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PA's in CA, no jobs and working three jobs?


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Hey guys, Ive been shadowing a PA at my local ER. Ive probably shadowed 5 PA around my area. 2 of them had told me to not go into the PA profession. Specifically, one was telling me he knows PA's that are graduating and cant find jobs. He proceeds to tell me that nurses are better paid than he is, and that he would have done nursing all over again. He gets no PTO and no retirement benefits. He says he has to work about 6 days a week to equal some nurses working 3 days of work. However i see some faults in his arguments.

1. I think he is unwilling to relocate for a better job due to certain obligations.

2. The nurses he was talking about in terms of pay and benefit comparison were nurses at a county hospital and at kaiser permanenete.

3. I feel that if you are felxible and willing to get out of your comfort zone in terms of relocating, that they are plenty of GOOD job opportunities as a new grad PA.

 

So how realistic is the picture he painted in terms if the PA profession in CA? Thanks

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So here's my California interview experience as a new grad. I'm from the bay area so my goal was to stay in it. I desired outpatient primary care practice and an on-site SP who'd provide training. I d

As a California PA for 32 years, I can attest to the strong job market in this state decade after decade. Once I found my first job, I never looked for a job again in this state; they all found me. I

Hey guys, Ive been shadowing a PA at my local ER. Ive probably shadowed 5 PA around my area. 2 of them had told me to not go into the PA profession. Specifically, one was telling me he knows PA's that

If you are flexible and willing to get out into the hinterlands there are jobs. If you think you are going to graduate and start making 80+K/yr you might have probs. Critical care, NICU etc nurses in CA are very highly paid and could well be making as much or more than PAs when shift differentials and such are factored in. If you insist on staying in the San Diego, LA, San Francisco metro areas a job could be hard to come by. In my area docs are hiring new grads, working them like dogs <40hrs/wk so no benefits. After a yr or so when the PA starts making noises about money they throw the PA away and go hire another new grad. It is all about supply and demand. CA programs are pumping out PAs as fast as they can and many want to stay in the popular places. I live/work in So Cal. If you live in No Cal the CNA (Calif Nurses Assoc) has negoiated some pretty sweet contracts for their members up there.

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If you are flexible and willing to get out into the hinterlands there are jobs. If you think you are going to graduate and start making 80+K/yr you might have probs. Critical care, NICU etc nurses in CA are very highly paid and could well be making as much or more than PAs when shift differentials and such are factored in. If you insist on staying in the San Diego, LA, San Francisco metro areas a job could be hard to come by. In my area docs are hiring new grads, working them like dogs <40hrs/wk so no benefits. After a yr or so when the PA starts making noises about money they throw the PA away and go hire another new grad. It is all about supply and demand. CA programs are pumping out PAs as fast as they can and many want to stay in the popular places. I live/work in So Cal. If you live in No Cal the CNA (Calif Nurses Assoc) has negoiated some pretty sweet contracts for their members up there.

 

There's obviously variability around the country, but where are new PAs starting salary-wise? With the rapidly rising costs of PA education, one has to be concerned about the ability to even pay student loans if salaries drop too much.

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I see on indeed.com:

 

Inland Empire: 31 Postings

North OC: 60 Postings

South OC: 16 Postings

Los Angeles: 114 Postings

 

Seems like a good job market to me. And for the pay.. I've seen the avg pay at $80-$110 for new grad. I've seasoned pay well into $180k.. When you compare it new grad to new grad or seasoned to seasoned PAs come on top from what I've researched. Btw new grad RNs at my hospital make $28 an hour and half the RNs I know who just graduated cant find jobs because they aren't hiring new grads. So your call what you want to do.

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If you are flexible and willing to get out into the hinterlands there are jobs. If you think you are going to graduate and start making 80+K/yr you might have probs. Critical care, NICU etc nurses in CA are very highly paid and could well be making as much or more than PAs when shift differentials and such are factored in. If you insist on staying in the San Diego, LA, San Francisco metro areas a job could be hard to come by. In my area docs are hiring new grads, working them like dogs <40hrs/wk so no benefits. After a yr or so when the PA starts making noises about money they throw the PA away and go hire another new grad. It is all about supply and demand. CA programs are pumping out PAs as fast as they can and many want to stay in the popular places. I live/work in So Cal. If you live in No Cal the CNA (Calif Nurses Assoc) has negoiated some pretty sweet contracts for their members up there.

 

SoCal here also, can definitely attest to your statements. SoCal is a nightmare of turnover, so much so that I've been trying to get out. The same ads go up constantly, every couple months, doh, there they are hiring again. They get tons of apps simply because of the location. That being said, I've landed a good Peds/FM job in an 'undesirable' location so hey, if that's what it takes then screw it, I can close my door and turn on my TV at the end of the day and I can get the hell out of dodge on the weekends. 95K, no bennies. I've found the avg to be around at least 80K tho, except for the occasional scavengers.

