Career Outlook

Employment is expected to grow much faster than average as health care establishments increasingly use physician assistants to contain costs. Job opportunities for PAs should be good, particularly in rural and inner city clinics, as these settings typically have difficulty attracting physicians, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Employment of physician assistants is expected to grow 27 percent from 2006 to 2016, much faster than the average for all occupations. BLS predicts the total number of jobs in the country will grow by 10% over this 10-year period. According to AAPA, approximately 74,500 people were employed as PAs in clinical practice at the beginning of May 2010.

Results of the 2009 AAPA PA Census Survey indicate the income for physician assistants in full-time clinical practice is $93,105; median is $87,500. Income varies by specialty, practice setting, geographical location and years of experience. Employers often pay for their employees’ liability insurance, registration fees with the Drug Enforcement Administration, state licensing fees and credentialing fees.