Physician Assistants
SOC: 29-1071.00

Description:

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.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
94,400 employed

Projected (2024):
123,200 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Anesthesia Technician
  • Anesthesiologist Assistant
  • Anesthetic Assistant
  • Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C)
  • Certified Physician's Assistant
  • Clinical Physician Assistant
  • Doctor
  • Doctor Assistant
  • Family Practice Physician Assistant
  • General Surgery Physician Assistant
  • Gynecological Assistant
  • Medical Service Technician
  • Midlevel Provider
  • Orthopaedic Physician Assistant
  • Pediatric Physician Assistant
  • Physician Assistant Certified (PAC)
  • Physician Extender
  • Physician's Assistant
  • Surgeon Assistant
  • Surgery Technician (Surgery Tech)
  • Surgical First Assistant
  • Surgical Physician Assistant


  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

    Education:

    Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

    Job Training:

    Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Food Production
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

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

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Anesthesia equipment
  • Anesthesia ventilators
  • Anoscopes
  • Arterial blood gas monitoring equipment
  • Arterial line catheters
  • Artery forceps
  • Aspirating needles
  • Audiometers
  • Binocular light compound microscopes
  • Blood collection needles
  • Blood collection syringes
  • Bone marrow biopsy equipment
  • Breath alcohol testers
  • Bull dog nose clamps
  • Canes
  • Cast removal saws
  • Central venous pressure lines
  • Cervical collars
  • Chest tubes
  • Crutches
  • Defibrillators
  • Dissector rods
  • Doppler ultrasound fetascopes
  • Doppler vascular equipment
  • Electrocardiography EKG units
  • Electrocautery devices
  • Electronic blood pressure monitors
  • Endoscopic camera/video systems
  • Evacuated blood collection tubes
  • Eye charts
  • Fluoroscopes
  • Glucometers
  • Halo fixation devices
  • Harvester rods
  • High-frequency ventilators
  • Holter monitors
  • Interthercal therapy equipment
  • Intra-aortic balloon pumps IABP
  • Intracranial pressure monitors
  • Intramuscular needles
  • Intravenous IV equipment
  • Knee braces
  • Lancets
  • Laser printers
  • Life support for trauma and transport LSTAT intensive care units
  • Lumbar puncture equipment
  • Manual blood pressure units
  • Mechanical stethoscopes
  • Medical magnetic resonance imaging MRI machines
  • Microscope slides
  • Mosquito artery forceps
  • Nail nippers
  • Nail probes
  • Nasogastric tubes
  • Nebulizers
  • Needle holders
  • Notebook computers
  • Operating microscopes
  • Ophthalmoscopes
  • Otoscopes
  • Oximeters
  • Personal computers
  • Personal digital assistants PDA
  • Plastic surgery lasers
  • Portable satellite telehealth terminals
  • Pulmonary function testing PFT equipment
  • Reflex hammers
  • Retractors
  • Scalpel blades
  • Scalpel handles
  • Slit lamps
  • Spirometers
  • Splints
  • Subclavian lines
  • Subcutaneous hypodermic needles
  • Surgical curettes
  • Suture scissors
  • Suturing needles
  • Swan catheters
  • Tablet computers
  • Therapeutic treadmill exercisers
  • Tong traction devices
  • Tongue blades
  • Tourniquets
  • Tracheal suctioning equipment
  • Trocars
  • Tuberculin TB skin test equipment
  • Vacutainer tubes
  • Vaginal specula
  • Vascular straight aortic clamps
  • Videoconferencing equipment
  • Walkers
  • Walking braces
  • X ray machines
  • ChartWare software
  • Electronic medical record EMR software
  • Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS software
  • Medical condition coding software
  • Medical procedure coding software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Word
  • Patient records software for personal digital assistants PDAs
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Teleconferencing software
  • Teleradiology systems
  • Web browser software
  • Word processing software


  • healthcare practitioners and technical


    industry stats

    SOC: 29-0000

    Total Employed: 8,021,800

    Average Annual Salary: $77,800