Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Physician Assistants

Find Schools Near

Life As a Physician Assistant (PA)

Example of a Physician Assistant (PA) Job Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.

List of Physician Assistant (PA) Job Duties

  • Administer or order diagnostic tests, such as x-ray, electrocardiogram, and laboratory tests.
  • Visit and observe patients on hospital rounds or house calls, updating charts, ordering therapy, and reporting back to physician.
  • Instruct and counsel patients about prescribed therapeutic regimens, normal growth and development, family planning, emotional problems of daily living, and health maintenance.
  • Provide physicians with assistance during surgery or complicated medical procedures.
  • Perform therapeutic procedures, such as injections, immunizations, suturing and wound care, and infection management.
  • Interpret diagnostic test results for deviations from normal.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Physician Assistant (PA)?

Physician Assistants state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Types of Physician Assistant (PA) Jobs

  • Anesthesia Technician
  • Doctor
  • Surgical Physician Assistant
  • Surgeon Assistant
  • Family Practice Physician Assistant

Are There Job Opportunities for Physician Assistants?

There were about 106,200 jobs for Physician Assistants in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 37.3% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 39,600 new jobs for Physician Assistants by 2026. The BLS estimates 10,600 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Physician Assistants in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Physician Assistants are New York, California, and Texas.

Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Mississippi, or Wyoming. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Physician Assistant (PA) Average Salary

The salary for Physician Assistants ranges between about $69,120 and $151,850 a year. A Physician Assistant median salary is $108,610.

Salary Ranges for Physician Assistants

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Connecticut

$125,610

Washington

$123,980

Alaska

$122,260

Hawaii

$121,120

California

$117,230

New York

$117,000

Wyoming

$116,890

Nevada

$116,850

New Jersey

$116,270

Minnesota

$116,200

District of Columbia

$114,740

Oregon

$113,570

New Hampshire

$111,080

Iowa

$110,550

Michigan

$110,240

Maine

$110,030

Texas

$109,590

Idaho

$109,090

Massachusetts

$108,700

New Mexico

$108,610

Illinois

$108,260

Maryland

$108,180

Wisconsin

$107,920

North Dakota

$107,340

Nebraska

$106,700

Vermont

$106,520

Montana

$106,130

Florida

$105,930

Ohio

$105,410

Delaware

$105,300

Kansas

$104,720

North Carolina

$104,680

Oklahoma

$104,200

West Virginia

$104,180

Rhode Island

$103,710

South Carolina

$103,710

Georgia

$103,190

South Dakota

$102,830

Colorado

$102,770

Utah

$102,710

Arizona

$101,590

Virginia

$99,340

Arkansas

$99,280

Pennsylvania

$98,510

Indiana

$96,090

Missouri

$94,480

Alabama

$92,880

Kentucky

$91,010

Tennessee

$87,700

Louisiana

$85,990

Mississippi

$81,130

What Tools & Technology do Physician Assistants Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Physician Assistants may use on a daily basis:

  • Epic Systems
  • Microsoft Word
  • MEDITECH software
  • Medical condition coding software
  • Medical procedure coding software
  • Microsoft Office
  • Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS
  • Microsoft Excel

Who Employs Physician Assistants?

Physician Assistant (PA) Sectors

Those thinking about becoming Physician Assistants might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Athletic Trainers

Those who work as Physician Assistants sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

  • Nuclear Medicine Physicians

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder has matched thousands of students with colleges.