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A friend of mine is a PA in the SF Bay Area. Fought like a mad dog to get the job after working in BFE for a year, and paid barely enough to live in that area. New grad RNs can't get work, and UCSF MEPN grads are fighting to work as floor RNs. Clinical rotations at some of the PA schools are even getting tough to find. So, I do think it is a tough environment out there right now, even if there appears to be job postings..

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Btw new grad RNs at my hospital make $28 an hour and half the RNs I know who just graduated cant find jobs because they aren't hiring new grads. So your call what you want to do.

 

ICU/ER RNs at my hosp. have a salary range of 68/90K per yr with a benefit package worth about 25%. Added to that they get a shift differential of $2-5/hr and a speciality differential of $5/hr. Not hiring new grads. FWIW.

 

I still think the seeming plethora of So Cal jobs is deceptive and should be taken with a grain of salt. However if you are willing to go somewhere like Barstow or Trona or even Apple Valley your prospects of a good job are probably much better.

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folks, socal, nyc, chicago are not the place to go looking for a 1st job. maybe with 5+ yrs of experience, sure.

bfe jobs(many in nice places) pay 60-90/hr.

look at this alaska job:

Compensation:


    • $70/hour Monday through Friday
    • $75/night for being on-call on a week-night
    • $100/24 hour week-end shift taking call
    • $95/hour call-back to the clinic
    • 1099 contract
    • All housing, utilities, and round-trip travel are provided

 

and this one in michigan:

$65/hr - Michigan Physician Assistant Locum Tenens

This is a great opportunity to work and play in Northern Michigan this summer. Stretch out your legs on the miles of hiking and biking trails. Throw in a line and experience some of the best trout fishing in the country after work.

Coverage is needed at a 12,000 annual volume emergency department located in Northwestern Michigan. This position is open to Physician Assistants that have experience in Emergency Medicine and are comfortable with solo coverage. The hourly rate is $65/hr with paid mileage and lodging.

 

 

 

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Isn't rural vs urban kind of a double-edged sword, especially in EM? Rural is where the jobs are, but it also seems more likely to be solo coverage. As a new grad, I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. I suppose you have to find that happy medium...

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For what it's worth:

 

I graduated in May 2012 in Chicago, and except for the 3 people who had some personal issue or relocated, every single classmate who stayed in Chicago had a real, legit job (sometimes multiple offers, myself included) in the City of Chicago (plus 2 in the suburbs NOT rural) by October. All paying at least 75K, up to 95K some with signing bonuses of 4-9K. In what has become the most regrettable decision of my life, I turned down both my offers (79 and 82K) to move to California, where I have been sitting on my gluteus maximus looking for a job for 5 months for even 1 interview. No one wants a new grad apparently, and no organization wants to even speak to an applicant directly. I've been told to "pay my dues" by volunteering or working in a pain or occupational med clinic. I am thinking of moving back to Chicago at this point, and have lined up 2 interviews (ENT and vascular surgery) after just a few days of applying. My aforementioned classmates all love being PAs and see themselves staying at their current job (their first job) for the foreseeable future. My conclusion is that California is one of the worst places to be a PA (at least a new grad), and Chicago was apparently one of the best.

Edited by zeusfaber
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My conclusion is that California is one of the worst places to be a PA (at least a new grad), and Chicago was apparently one of the best.

 

That's kind of a Hasty Generalization of a rather large state. I'm a student and have had 2 "Look us up when you get close to graduation" type offers. Are they just being friendly? Probably. But it goes back to the old "It's who you know" type job search. People in SoCal pay the sunshine and beach tax...you couldn't pay me enough to work down there! I'll stay north of the CA midline and be a happy camper.

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Doc,

 

Where are you looking at if you don't mind me asking? I'm from the Sacramento/Roseville area and I would love to practice in that area once I finish PA school. While its not exactly "rural," I'm sure it has a better job outlook than SD/LA/SF. Pretty much figuring the further North I get, towards Shasta and the state line, the easier it would be. Also, figure places like Modesto/Stockton would be some what easy markets. Appreciate any info.

 

Doc Frick

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I should have specified, I am referring to metropolitan areas in CA comparable to Chicago - SF Bay Area, LA, SD. I am not interested in living in BFE just to stay in CA so that's not what I am talking about.

 

I have had 5 months of unemployment here and no interviews despite contacting 10+ "connections", a few of whom had specifically promised to help me get a job and are apparently not in a position to do so. I've gone to networking events at which people dismiss new grads or tell me to "pay my dues" and come back when I have experience. I've submitted over 50 painful online applications since no one here wants to speak directly to an applicant, instead directing me to "the website"... and gotten robo-rejections or no acknowledgment at all. (In Chicago, you email a cover letter & CV to a real live person, who calls you for an interview within a few days.) I've cold-called many practices and organizations and done informational interviews for unavailable positions. Meanwhile I am approaching a year since graduation without having worked at all when I could have been working in Chicago since September at one of two fantastic offers with a signing bonus, retirement, benefits, etc. But I wanted to be near my family so here I am, unemployed indefinitely and forgetting everything I learned in school.

