Inaugural Edition of PAEA’s Faculty & Directors Research Report Now Available

Asking for details about PA faculty is not a new idea — we’ve been collecting data in our annual program survey for years. Along with asking about their budgets, students, and clinical sites, program directors filled out information about each employee. The data were important but the process was an administrative burden for PDs, and responses weren’t as precise as we wanted — the PD was essentially a middleman between us and their faculty.

In the spring of 2014, PAEA’s Research Department launched a new survey and, with it, a new way of doing things. The Faculty & Directors survey was sent to program directors but, instead of completing details on each faculty member themselves, they distributed it to their personnel to complete individually. And because we were now going straight to the source, we were able to request more specific information about workload, experience, and demographics than in previous years.

This process led to PAEA’s 2014 Research Report: Faculty & Directors, which is now available to our members. Folded into its pages is more detailed and precise information than we’ve ever generated before. It’s been a long road getting to this final version.

“We went through about 10 different drafts,” said Research Manager Rachel Hamann. “Does this data look correct? Are we presenting the data in the best way possible? Does the outline of the report make sense?”

PA program directors work an average of 50.36 hours per week

Key Findings

The findings reveal the characteristics of key PA program personnel along with employment trends that may impact recruitment and retention. It also includes salary tables — lots of them. The new report breaks down salary by gender, race/ethnicity, region, primary position, level of education, tenure status, public vs. private institution, academic health center status, program age, and class size.

Highlights from the report include the following:

  • Nearly 65% of faculty also work clinically
  • More than 90% indicated that a “calling to education” was an important factor in their decision to work at their current program
  • More than 46% of new faculty were serving as preceptors before joining a PA program
  • More than 42% of faculty and over 60% of program directors are 50 years or older, meaning there may be a need to fill many positions due to retirement over the next 15 years.

The report’s response rate was about 59%. “We’re pretty pleased with that number,” said Hamann. “Of course we strive for 100%, but this survey wasn’t mandatory. We hope the 2015 percentage will be higher because people will see how valuable the data we’re collecting is.”

Log in now to view the full report.

Looking Forward

Help us make the 2015 PA Program Faculty & Directors survey successful. On Monday, March 30, program directors received the survey to disseminate to their faculty. Programs that achieve a 90% response rate will be entered into a drawing for one complimentary registration to the 2015 Education Forum in Washington, D.C. The survey takes 10–15 minutes to complete, and all individual respondents with fully completed surveys will be entered into a drawing for a Kindle (or similar device). It pays to complete your survey early — a second Kindle will be drawn from the first 100 respondents.

Questions about the 2014 Research Report or 2015 PA Program Faculty & Directors Survey can be directed to Research Manager Rachel Hamann at or 703-667-4332.