To us non-doctors, it might strike us as odd that physician’s assistants (or any medical professionals) are even looking for ways to make extra money. But the reality is that more and more PA’s are, and for good reason.
So, how can you make extra money as a physician’s assistant?
Well, with your medical background and expertise, the doors are wide open for medical-related, non-clinical side hustles. From teaching to writing, there’s lots of different ways to earn money by combining your love of medicine with your other passions.
But before we delve into the details, let’s take a closer look at why PAs are looking outside the doctor’s office for extra income.
Why Are Physician’s Assistants Turning To Side Jobs?
The median income for Physician’s Assistants in 2018 was just over $108,000. That’s a lot of money. So, why do so many feel the need to have extra income from other sources?
For some, that amount of money just isn’t enough to support the lifestyle they want to live. But for many others, job security (or a lack thereof) is actually the culprit.
As the health system is ever-changing, many people are now saying that job security among PA’s is a myth – a thing of the past.
Side gigs help give that lacking sense of security and peace of mind that once came with the job. Many side hustles medical professionals are turning to include:
- Case reviews
- Medical surveys
But in this article, we’re going to focus on three general, non-clinical ways you could earn extra money as a physician’s assistant.
One of the best ways to use your knowledge in a nonclinical setting is by teaching others.
Part-time teaching or guest lecturing is an easy way to earn a little bit extra on the side while still being able to talk about what you love and make an impact on others.
If you wanted a more consistent side gig, then signing up for a part-time teaching position is the way to go.
To get started with that, check in with your local community colleges or universities. You might be surprised to see the openings they might have available.
As for the pay, part of it will depend on the type of college (universities will pay more than community colleges). It will also vary based on how many hours you are willing to put in.
To give you an idea, a community college is likely to offer you around $3,000 for a freshman course, and expect you to work around 9 hours a week for approximately 16 weeks. That all works out to you getting paid $21 per hour.
And that’s about average. The low end of adjunct pay is $1,000 per course, while in certain rare cases it could be up to $5,000. However, the average across the board is $2,700.
If you wanted to do something on a more infrequent basis, then you might want to consider guest lecturing. It’s less of a commitment than part-time teaching, as you would only need to agree to a lecture or two at a time, versus a multiple-week commitment.
A physician’s assistant can expect to make anywhere from $60-$100 per guest lecture. But again, it does depend on the university you’re speaking at, how much preparation is involved, and if the lecture is one in a series you’ll be giving or a one-off lecture.
For any branch of the military (at least here in the U.S.), there are certain medical standards that need to be met before you can join the ranks. As such, each member needs to be evaluated by a medical professional before officially joining.
That’s where you – the Physician’s Assistant – would come in. You would be responsible for evaluating potential military candidates to see if they meet the required standards.
The pay for this is actually good. You can earn $450 per day plus travel expenses.
If you’re a skilled writer, you should definitely consider using that talent in conjunction with your medical knowledge. And thankfully, there are multiple different ways to do that to earn some extra income:
- Contribute to online medical websites
- Write a book
- Start your own medical blog
Contribute to online medical websites
One way to contribute to medical websites would be by either peer editing someone else’s content or by creating your own original content to be published.
And don’t underestimate the need there is. Just think about it: how many self-proclaimed “health gurus” have you come across on the internet, only to realize they have no idea what they’re talking about?
I mean, wouldn’t it be nice if websites like WebMD weren’t a hypochondriac’s worst nightmare?
Well, you can help be part of the solution! Oftentimes, sites like that will be looking for a qualified medical professional to either contribute articles or review content to make sure it’s accurate.
If you’re writing your own content, you can expect to earn anywhere from $.01 per word to $1 per word. This all depends on your level of skill, experience, knowledge, and the website you’re writing for.
Certain websites only hire staff writers, which usually come with a content requirement. That would make it more like a part-time side job with a higher level of commitment. However, it is possible to find sites that accept guest contributions, which would be less of a commitment.
Write a book
Is there a particular area of medical science that you’re especially passionate about? Or have you noticed any alarming trends in your culture’s medical practices that you think need to be addressed?
If so, you could make your voice heard by writing a book about it!
As a medical professional, your book will already hold a certain level of credibility (so long as it pertains to the medical field in some way).
And if you aren’t the best writer, you don’t have to worry. You can always hire an editor or co-writer to fix any issues with the prose and improve the readability.
Writing a book is a serious time commitment and could require a small monetary investment up front. However, if your book gets accepted by a publisher, chances are you’ll make that money back and then some.
In fact, the average advance pay for a first-time author is between $5,000 to $15,000.
And even if your book doesn’t reach the New York Times Best Sellers List, you can still use it to earn extra income.
Having a published book under your belt will boost your credibility if you wanted to do guest lectures or be a guest speaker at various medical conferences.
Start your own medical blog
If you want to make your voice heard and share your passion but don’t want the time commitment involved in writing a full-length book, then you could always write a blog!
In fact, writing a blog can actually be more profitable than writing a book – if you do it right.
The first step is to pick an aspect of medicine that you’re especially passionate about. It’s okay if it’s specific – having a niche is a good thing.
The next step is to build a blog. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or difficult – simple works just fine.
Then, you want to drive traffic to it. This is, of course, one of the most important steps because without people reading your blog, you won’t be able to make any money off of it. There’s an entire article dedicated to this process which you can read about here.
Once you’ve driven people to your blog, then you can start making money off it. There are three main ways you could earn income from your website:
- Advertising banners, like Google Adsense
- Selling your own products
- Affiliate marketing
If you want to make a lot of money from ads that are just banners on your site, you’ll need a lot of traffic (seriously, a lot) to make it anywhere close to worth it.
If you have your own product (like a book, for example), you could build an audience online and sell your book through that. This can be a lucrative and smart idea, but only if you actually have something to sell.
The third (and arguably best) way to go would be affiliate marketing.
You earn money this way by promoting another company’s products or services in exchange for a small commission from any resulting sales.
The process is simple: you promote products that you genuinely stand behind on your blog, and if anyone goes through your affiliate link and purchases it, you make a commission!
If you want a more detailed guide, you can find that here. But overall, this is a great way to earn consistent income on the side. Yes, it might take a little bit to get started, but it’s well worth the effort!
Summing It Up
There are many different avenues you can take to earn extra income as a PA, and hopefully this article has given you some helpful ideas and insights.