Salary Comparison: NP vs. PA vs. MD

Have you ever wondered how much less you as a nurse practitioner make than a physician practicing in your same specialty?  What about a physician assistant?  I receive a lot of questions regarding salary differences among different types of medical providers but have never taking a close look at the hard data.  Yesterday I did some number crunching and researched the average salaries of medical providers practicing in different specialties.

Based on national salary averages, here are my findings:

Keep in mind these numbers are based on national averages.  Salaries can vary significantly by region.  In some areas where nurse practitioners are more prevalent that physician assistants, salaries among NP's may be higher than for PA's and vice versa.  In other regions, salaries among nurse practitioners and physician assistants may be almost exactly the same.  Even within specialties and professions, salaries vary.  Dermatology clinics, for example, focusing primarily on aesthetics typically pay more to providers of all types than clinics sticking to a more medical model.  

Do these salary figures fit your personal observations?  



Please tell me more how to start self employed, open to long term care/primary care. nice living Jim and Dan


I am a physician; I do not make near what is listed in this chart nor do I make near what you people are posting (yes - primary care). I think what you all get paid for the level of training you have is egregious.


Self employed and working in long term care. Collected 315k in 2017, I have a low over head, put 280k in the bank. Not bad for NP.


I am shocked to see Baccalaureate level PA's making more than Master's prepared PMHNP's. I am constantly being asked if I am a PA, and I say, "If I wanted 4 years less education, which is one less certificate and less my Master's degree, Id be a PA."


This is disturbing
If we can't appreciate individual gifts will anyone?!

Geraldine Abbatiello

I'm a nurse practitioner in WA state. My base salary is $110k however I earn RVU bonuses of approximately $20,000 per quarter so I'm closer to $190k before taxes.


I think we all have our paths and experience. Each one's knowledge is unique, and there is always someone who knows more about something as well as someone who knows less. We just need to respect each other, support each other, unite and take care of patients as health care team members. Neither one of us is capable of doing or knowing everything, nor utterly incapable. :)


Easy Kirk nurses are under appreciate and not treated with respect they deserve. I would hate to work with you ego !


Mary Lou your comment was offensive and demonstrates why PAs make more than NPs. Correct, you were a RN first and you always will be meaning you are not educated in the medical school curriculum. We are trained like docs and we think more along the same lines so in my experience, prefer PAs. You think you know so much but you know so little. I had ten yrs experience as a Firefighter paramedic, BS degree in Psych, 30 plus hrs premed sciences w 4.0. I did very well and have made over 130k since 2007 in a Hospitalist setting. In my class, we had RNs, EMTs,RT, PT, docs from India and yes some straight out of college with only 500 pt contact hrs. Yet they all passed and did well. We complete rotations w 3rd yr med students and add 4th yr education on top of that. I know some great NPs but they were all critical care RN so they "get it." You however, DO NOT


I am an NP and have a private practice in Washington state, Seattle area. I see patients usually 4 days a week and grossed 387k. last year. I lost half of that to overhead, but still cleared about 191k. I am an adult gero NP and see mostly elderly in asst living facilities and adult family homes. Like being a home health nurse, but I give the orders, not call for them. It is independent practice here. It would appear I make more than many doctors. Ok with me!

Dan Smith