Physician Assistant (PA) Salary and Job Market Outlook in Montana

What is the average salary for Physician Assistants (PAs) in Montana?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for Physician Assistants in Montana is $85,940 per year.

Are there variations in PA salaries based on geographic regions in Montana?

Yes, there are variations in PA salaries based on geographic regions in Montana. Salaries are typically highest in the larger cities such as Billings and Missoula and lowest in rural areas. Generally speaking, salaries tend to decrease as one moves away from these larger cities. In addition, salaries can vary depending on the type of health care facility and its associated pay scale.

What factors, such as experience or specialization, can impact PA salary in Montana?

1. Location: Location can play a large role in PA salary in Montana. In larger metropolitan areas, salaries tend to be higher due to higher demand for services, while rural areas often pay lower salaries.

2. Experience: Level of experience can have a major impact on PA salary in Montana. PAs with more experience tend to command higher salaries than those with less experience and often get higher raises than those with less experience.

3. Specialization: Areas of specialization also have a major impact on PA salary in Montana. PAs with specialized skills may earn significantly higher salaries than those without such skills. For example, a cardiac PA may earn more than a family practice PA due to the specialized knowledge and experience required for the former.

4. Employer: The type of employer you work for will also impact PA salary in Montana. Private practice employers may offer higher salaries than public institutions or hospitals, depending on the institution’s budget and the demand for PAs in the area.

5. Market Conditions: Demand for services and the overall health of the market can also affect PA salaries in Montana. When there is a shortage of PAs, wages may be higher than usual, while a glut in the market can cause wages to fall.

What benefits, such as healthcare, retirement, or tuition assistance, are typically offered to PAs in Montana?

The benefits offered to PAs in Montana vary by employer. However, some of the most common benefits offered to PAs are health insurance, retirement plans, professional liability insurance, continuing education reimbursement, and in some cases tuition assistance. Health insurance plans can include medical, dental, vision, and life insurance; retirement plans may include 401(k), 403(b), pension plans, or other defined contribution plans; professional liability insurance offers protection from liability in the event of malpractice or negligence; and continuing education reimbursement helps cover costs associated with continuing education courses required for licensure renewal.

Are there opportunities for salary growth and advancement for PAs in Montana?

Yes, there are opportunities for salary growth and advancement for PAs in Montana. The Montana Board of Medical Examiners requires that PAs must complete a minimum number of continuing education credits in order to maintain their license. This requirement encourages PAs to stay up to date on medical advances and helps them stay competitive for better salary and advancement opportunities. Additionally, many organizations throughout the state offer incentive plans and career paths that can offer additional salary growth opportunities.

How do PA salaries compare to the national average for physician assistants in Montana?

Physician assistants in Montana earn an average salary of $93,400 (as of 2021), which is slightly higher than the national average salary of $90,230 for physician assistants.

Is there a demand for PAs, and how does the job market outlook look for PAs in Montana?

Yes, there is a demand for PAs in Montana. According to the Montana Department of Labor & Industry, there are approximately 400 PAs currently working in Montana, and the job outlook for PAs in the state is expected to remain strong through 2022. The demand for PAs is expected to increase due to the aging population and the need for more healthcare providers. Additionally, Montana has a shortage of primary care providers and research shows that PAs can help bridge that gap.

Are there specific healthcare sectors, such as primary care, surgery, or specialty practices, that have a higher demand for PAs in Montana?

Yes, the demand for PAs in Montana varies by sector. Generally speaking, primary care fields such as family medicine, pediatrics, and internal medicine have higher demand for PAs. Surgery is also in high demand, as is specialty practice, such as cardiology, endocrinology, and oncology. Additionally, the demand for PAs in other healthcare fields, such as mental health and geriatrics, is also increasing.

Is there a demand for bilingual or multilingual PAs in healthcare settings that serve diverse communities in Montana?

There is not a large demand for bilingual or multilingual PAs in healthcare settings in Montana. However, with an increase in the number of diverse communities living in Montana, there may be opportunities for bilingual PAs to serve those communities.

What is the employment growth rate for PAs, and are there expected shortages in the healthcare workforce in Montana?

The employment growth rate for PAs in Montana is projected to be 20.2% from 2019-2029 according to Projections Central. This growth rate is higher than the national average of 15.6%. There are expected shortages in the healthcare workforce in Montana due to a growing population, an aging population, and an increase in chronic illnesses.

What are the employment benefits and opportunities for career advancement’s healthcare facilities for PAs in Montana?

Employment benefits and opportunities for career advancement for PAs in Montana will vary from one healthcare facility to the next, but some common benefits include competitive salaries, health insurance, paid time off, flexible schedules, and the potential to earn additional certifications. Additionally, many healthcare facilities in Montana offer tuition assistance for continuing education and career advancement, as well as leadership opportunities for those looking to move into management positions. The Montana State Board of Medical Examiners also offers a PA career ladder program that allows PAs to advance through various levels of certification and receive higher pay as they gain experience.

Do PAs with specialized certifications or advanced practice roles have increased job opportunities and earning potential in Montana?

Yes, PAs with specialized certifications or advanced practice roles may have increased job opportunities and earning potential in Montana. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, employers are increasingly looking for PAs with specialized skills and experience to fill certain roles. In Montana specifically, there are several areas that offer increased opportunities and potential for PAs with pertinent certifications or advanced practice roles. These include rural health, trauma care, and emergency medicine. Additionally, according to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, the annual mean wage for a physician assistant in Montana in 2019 was $95,410, which can be an attractive salary for those qualified.

