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Newly Certified PAs Find More Jobs, Higher Salaries

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Alicia Quella, Director of Communications
email: [email protected]
phone: 470-682-5111

Newly Certified PAs Find More Jobs, Higher Salaries

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – November 20, 2023 –  Newly Board Certified physician assistants/associates (PAs) are successfully landing their first job sooner than in the past – and earning higher salaries – compared to previous years, according to a report by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

The 2022 Statistical Profile of Recently Board Certified PAs reports that the PA profession is strong and adaptable, despite the unprecedented health care challenges that the nation has faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, said NCCPA President and CEO Dawn Morton-Rias, EdD, PA-C, ICE-CCP, FACHE.

“This report shows the resilience and growth of the PA profession to provide quality care to patients in need,” Morton-Rias said. “While we have seen modest improvements in racial and ethnic diversity among new entrants to the PA profession over the past five years, we recognize that sustained efforts are necessary to ensure our profession mirrors the diverse patient population in the U.S.”

The report, based on responses from 7,486 out of the 11,092 PAs who became initially certified in 2022, shows that 58.9% of them have accepted a position, up from 46.7% in 2021. For these PAs, the average time it took to find and accept the position was 2.4 months. The national job availability for PAs also increased in 2022 by 14% over the previous year.

PAs are also in high demand and can negotiate better salaries. Of those who have accepted a position, 75.4% received two or more offers, up from 65.1% in 2021. About 64% secured a starting salary of over $100,000, an increase from 52% in 2021 and 35% in 2018.

Most PAs said they are working in a hospital setting (51.3%), followed by office-based private practice (29.9%). The top specialties for PAs who have accepted a position are surgical subspecialties (17.4%), emergency medicine (16.4%) and family medicine (16.2%). But the report finds a slight decline (2.8 %) in PAs over the past five years choosing primary care specialties.

For the 32.6% of PAs who are still seeking a position, the job search seems to be less challenging than before. More than half of them (54.7%) reported no difficulties with their search, and over a quarter of PAs (26.6%) have declined at least one offer. PAs are ranked among the top jobs in America.

In 2022, PAs ranked second in Best Health Care Jobs and third in the 100 Best Jobs list by U.S. News and World Report.

Other key findings in the report include:

  • The median age of a recently certified PA is 27 years old.
  • 6% ranked the “ability to maintain reasonable work hours” as the most important work-life balance attribute.
  • 35% of PAs who accepted a job did so in the area where their PA program was located.
  • Recently certified PAs were represented in all 50 states and D.C . The top three states with the greatest number of recently certified PAs included: New York (1,043), California (919) and Florida (799).
  • About a quarter of the recently certified PAs plan to seek additional education or clinical training in the next three years.


About the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)

The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is the only certifying organization for the over 168,000 PAs in the United States. The PA-C credential is awarded by NCCPA to PAs who fulfill certification, certification maintenance and recertification requirements. NCCPA also administers the Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) program for experienced, Board Certified PAs practicing in ten (11 in 2025) specialties. For more information, visit