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Career Profile: Physician Assistants

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.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 129,400 people employed as physician assistants in the United States. The median annual salary is $115,400. Entry level employees earn approximately $76,700 per year and senior employees earn approximately $162,470 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Make tentative diagnoses and decisions about management and treatment of patients.
  • Interpret diagnostic test results for deviations from normal.
  • Prescribe therapy or medication with physician approval.
  • Obtain, compile, and record patient medical data, including health history, progress notes, and results of physical examination.
  • Examine patients to obtain information about their physical condition.
  • Administer or order diagnostic tests, such as x-ray, electrocardiogram, and laboratory tests.
  • Instruct and counsel patients about prescribed therapeutic regimens, normal growth and development, family planning, emotional problems of daily living, and health maintenance.
  • Perform therapeutic procedures, such as injections, immunizations, suturing and wound care, and infection management.
  • Visit and observe patients on hospital rounds or house calls, updating charts, ordering therapy, and reporting back to physician.
  • Provide physicians with assistance during surgery or complicated medical procedures.
  • Supervise and coordinate activities of technicians and technical assistants.
  • Order medical and laboratory supplies and equipment.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
129,400
Annual Openings:
12,200
Increase in Openings by 2030:
31%
Annual Salary Range:
$76,700 - $162,470
Education Requirements:
Master's degree or higher