 

So no, Corpsman2PA, it's not a "Hasty Generalization". It took quite a lot of time and research to come to that conclusion, and I stand by it. In fact, I would advise any new grad to seriously consider living outside of CA for a first job, or for their career. Things can be pretty great out where PAs are actually in demand.

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I'm a PA specialty trained in emergency medicine. I did a post graduate program in EM. I live in the east San Francisco bay area. My wife is an RN and works in a pretty awesome ICU. She makes a killing and only works three nights a week. However, she doesn't make as much as I do. I have never worked any other place where the RNs are paid as much as they get paid in NorCal. That being said, the jobs are out there. To the original poster stating he was told not to go into the PA profession, I think that you might be getting some advice from some jaded people. You mentioned that these folks seem not flexible to move, but one of the most attractive things about our profession is the flexibility to go anywhere! If those PAs are unhappy, I would say move, get a new job or find a new profession. Are you going to find your perfect job right out of school, your dream job if you will?? hell no, you're going to need to try a few jobs on to see how they fit. But if you're settling for working at a job that you hate or doesn't reward you for your efforts and you're not actively trying to better your position...... I can't even begin to understand that. Jobs are out there, expand your search criteria. And Doc Frick, the PAs that work in the ERs in Stockton are some of the most highly paid PAs I have ever come across. I'm one of them. I work for three different EM companies and in Stockton, their PAs are sharp. You're not going to walk right out of school and think you're going to hack it in one of these ERs. It would be nice, but unless you are very gifted and have a significant amount of experience before you come in, you're not going to last. Not a dig on you or anybody else, but managing those patient loads takes experience

 

Like EMEDPA says, you want to go to BFE, you're gonna make some scratch. And in those places the cost of living is pretty low so you can work for a while, repay your loans etc. For example, I was offered a job in Davenport, Iowa. they were willing to pay me a ton of dough, but it's friggin Davenport Iowa! But my caution to you there is you might find yourself in an ER at 2 am with a patient presenting with a problem that you might be out of your depth on as some of these rural places use PAs as stop gaps between doc coverage.

 

Cut your baby teeth in an urgent care

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@zeusfaber: I understand wanting to be close to family. Is there any reason why you are not willing to go outside of the metro areas of CA? If you obtained a job outside of the area and worked a year or two, you would be much more marketable and be able to move to your desired location. Forgive me if I am understanding your post wrong. Good luck in your search, don't give up.

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Saw this on indeed.com. All of these are welcoming new grads. I didn't go through all of them as there were 62 job postings. Best of luck!

 

link to the search:

http://www.indeed.com/m/jobs?q=%22Physician+assistant%22+and+new+grad&l=California&from=home

 

 

 

 

Physician Assistant

West Point Medical Center - Fontana, CA 92336

Apply from your phone

Full Time Physician Assistant Needed for fast paced urgent care in Inland empire.

New graduates are welcome

Competitive salary, vacation, health insurance, and 401k

Email you resume or fax to 909 355-1333

Indeed - 23 days ago

 

----------------------------

 

Physician Assistant-Corona, CA

Healthcare Task Group - Corona, CA

PA/NP Opportunity in Corona, CA-Full Time-30 hours a week-No Call, Weekends or Rounds

 

 

85-95K—Approximately 30 hours a week!

 

 

- Prepared to train new grads and mid-levels wanting to make a discipline change!!!!

 

 

Private Practice/Outpatient Setting----You will see new patients and follow ups. You will practice alongside a rehab staff, MD and massage therapy.

 

 

Physical Medicine and Rehab Clinic is seeking a PA/NP to add to the clinic. The position would entail performing a multitude of injections to include US guided SI injections, knee, shoulder and trigger point injections.

 

------------------------

 

 

 

 

 

Allied Health - Physician Assistant - Family Medicine

NP/PA 193536 - California

Southern California Physician Assistant Opportunity-100% Outpatient-Full Benefits

 

 

PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT OPPORTUNITY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

EMPLOYMENT PLUS FULL BENEFITS

100% OUTPATIENT PRIMARY CARE

 

 

This opportunity will not last! Please contact me if you are interested in the following:

Growing group! Multiple needs- full-time and part-time opportunities

Monday through Friday 8am-5pm

100% outpatient, no inpatient or phone call responsibilities.

Full Benefits (Health, Dental, Vision, Malpractice, Disability, Life Insurance, Retirement, PTO)

Opportunity open to new graduates!

