CareerGPS

Physician Assistants
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Physician Assistants
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
662 819 157 23.80% 32 40 72 $57.61 $119,819 Master's degree
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.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • 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.

Knowledge

98%
Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
90%
Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
81%
Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
80%
Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
80%
Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
80%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
62%
Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal m
56%
Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
55%
Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
55%
Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skills

78%
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.
78%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
78%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
75%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
72%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
72%
Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
72%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
69%
Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
69%
Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
65%
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
62%
Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
62%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
60%
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
60%
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
56%
Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
53%
Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
53%
Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
50%
Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
50%
Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Abilities

81%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
81%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
81%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
78%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
78%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
75%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
72%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
69%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
69%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
65%
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
65%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
62%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
60%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
53%
Speed of Closure - The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
50%
Time Sharing - The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
50%
Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
50%
Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes compa
50%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.

Work Activities

94%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
93%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
93%
Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
88%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
87%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
86%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
83%
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
83%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
82%
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
77%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
77%
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
74%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
70%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
69%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
64%
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
64%
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
63%
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
63%
Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
58%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
56%
Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
51%
Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
50%
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Overall 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.
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.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.
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).

Interests

Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi

Work Styles

Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Work Values

Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.