Top Physician Assistant Careers
Resources on this page
See What Physician Assistants Do
Physician assistants work with medical personnel like surgeons and physicians, and practice medicine under their supervision. They perform patient examinations, take medical histories, and consult with families regarding ongoing medical issues. Some physician assistants choose to specialize in certain areas, such as specific body systems or types of medical work. The most popular physician assistant specializations are listed below, all of which typically require either an extended bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree from an accredited university.
Physician Assistant Career Information
- Projected national job growth: 30%
- Average Salary: $86,410/year
- Entry-level education: Master’s degree, including certification from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
- Job description: Physician assistants help medical professionals carry out their duties by performing basic medical tests, conducting procedures, and handling communication with patients. These professionals use a broad base of medical knowledge to explain medical concepts to patients and sometimes handle issues doctors are too busy to attend to or need assistance to perform.
- Why would I want to do this? Choose to become a physician assistant if you have an eye for detail and want to work in a field that requires you to apply your knowledge of science in a healthcare setting. You must be able to communicate well with people, as you will have regular, direct contact with patients and their families. You can expect to carry out the same duties as physicians, providing care, diagnosing illnesses, and prescribing treatment regimens.
Explore Popular Physician Assistant Specializations
- Addiction Medicine
- Hospital Medicine
- Occupational Medicine
Apply to Jobs Using These Resources
Graduates of physician assistant programs can use several different resources to find jobs, including general job boards, professional association sites, and government job sites.
Professional Association Resources
These organizations are intended for physician assistants and other healthcare personnel, providing job listings and specialized continuing education opportunities.
American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) – The American Academy of Physician Assistants, in addition to its news and publications, provides career development assistance and other information for new physician assistants.
Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants (SEMPA) – This organization serves physician assistants and students who specialize in emergency medicine, providing links to jobs in fields like emergency room assistance and urgent care.
Association of Family Practice Physician Assistants (AFPPA) – The Association of Family Practice Physician Assistants is intended specifically for students and professionals who are interested in family practice. The AFPPA has a robust career center feature on its site.
Association of Physician Assistants in Cardiovascular Surgery (APACVS) – This association primarily serves students and professionals who are involved in the cardiovascular side of physician assistant work. The APACVS allows members to post their resumé and access continuing education opportunities.
American Academy of Physician Assistants in Allergy, Asthma & Immunology – This association focuses on students and physician assistants who work with allergies and asthma and provides access to job listings for a nominal fee. Members can access the listing of PA jobs.
The Agape Center – While this site does not have a career center or job board of its own, it provides a comprehensive list of links to state physician assistant organizations that often have specialized information on physician assistant careers in those states.
General Job Sites
These sites list openings in a wide range of fields, including medical professions, and are a good starting point for students who are graduating and must find employment.
Indeed – Using Indeed, you can search through millions of available job listings and post your resumé online for prospective employers to review.
Monster.com – Regardless of which area of medicine you choose to specialize in, you can search for openings in your field of practice on Monster.com.
SimplyHired – SimplyHired lists several million job openings at any given time, in addition to providing salary information for PAs in your area.
CareerBuilder.com – CareerBuilder has a diverse list of jobs, including more than 60,000 openings in the healthcare field, as well as career advice and resumé-writing assistance.
Government Job Sites
These sites are provided by government organizations, and provide links to government jobs in many fields, including medical work.
USAJOBS– USAJOBS lists available positions at all levels of government across the country, as well as several physician assistant jobs through agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
United States Department of Labor– Although not a job site in and of itself, this site provides links to state job boards and other government employment organizations.