PA job outlook is better than ever. Many PAs make a salary in the six-figure range. But it isn’t an easy job and it does require a more extensive educational undertaking.
What PAs Do
PAs work alongside surgeons and doctors to help diagnose, examine and treat patients. The PA practices medicine in the same traditional way as other medical professionals do.
Often confused sometimes confused with medical assistants, the PA has much greater authority in all competencies of medicine.
For example, PAs can take a patient’s medical history and offer a review. They can examine patients and diagnose an illness or an injury. PAs often deliver vaccines, set broken bones, and provide follow-up medical counseling.
PAs are also able to prescribe appropriate medications upon proper medical diagnosis.
Depending on the state in which the PA is working, they may have more or less supervision by a surgeon or physician.
PAs work in psychiatry; however, they are more known for their work in family practice, surgery, and emergency medicine.
In desolate regions whereas medical care is short capacity, a PA may serve as the leading primary physician for the area.
A PA’s Work Environment – What To Expect
Most physician assistants work full-time. Some put in longer hours working more than 40 hours per week, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Most PAs are expected to work on their feet for extended periods of time. This is primarily due to their frequent involvement with patient care. PAs typically make rounds, evaluating patients throughout their day.
For PAs working in trauma units or surgery environments, standing is a typical and expected part of the job.
Additionally, PAs are often expected to work holidays, nights, and weekends, due to the nature of having a role in medical care.
How to Become a PA
To become a PA, a person must graduate from an accredited master’s program. The timeline for this is generally around two years but can vary depending on the person’s stage in life. Factors such as holding down a full-time job while completing coursework can extend the timeline.
The individual state must license a physician’s assistant.
In most cases, a person looking to apply for a PA master’s program already has a bachelor’s degree with experience in patient care. It is not unusual for a PA master’s program candidate to have experience working as a registered nurse (RN), paramedic, or EMT.
How Much Do PAs Make?
A PA makes on average around $112,260 annually (according to stats from May of 2019).
Below is a graph courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Labor.
PA’s Job Outlook – Is There Work?
For those looking to have a future as a PA, you’re in luck as the outlook is bright.
In fact, employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 31% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. As demand for healthcare services grows,PAs will be needed to provide care to patients.
The dramatic surge in PA job outlook numbers is due to an overtaxed healthcare system that’s in need of help due to an aging society. A massive baby boomer portion of our society is likely to overwhelm the healthcare sector, leaving many hospitals and doctors offices in need of PA help.
For the most recent information on the PA job outlook, please take a second to download the OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.