10 Things About PA Per Diem Work

Ever wonder about per diem work? I can tell you that I did. It sounds so appealing. The extra money would come in handy when all those student loan payments start rolling in and the chance to work in a completely different setting every once in a while sounds amazing! What's the catch? Is there a catch? What’s the average pay? Where could I work? How much or little would I need to work? All good questions that I didn't have the answers to ... so I asked. 

I spoke with Northeastern’s Clinical Coordinator, Erin Sharaf, PA-C to get her take on per diem work. Erin is currently a full time faculty member at Northeastern, but still continues to keep her clinical skills up by working per diem for the Department of Defense. Below are 10 pearls that I came away from our conversation with:

1.It is a great way to make extra money if you have the time and energy to do it.

2.Per diem work can be used to gain specialized clinical skills if you are a primary care PA and want to find per diem work with a specialty service. On the flip side, if you are going into a specialty service, you can use per diem work in primary care to keep up on all of your general clinical skills (don’t forget recertification exams are primary care based!)

3.You can find per diem work on PA recruiter sites, by word of mouth, or on the hospital or clinic website.

4.Be sure that you know how to contact your supervising physician because they may not be onsite on the days that you are working.

5.You do not usually receive benefits with per diem work.

6. You are typically paid via an hourly wage – the average for this area is about $50-70/hr. (This means that if you work one 10hr shift every other week... you are looking at an additional $15,600 per year before taxes at the rate of $60/hr.)

7.Some popular places to start looking for per diem work are: the Dept of Defense, prison systems, emergency rooms, urgent care, and sporting events (college or high school).

8.There are international per diem positions available. Check with PA recruiter sites.

9.You can work as much or as little as you want. There is not a minimum hr requirement.

10. Per diem can be used as a spring board to a new job or specialty.

A special thank you to Erin for taking the time to answer all of my questions. Hope this helps those who were curious about this subject. Feel free to continue to email me other subject matters that you would like more information on and I'll do my best to get the answers.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Nice blog and here I read good information about Travel nursing jobs. One is one of the first health care staffing firms to have a team dedicated to surgical services. With 22 years of experience in Southern California, we have developed an extensive network with high-acuity level healthcare professionals.
    For more details: http://www.procareone.com