5 key points on orthopedic physician assistant raises

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery's Journal of Orthopaedics for Physician Assistants released an executive study on physician assistant salary.

The study included responses from 320 orthopedic PAs to paint a picture of orthopedic PA workload and compensation. The average orthopedic salary for PAs was $113,000, with the range extending from $70,000 to $190,000 per year. Here are key statistics on pay raises for orthopedic PAs:

1. The average pay raise for orthopedic PAs in 2015 was 2.2 percent

2. Thirty-seven percent of orthopedic PAs reported they didn't get a raise in 2015.

3. The breakdown of pay raises for orthopedic PAs was:

• 1 percent to 3 percent pay raise: 44 percent
• 4 percent to 5 percent pay raise: 11 percent
• 6 percent to 10 percent pay raise: 5 percent
• 11 percent pay raise: 4 percent

The remaining PAs didn't receive a pay raise.

4. The top reasons for the pay raises were:

• Merit: 24 percent
• Cost of living: 29 percent
• Increase in patients: 8 percent
• Practice expansion: 5 percent
• Promotion: 5 percent

One-quarter of the PAs that received pay raises didn't know why, indicating opportunity for improvement in assessing PA performance and raises.

5. Nineteen percent of PAs cited "other" as the reason for their pay raises, which could include negotiating increases, taking on supervisory roles, job changes, increased productivity or more administrative duties. The raise could also have come from more autonomy, additional surgical assistance or practice productivity.

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