medicine is a matter of life and death, and it is the highest paid subspecialties, with the Physician Assistant earning a salary of $115,000 annually.   

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6. Neurosurgery

Physician Assistants in the neurosurgery field diagnose people with neurological conditions which necessitate surgery and help during neurosurgical procedures.

Additionally, they perform physical examinations, offer to counsel to the patients’ families and the patients, review CT scans and X-rays, and MRIs.

You will find neurosurgery PAs working in hospitals, but some still work in an office-based setup.

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The PAs here earn $115,000 per year.

7. Psychiatry

Most Physical Assistants that work in Psychiatry facilities work in private office-based centers or mental health facilities. They specialize in the treatment of depression, schizophrenia, or any psychiatric illness.

Majorly, these PAs may prescribe medicines for chronic or acute mental cases or give counseling to the parents, caregivers, or the patient’s family.

Most PAs working in psychiatric settings earn a median salary of $115,000 annually. 

This is one of the Highest Paid Physician Assistant Specialties.

8. Surgical Subspecialties

When it comes to gynecology, orthopedic, pediatric plastic, ophthalmology, oral, vascular surgery, and urology are classified under surgical subspecialties.

The PAs that work in this section help the surgeons carry out diagnostic examinations, educating families and families on the post-care after surgery.

For this job, the Physical Assistants who work here earn $115,000 per year.

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As much as it is difficult to get recruited into PA school, there are so many institutions that will offer access to specialized mentors who offer advice about the application and help you understand it.

The only thing you can do is to find out how the admission process works and get admission at the PA school of your choice and join pre-PA internships across America. 

You might think that identifying one of the best specialties is next to impossible. However, that is not the case. You need to evaluate your options and remember that you have an opportunity to make moves all through your career.

Choose the department that you think you will excel in more, and you will find that there are so many jobs waiting for you. 

Finally, find out the Highest Paid Physician Assistant Specialties.



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