Physician Assistant Surgery Salary Guide

Do you know how much surgical physician assistants (PAs) make? Or how does the salary for surgical PAs compare across states and between perm and temp work? Follow along to find out!

Discover our physician assistant salary guide featuring:

  • Surgical PA Salary
  • PA Salary by State
  • How Do Surgical PA Salaries Compare Against Other PA Specialties?
  • How Much Will Surgical PAs Make in 2024?

Looking for surgical PAs jobs? Check out our open surgical PAs assignments nationwide.

NP salary guide

How Much Do Surgical PAs Make?

The average annual PA salary is $126,010 per year in the U.S., according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, PAs can make a total of $134,000 per year, according to Medscape’s 2023 physician assistant compensation report.  

Medscape also reports that 55% of PAs experienced an increase in gross income from last year, making this a lucrative profession. Also, the United States Bureau of Statistics reports a 27% increase in PA jobs within the next decade, which is roughly 9 times than the national average. 

This data can provide insight into the possible annual compensation for surgical PAs in the U.S.

How Much Do Locum Tenens Surgical PAs Make?

Locum tenens surgical PAs can make upwards of $115 per hour on average, however, there are many factors that impact rates including specialty, location, years of experience, and the level of demand.

If you were to extrapolate that rate over a year (at 40 hours per week), the average locum salary comes out to around $239,200. 

That means locum tenens surgical PAs can make up to 89% more than the average provider, depending on this specialty. However, making direct salary comparisons can be complicated. While perm PAs are more likely to be salaried, locum tenens surgical PAs are independent contractors earning an hourly rate, which can vary based on which assignments they take in a year. 

Furthermore, because locum tenens surgical PAs are paid by the hour, the hours they work are directly reflected in their pay, while a salaried surgical PAs additional hours may not be reflected in their salary.

Finally, paid time off and insurance may be reflected in the perm surgical PAs salary structure, but locum tenens providers do have options when it comes to health insurance.

PA Salary by State

The most recent state breakdown of PA salaries comes from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, though the BLS was not able to collect enough data for all 50 states. While the BLS did not report on surgical PAs directly, the top 5 highest paying states for PA salaries include:

  • Alaska (PA Salary of $131,340- $145,390) 
  • California (PA Salary of $131,340- $145,390) 
  • Connecticut (PA Salary of $131,340- $145,390) 
  • Nevada (PA Salary of $131,340- $145,390) 
  • Washington (PA Salary of $131,340- $145,390) 

This can provide insight into the possible highest paying states for surgical PA salaries. 

How Do Surgical PA Salaries Compare Against Other PA Specialties?

The American Associates of Physician Associates did not feature surgical PAs in their highest paying specialties report, however surgical PA salaries are comparable to specialized features on the list. The top five highest earning specialties (cardiovascular/cardiothoracic surgery, dermatology, emergency medicine, occupational, medicine, and critical care) earned up to $152,000 in annual compensation. 

How Much Will Surgical PAs Make in 2024?

The average PA salary increased by 4% from 2022 to 2023. Based on this data, surgical PAs can expect to make $139,360 in annual compensation in 2024. Also, Medscape reports that 59% of PAs had an increase in their annual salaries from the previous year, indicating that surgical PA salaries will continue to rise in the future. 

Find Your Next Surgical PA Job with Barton

Barton coordinates your job search from start to finish!



We’ll schedule a phone consultation with a Barton Associates team member to discuss your interests, goals, and work history in order to get a sense of what you’re looking for in your next job.

Your Barton team will then go to work, compiling a list of open jobs in our extensive network that match your interests and skill set.



Once you’ve had a chance to evaluate your list of opportunities, your Barton rep will submit your information to facility you want to take an assignment at.

If there’s a match, we’ll work with the client manager on next steps.



Don’t worry! Barton Associates will handle licensing, credentialing, and travel arrangements before you arrive.

Your Barton rep will also work with your new facility to ensure you’re set up and ready to go on day one.


Complete the following form to learn more about how we can help you find the perfect opportunity
* Required
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.