Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Physician Assistants

What Physician Assistants Do

Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine on teams with physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare workers. They examine, diagnose, and treat patients.

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 typically need a master’s degree from an accredited educational program. All states require physician assistants to be licensed.

Job Outlook

Employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 30 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. As demand for healthcare services grows, physician assistants will be needed to provide care to patients.

Growth & Trends

This occupation supported 86,700 jobs in 2012 and 94,400 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 8.9%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 38.4% in 2022 to 120,000 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 93,300, compared with an observed value of 94,400, 1.2% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 33.2% in 2024 to 123,200 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 126,600 jobs for 2024, 2.8% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.

Physician Assistants Employment and Labor Information 2023

Physician Assistants Employment Brief:

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.

Physician Assistants Job Description

Here is a Job Description an employer might post for potential Physician Assistants.

Physician Assistants Responsibilities and Duties:

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

Typical Daily Tasks of Physician Assistants:

  • Assisting and Caring for Others: Administer intravenous medications. Assist healthcare practitioners during surgery. Immunize patients.
  • Getting Information: Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates.
  • Documenting/Recording Information: Record patient medical histories.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Diagnose medical conditions.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others.
  • Analyzing Data or Information: Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events.

Physician Assistants Skills and Requirements:

  • Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Management of Personnel Resources Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Management of Financial Resources Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
  • InternetNavigating the Internet to find information, including the ability to open and configure standard browsers; use searches, hypertext references, and transfer protocols; and send and retrieve electronic mail (e-mail).
  • 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.
  • Word ProcessingUsing a computer application to type text, insert pictures, format, edit, print, save, and retrieve word processing documents.
  • Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Equipment Maintenance Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Physician Assistants Education and Training:

Typical education for include: Master's degree.

Physician Assistants Salary, Wages, and Salary and Job Outlook

Physician Assistants average pay is: $60.58 per hour according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees who work in Outpatient Care Centers are the highest paid making $65.89, while Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools make the least at $52.08 per hour.Here are the top city/metro areas with the highest paying salaries for a Physician Assistants:


Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

Employment per thousand jobs

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA




Napa, CA




San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA




Vallejo-Fairfield, CA




Fairbanks, AK



1.08 Physician Assistants data