As you weigh the physician assistant vs .nurse practitioner career decision (or, if you're just plain curious like me...), a quick salary comparison in the state where you plan to practice can help nail down your profession pick. Some states are more NP friendly while others traditionally favor physician assistants. In most locations, the decision to become either an NP or PA won't make a significant difference when it comes to your wallet. But, in a few it may mean a more than $10K salary difference, on average, each year. Check out this state-by-state comparison of nurse practitioner and physician assistant salaries.