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