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US News Ranks PA as #3 Best Job Overall, #1 in Healthcare


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https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/the-100-best-jobs

 

Seems like they actually put some effort into it this year. 

"Often, the physician or surgeon supervision is more like collaboration, but there are certain archaic regulations that make life for physician assistants – and their patients – difficult. "To give a real-life example of these arbitrary regulations, in my practice, I can write a patient a prescription for morphine," Katz explains. "However by law, I cannot prescribe my diabetic patients diabetic shoes. Often, the stress comes in when PAs are not able to practice to the full extent of their training, education and ability." 

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What is a Physician Assistant?

Physician assistants diagnose illnesses, develop and carry out treatment plans, assist in surgeries, perform procedures and guide patients. Their work is very similar to that of a general internist or doctor, but they are required by law to practice under the supervision of a licensed physician or surgeon.

Jeffrey Katz, president of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), says, "I diagnose and treat patients, illnesses and diseases and counsel them on their path to wellness." 

Often, the physician or surgeon supervision is more like collaboration, but there are certain archaic regulations that make life for physician assistants – and their patients – difficult. "To give a real-life example of these arbitrary regulations, in my practice, I can write a patient a prescription for morphine," Katz explains. "However by law, I cannot prescribe my diabetic patients diabetic shoes. Often, the stress comes in when PAs are not able to practice to the full extent of their training, education and ability." 

But the profession is filled with rewards that come from helping and treating patients. A 2015 AAPA study found that more than 96 percent would recommend their physician assistant career to others. Katz has worked in the same family practice in Taylorsville, North Carolina, for more than 20 years and has seen generations of families. "It is really cool to see the children of children. … I don't think there's any better gift," he says. 

Physician assistants are expected to continue to be an important part of providing health care services, as they can be trained more quickly than physicians but can provide some of the same services.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 37.3 percent employment growth for physician assistants between 2016 and 2026. In that period, an estimated 39,600 jobs should open up.

Quick Stats

  •  
    $104,860MEDIAN SALARY
  •  
    0.8%UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
  •  
    39,600NUMBER OF JOBS

Rankings

Physician Assistants rank # 1 in Best Health Care Jobs. Jobs are ranked according to their ability to offer an elusive mix of factors. Read more about how we rank the best jobs.

Physician Assistants are ranked:

  • Salary
    8.1
     
  • Job Market
    10
     
  • Future Growth
    6
     
  • Stress
    4
     
  • Work Life Balance
    8
     
Read about how we rank the best jobs.

How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make?

Physician Assistants made a median salary of $104,860 in 2017. The best-paid 25 percent made $124,200 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $87,980.

25th Percentile$87,980


Median$104,860


75th Percentile$124,200


 

What Type of Education Do Physician Assistants Need?

Many professionals already have a bachelor's degree, or have some experience as a registered nurse, EMT or paramedic, when they start their physician assistant training. After this, hopeful physician assistants will need to apply to an accredited physician assistant program. These master's degree programs generally take 26 months to complete and include both coursework and supervised clinical work. 

Graduates then have to take a certification exam offered through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Additionally, all 50 states and the District of Columbia require licensure, which is obtained by passing this exam and applying for a state-specific license. To maintain their certification, physician assistants must pass a recertifying exam every 10 years.  

Job Satisfaction

 

Average Americans work well into their 60s, so workers might as well have a job that’s enjoyable and a career that's fulfilling. A job with a low stress level, good work-life balance and solid prospects to improve, get promoted and earn a higher salary would make many employees happy. Here's how Physician Assistants job satisfaction is rated in terms of upward mobility, stress level and flexibility.

Upward Mobility Average
Opportunities for advancements and salary


Stress Level Above Average
Work environment and complexities of the job's responsibilities


Flexibility Above Average
Alternative working schedule and work life balance


Advice From Real Physician Assistants »
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Guest HanSolo

My guess would be ability to work more easily in surgical settings, and those type of jobs usually have higher salaries. I'm sure there are other factors, though.

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7 minutes ago, HanSolo said:

My guess would be ability to work more easily in surgical settings, and those type of jobs usually have higher salaries. I'm sure there are other factors, though.

also, on average more PAs work inpt($$) than outpt($). PA/NP in same specialties typically make same money, but there are more primary care NPs than PAs at this point I believe.

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