 

 

EOE

PracticeLink.com - 10 days ago

View job

Save this job

 

------------------------------

 

 

 

 

Physician Assistant - Ortho Sports Med

The Lyle Group, LLC - Los Angeles, CA

An orthopedic group in Los Angeles, CA is looking to add a Physician Assistant due to growth. PA-C will directly support two physicians who focus on Sports Medicine and Total Joints. Time will be split20/80 between OR and Clinic, with four full days in Clinic and one full day in the OR. Average clinic load of 20-25 patients/day.

 

 

1:4 ER call, option for PA-C to pick up additional after hours first assist at an extremely high rate of compensation. Highly autonomous Clinic position which will allow for PA-C to grow patient load and achieve significant production bonuses. PA-C will be responsible for H+P's, pre and post op, referring to Physical Therapy, and prescribing medication. PA-C not responsible for office injections.

 

 

Ideal candidate will have experience in Orthopedics, but exemplary new grads with Ortho rotations will also be considered. Generous base, salary, benefits, CME, and production bonus.

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@zeusfaber: I understand wanting to be close to family. Is there any reason why you are not willing to go outside of the metro areas of CA? If you obtained a job outside of the area and worked a year or two, you would be much more marketable and be able to move to your desired location. Forgive me if I am understanding your post wrong. Good luck in your search, don't give up.

 

 

Hey Paula (okay now that song is going to be stuck in my head...),

 

You didn't misunderstand my post, and it's a legit question. The answer is basically that I don't want to live in a rural area. I'm single (trying not to be), I'm 31, and I'm a city girl at heart. I would be miserable living in an isolated/rural area where there is little to no culture, ethnic dining, diversity, activities etc. Most of all, my friendships are important to me and to move somewhere where I don't know anyone is not something that I am interested in doing at this point in my life. I'm just not going to sacrifice those things for a job because I know it would not be good for my mental health.

 

Also, I did move back to CA to be near family and as part of a long-term plan but I was wholly unprepared for the difficult job market since my peers and I easily got jobs as new grads in Chicago - this was my own naivete. As I mentioned though, I'm not opposed to moving back to Chicago where the job market is awesome and I'm strongly considering it at this point. I'd rather live in Chicago (a great city with good friends) than take a job in rural CA just to be in CA. I don't need to be in CA that badly, especially since in the rural CA situation I would still rarely see my family.

 

There also seems to be this implied advice or train of thought here in CA that a new grad has to "pay their dues" and we should expect to beg for jobs, work for free/less than we're worth, work rural despite personal preference, work at pain clinics/medspas/joint injections/housecalls or otherwise sacrifice contentedness for our career for 1-2 years. This is definitely not the case in Chicago (the only other reference point I have which is why I keep talking about it) and other non-rural areas in the midwest (Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana) that are happy to have new grad/PAs and pay very well (70-95k starting and a lower cost of living). It's just not necessary to do the aforementioned things, and I don't know how it ended up that new grads in CA should expect and accept this as the norm.

 

Sorry, that was probably way more answer than you expected or cared to read but that's been the first question/advice from a few people so I wanted to be thorough and also perhaps incorporate some more of my thoughts from the last few months.

Edited by zeusfaber
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PAs complaining about availability of jobs is.... amusing ....to me. There is pretty much NO profession out there in better shape than this one. If the level of opportunity afforded to you by being a PA isn't enough, nothing will be. Ask the JDs about jobs if your feeling bummed out....

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If you are flexible and willing to get out into the hinterlands there are jobs. If you think you are going to graduate and start making 80+K/yr you might have probs. Critical care, NICU etc nurses in CA are very highly paid and could well be making as much or more than PAs when shift differentials and such are factored in. If you insist on staying in the San Diego, LA, San Francisco metro areas a job could be hard to come by. In my area docs are hiring new grads, working them like dogs <40hrs/wk so no benefits. After a yr or so when the PA starts making noises about money they throw the PA away and go hire another new grad. It is all about supply and demand. CA programs are pumping out PAs as fast as they can and many want to stay in the popular places. I live/work in So Cal. If you live in No Cal the CNA (Calif Nurses Assoc) has negoiated some pretty sweet contracts for their members up there.

 

Seriously.. Why does everyone say that PAs are so very in demand if we have to move out to the boonies to get work? Thats pretty much how it is for every other career in this economy. Plus there's basically no job security. Im not sure why so many PAs are telling college kids its the most amazing job..

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It's an amazing job because it is an amazing job. You get to practice, in most cases, like a doc without having to go through 2 yrs medical school, 2 yrs of residency, clerkships, ets., 5 (that is 5, not 1) major exams before licensure and then move around and work in various specialty areas as you please. If amazing job to you is only a factor of whether or not you are making more than the professional next to you, then perhaps you are not in the right place. If your interest is primarily money, double down and go for the MD/DO.

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