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The Top PA Specialties for 2015

The new year brings with it more medical professionals shifting their career paths and trying a new specialization. Whether you’re a medical student just deciding your area of expertise or a veteran of the medical field looking to shift gears, the range of specializations for PAs is vast. Take a look at this list of popular PA specialties you should consider for 2015 with compensation data for recent years pulled from about.com, mypatraining.com, and midlevelu.com.

Radiology PA Salary

If you love diagnostic imaging, a career as a radiology PA might be for you. Radiology PAs tend to be some of the highest earning physician assistants, earning around $150,000 a year. They earn that income through venous catheter or line placement to create x-rays, needle biopsies and occasional administration of conscious sedation.

Surgical PA Salary

You’ll get a chance to work in the operative environment right alongside surgeons, performing assessments, prepping patients for procedures, assisting the surgeon and providing post-operative care. It’s a great way to expose you to the inner workings of the operating room should you decide a more specialized surgery field is in your future. The compensation is noteworthy as well. Expect to earn over $110,000 annually as a surgical PA.

Mental Health PA Salary

A PA specializing in mental health will deal with a range of mental illnesses. From diagnosis of mental illness to treatment and care of patients in psychiatric units, mental health facilities, prisons and more, the responsibilities and work environment of a mental health PA are much more varied than traditional PAs. With the more demanding work environment and more unique patients, the compensation is higher. A mental health PA earns an average of $125,000 annually.

Emergency Medicine PA Salary

We’ve written on this specialty before, but it’s such a popular one that it will only gain steam in 2015. If you’re the type of person that works best under pressure in spurts of activity, a career as an emergency medicine PA is right up your alley. Expect to work shifts that average around 12 hours and work graveyard shifts from time to time. The benefit of an emergency medicine setting is that your daily tasks will shift regularly. For anyone who craves a new challenge every day they come to work, this is the field for them. Expect to earn an average of $115,000 per year as an emergency medicine PA.

Urgent Care PA Salary

Like emergency medicine, we can’t leave urgent care off this list. You may have already tried your hand at emergency medicine and decided the frantic pace and the severity of injuries just isn’t for you. If that’s the case, a career as an urgent care/walk-in physician assistant might be just what you were looking for. You’ll end up seeing more patients per day than you would in the ER, but the conditions are more minor in scope. Walk-in facilities are in constant need of PAs, making your average compensation an attractive factor to the job. You could expect to earn upwards of $130,000 annually.

The physician assistant can be as specialized as a doctor, making a career as a PA one of the best ways to open doors to new and well-paying opportunities in 2015. Which direction will you take your career?