An anesthesiologist assistant’s salary varies first by type of facility worked in and then by location, but the average salary in the United States is around $98,180 per year. Pay is greatest for this career in the United States, but with experience, an anesthesiologist assistant working in Canada can earn nearly the same amount. Look below to see which factors influence an anesthesiologist assistant salary and career prospects.
How Much Does an Anesthesiologist Assistant Make Per Year?
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Factors That Influence the Anesthesiologist Assistant Salary
Geographic area, job experience, and location within the industry all affect an anesthesiologist assistant’s salary. If you are interested in the anesthesiology field as a whole, you can check out our guide to the anesthesiologist salary.
Data gathered from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, PayScale, Salary Explorer, and Salary Voice can shed light on the most and lease prosperous sections of this healthcare field.
1. Geographic Area
An anesthesiologist assistant’s salary can vary greatly by location. In general, jobs tend to be more plentiful in rural areas, but pay is higher in urban and metropolitan areas. Salaries vary state to state in the U.S., as well as country to country. Americans wishing to work abroad must be aware that differing regulations mean that physicians in other countries may be assisted by employees with different titles from “anesthesiologist assistant” that require different training and experience.
In the United States, Canada, and South Africa, anesthesiologist assistants can administer anesthesia directly to the patient. In the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and India, however, they must be under the immediate supervision of a physician called an anesthetist. As such, their job titles and areas of expertise – and often their salaries – are different.
Anesthesiologist Assistant Salary in the US
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2015 the median pay of an anesthesiologist assistant was $98,180 per year, or $47.20 per hour. The top 10% of workers in the field earned more than $139,540 in annual wages, while the lowers 10% earned less than $62,760. By state, the highest anesthesiologist assistants’ salaries are in Nevada, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Connecticut.
Anesthesiologist Assistant Salary in Canada
The base salary for an anesthesiologist assistant in Canada ranges from C$75,000 to C$86,700 (US$56,226-64,997) per year, similar to or higher than other nurses with more education and experience. In some areas of the country, such as Ontario, the Ministry of Health may pay a prospective employee’s travel costs to job interviews and up to $4,000 in relocation fees upon acceptance of the job. With experience, a Canadian anesthesiologist assistant can earn up to C$180,010 (US$134,950) a year.
Anesthesiologist Assistant Salary in the UK
In the United Kingdom, as with many other countries, anesthesia must be administered by a physician. However, physician assistants (also called physician associates) may work alongside doctors in providing anesthesia care. These workers earn between £30,000 and £40,000 (US$36,691-48,922) a year, but may earn up to £46,000 (US$56,260) with experience.
Anesthesiologist Assistant Salary in Australia
As in the UK, doctors administer anesthesia in Australia, aided by anesthetic technicians. The base salary can start between AU$61,000 and AU$82,000 (US$46,410-62,387) when working for the Australian government in Western Australia, but flexible working and leave arrangements are emphasized. A chief anesthetic technician can earn between AU$89,737 and AU$97,790 (US$68,274-74,401) a year, depending on the geographic location of the facility.
Anesthesiologist Assistant Salary in New Zealand
Trainee anesthetic technicians in New Zealand make between NZ$36,000 and NZ$45,000 (US$25,796 – $32,245) a year. As they gain experience, they can earn up to NZ$75,000 (US$53,742), plus more for on-call work. Senior anesthetic technicians who train others or work in specialized areas of medicine may earn NZ$87,000 (US$62,341) a year.
Anesthesiologist Assistant Salary in India
In India, certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and anesthesia technicians assist physicians in administering anesthesia. While data specific to India is difficult to find, CRNAs in the United States make more than anesthesiologist assistants (US$105,410 – $187,200), while anesthetic technicians make substantially less (US$31,410 – $63,410).
Anesthesiologist Assistant Salary in South Africa
According to PayScale, South African anesthetist assistants earn between R 237,300 and R 265,800 (US$16,970 – $19,008) per year. However, a small or old data set plus a dropping exchange rate may account for the unusually low salary.
Becoming an anesthesiologist assistant requires extensive education, and application to an accredited program requires a bachelor’s degree in a scientific field. The postgraduate education itself typically takes two years to complete and results in a master’s degree. Additionally, continuing education is a must to maintain certification as an anesthesiologist assistant. Because of the extensive educational requirements, an entry-level anesthesiologist assistant’s salary is relatively high, at an average of $82,682. As workers earn experience on the job, they may take on supervisory roles and earn higher pay. The median income for experienced workers is $96,015.
Anesthesiologist assistants may be employed in both the private and public sectors, and this location within the industry is the greatest determinant of salary. About 57% work in physicians’ offices, and another 22% work in state, local, and private hospitals, with the remainder working in outpatient care centers, government, and education. Those with the highest paying jobs work in outpatient care centers ($106,010) and hospitals ($101,500). Public sector jobs in educational services ($95,000) and government ($91,260) earned slightly lower salaries, with jobs at offices of physicians ($96,430) in the middle. Even within facilities like hospitals, anesthesiologist assistants in emergency rooms earned 10-12% higher salaries than the industry average. At the same time, those who worked in family practice or pediatrics earned 3-5% below the average.
Most anesthesiologist assistants work full time. Those in physicians’ offices will likely work normal business hours, but those employed by hospitals may be required to work nights, weekends, or holidays. They may also be required to be on call and thus expected to report to work at any time.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
According to PayScale, an anesthesiologist assistant’s salary in the US may be augmented by yearly bonuses up to $10,300 for an entry-level worker and $15,300 for an experienced worker. Additionally, they can earn up to $16,000 a year in profit sharing. In Canada, physician assistants, of which anesthesiologist assistant is one type, can earn bonuses up to C$3,064 (US$2,294). Bonuses in South Africa can reach R 4,000 (US$290). Most anesthesiologist assistants at all levels receive health insurance, many receive dental coverage, and up to half receive vision insurance. In terms of intangible benefits, job satisfaction is high in this profession, and the growing number of job opportunities affords much in terms of the kind of facility where one chooses to work.
An anesthesiologist assistant is considered a type of physician assistant, an industry that is growing four times faster than average in the United States. An aging population and more people with health insurance need an increased number of healthcare providers. The post-World War II “baby boom” means that many Western countries – including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand – are experiencing similar population shifts, and thus similar healthcare needs.
Since physician assistants can perform many of the same functions as doctors, they may also have an expanded role in providing routine medical services. Between 2014 and 2024, employment of physician assistants is predicted to grow by 30%, with 28,700 new workers entering the field.
The best job prospects are expected to be in rural and underserved areas. In the United States, the highest concentration of physician assistant jobs can be found in Maine, New York, West Virginia, South Dakota, and Alaska. Because of all these factors, the job of anesthesiologist assistant is worth the investment in education.
Becoming an anesthesiologist assistant requires a great deal of education and continuing training. However, its relatively high salary among nursing specialties, high rate of job satisfaction, and sky-high growth rate make it a worthwhile career. This is particularly true in the United States and Canada.