Physician Assistants

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What do they do?

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.

Also known as:

Cardiology Physician Assistant, Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C), Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant (Emergency Medicine PA), Family Practice Physician Assistant, Orthopaedic Physician Assistant, Orthopedic Physician Assistant, Physician Assistant (PA), Physician's Assistant, Surgical Critical Care Physician Assistant (Surgical Critical Care PA), Surgical Physician Assistant (Surgical PA)

Typical Wages

Annual wages for Physician Assistants in United States

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Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Physician Assistants is projected to grow 32 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than average compared to all occupations.

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Projected Employment

No Data Available

Projected Employment Rankings For Virginia:

  • 32.7%

    Percent Change

    Ranks #22 in job growth rate
  • 250

    Annual Projected Job Openings

    Ranks #31 in net job growth

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Typical College Majors

Majors that prepare Physician Assistants:

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★ Number of granted degrees for degree type, Masters degree, is listed after the major.

Education Level

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree (15.4%)
  • Master's degree (59.2%)
  • Bachelor's degree (15.9%)
  • Associate's degree (2.9%)
  • Some college, no degree (3.1%)
  • High school diploma equivalent (2.9%)
  • Less than high school diploma (0.6%)

Percent of workers in this field

Colleges that Prepare

Colleges with the most graduates that become Physician Assistants:

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Best colleges for Physician Assistants:

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Skills

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
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Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
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Abilities

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
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Activities: what you might do in a day

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Diagnose medical conditions.
  • Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
  • Examine patients to assess general physical condition.
  • Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Prescribe treatments or therapies.
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This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 26.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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