Physician Assistant

Quick Facts: Physician Assistants
2012 Median Pay $90,930 per year
$43.72 per hour
Entry-Level Education Master’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 86,700
Job Outlook, 2012-22 38% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 33,300

What Physician Assistants Do

Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine on a team under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. They are formally educated to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment.

Work Environment

Physician assistants work in physicians’ offices, hospitals, and other healthcare settings. Most work full time.

How to Become a Physician Assistant

Physician assistants must complete an accredited educational program. These programs usually lead to a master’s degree. All states require physician assistants to be licensed.

Pay

The median annual wage for physician assistants was $90,930 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 38 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Increased demand for healthcare services from the growing and aging population and widespread chronic disease, combined with a shortage of physicians, will result in increased demand for healthcare providers, such as physician assistants.

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