Are there opportunities for immigrants, including those with language skills, to find employment in healthcare facilities in Montana?

Yes, there are opportunities for immigrants with language skills to find employment in healthcare facilities in Montana. The Montana Health Care Association lists many language-specific jobs on their website, including interpreters and cultural liaisons. Additionally, many hospitals and healthcare facilities provide language services for their patients, which may require bilingual employees to provide the necessary services.

What are the typical work schedules for PAs, and do they include options for part-time or flexible hours in Montana?

The typical work schedules for PAs in Montana vary depending on the individual’s employer and the type of practice they are in. Generally, most PAs work full-time, but part-time or flexible hours may be available, depending on the employer. Work schedules can vary from 40 hours per week to as few as 10-20 hours per week. Some PAs may be asked to work varying shifts, including nights and weekends, to provide coverage in the practice.

Are there resources, such as job fairs or online job portals, that can help immigrants find PA job opportunities in Montana?

Yes, there are many resources that can help immigrants find PA job opportunities in Montana. Job fairs, online job portals, and networking with other professionals can all be beneficial in finding potential job opportunities. Many job fairs are specifically designed for immigrants and refugees and provide information about what job openings are available in the area. Additionally, online job portals such as and LinkedIn can be used to search for PA positions in Montana. Finally, networking with other professionals in the healthcare industry may provide contacts who may be aware of potential openings.

What are the options for continuing education and professional development for PAs to enhance their careers in Montana?

1. Professional Conferences and CME Events: The Montana Academy of Physician Assistants (MAPA) regularly hosts statewide conferences providing Continuing Medical Education (CME) opportunities to PAs. The MAPA also advocates for legislative initiatives designed to benefit PAs in Montana.

2. Online Courses: Online courses through the American Academy of Physician Assistants or the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants provide a variety of resources for both initial and ongoing certification requirements.

3. Professional Associations: Joining a professional association such as MAPA or the American Academy of Physician Assistants can provide networking opportunities with other PAs, access to state and national conferences, and other resources to help develop professional skills.

4. Mentoring: A mentor can provide essential guidance and support for PAs who are just beginning their careers or who are looking to pursue a specialty. Many experienced PAs in Montana are willing to provide mentoring and advice for those starting out in the field.

Are there specific job search strategies and resources for immigrants, including those with unique language or cultural considerations, seeking PA positions in Montana?

Yes, there are specific job search strategies and resources available for immigrants seeking PA positions in Montana, including those with unique language and cultural considerations.

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry has resources available to help immigrants with their job search efforts. These resources include information on employment rights and opportunities, job postings, and advice on starting a business. Additionally, the Montana State Job Service can provide specialized assistance for immigrants by connecting them with employers who are looking for international talent.

In addition to traditional job search methods, immigrants can also use online tools to find potential employers in Montana. Job boards such as Indeed and Glassdoor offer listings for PA positions in Montana, allowing job seekers to filter results by language spoken or cultural considerations. Social media is also an effective tool for connecting with employers and identifying job openings – immigrants can use networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook to find people who work in their field of interest and contact them directly about potential positions.

Finally, local community organizations often offer support services to immigrants looking for work, such as resume writing and interview preparation. Many of these organizations can also provide referrals to employers looking for international talent or provide language assistance during the job search process.

How can immigrants with PA qualifications ensure that their credentials align with the state’s licensing and employment requirements in Montana?

Immigrants with PA qualifications in Montana should contact the Montana Board of Medical Examiners (MBME) to verify their qualifications. The MBME will assess the credentials provided and determine the appropriate licensing requirements and any additional steps that need to be taken in order to practice or be employed in the state. Additionally, the Montana State Board of Nursing also offers resources to help verify credentials of immigrants.

Do PAs have opportunities for overtime or shift differentials that can increase their earnings in Montana?

Most PAs in Montana do not have the opportunity for overtime or shift differentials that can increase their earnings. However, some PAs may be able to negotiate this with their employers.

What are the potential legal implications or challenges immigrants may face when pursuing PA careers, especially in the context of immigration status, in Montana?

1. Immigration status is a barrier to licensure as a PA in Montana. The state requires that applicants for licensure have either a valid green card or U.S. citizenship prior to applying for a license. This means that, even if an immigrant is fully qualified to be a PA, they may be unable to obtain licensure due to their immigration status.

2. Montana has strict restrictions on the ability of immigrants who are not authorized to work in the United States to obtain professional licensure. The state requires that all applicants for professional licensure verify their legal presence in the United States by providing documentation such as a valid green card or U.S. citizenship.

3. Immigrants may also face challenges accessing the educational requirements necessary to become a PA in Montana. Most PA programs require applicants to have either a Bachelor’s Degree or an Associate’s Degree from an accredited institution, which will typically need to be obtained in the U.S. Additionally, some schools may not accept transfer credits from foreign schools, preventing immigrants from transferring credits earned abroad.

4. Depending on the immigration status of the applicant, they may also face restrictions on their ability to practice as a PA in Montana as some states restrict certain immigrant statuses from obtaining PA licenses or practicing as PAs.

5. Lastly, immigrants may also face other legal challenges such as discrimination and language barriers when attempting to pursue a career in PA in Montana. These challenges can make it difficult for immigrants to find job opportunities and advance their career in the medical profession.