Physician Assistants


Overview

Introduction

Physician assistants (PAs) practice medicine under the supervision of licensed doctors of medicine or osteopathy, providing various health care services to patients. Much of the work they do was formerly limited to physicians. There are approximately 120,090 physician assistants employed in the United States.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$112,260

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Employment Prospects

Excellent

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Minimum Education Level

Master's Degree


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Experience

Residency


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Skills

Interpersonal


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Personality Traits

Helpful

Earnings

Salaries of physician assistants (PAs) vary according to experience, specialty, and employer. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that PAs earned median annual salaries of $112,260 in May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned $72,720 or less and the highest paid 10 percent earned $157,120 or more per year. PAs are well compensated compared with other occupations that have similar training require...

Work Environment

Most work settings are comfortable and clean, although, like physicians, PAs spend a good part of their day standing or walking. The workweek varies according to the employment setting. A few emergency room PAs may work 24-hour shifts, twice a week; others work 12-hour shifts, three times a week. PAs who work in physicians' offices, hospitals, or clinics may have to work weekends, nights, and h...

Outlook

Employment for physician assistants, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), is expected to increase much faster than the average for all occupations through 2028 because the health care industry is continuing to use more physician assistants to reduce costs. The aging population and corresponding demand for health care services also is supporting employment growth. Opportunities will ...

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