One of the most often asked questions we get in our meeting are, how much does Anesthesiologist Assistants make? Popularly known as an “AA”, an anesthesiologist assistant is a highly skilled medical professional who designs, develops and implements anesthesia care plans. The non-physician anesthesia provider is guided by a licensed anesthesiologist to master and carry out his/her daily duties and responsibilities. Working as part of the anesthesia care team, these professionals accompany patients during anesthesia and offer life-saving services, such as cardiac life support and CPR.
Concerning training, anesthesiologist assistants complete a bachelor’s degree and during the studies they are required to learn premedical topics, do exams and get anesthesia exposure in the operating rooms. After they are done with the bachelor’s degree, the candidates are required to complete a master’s degree in programs that are accredited by health education regulators. Graduates of these programs are then certified by relevant boards or commissions for anesthesiologist assistants. The certified candidates are awarded a time-limited certificate to practice in the field.
So where do the anesthesiologists assistants work? Well, these professionals work in surgery centers and also in general hospitals- specifically in operation rooms and theaters. The AAs also work in large healthcare facilities that perform complex procedures such as transplant surgery, cardiac surgery, neurosurgery and trauma care. They usually offer their services throughout a typical work week, but they can also perform weekend assignments and on-call & evening duties.
In the medical field, these professionals take health history of patients, administer necessary diagnostic tests, calibrate and pre-test anesthesia equipment, induce anesthesia levels, carry out post anesthesia rounds and perform administrative duties. Some AAs perform other duties like establishing invasive & non-invasive monitoring methods, training and supervising personnel and implementing regional anesthesia techniques.
When it comes to anesthesiologist assistant salary, the graduates earn between $95,000-$120,000 annual salary plus compensations for weekend assignments, on-call activities and evening duties. The experienced AAs earn between $160,000-$180,000 plus the compensations mentioned under the graduate salary. The salaries vary by states and individual employer.
Concerning the states, the AAs can only work in sixteen of them plus Washington DC and the territory of Guam. States that pay the highest salaries include: Ohio, Florida, South Carolina, Colorado, Texas, Michigan, District of Columbia, North Carolina and Georgia. The medical professionals working in remote states also earn better pay compared to those working in developed states. On the side of the employer, private hospitals pay more than the government. As far as the federal government is concerned, the AAs are employed by the Department of Defense and Veteran Affairs (VA) under the TRICARE system.