Physician assistants are medical practitioners with roles similar to those of doctors. In the United States, PAs are the most sought-after medical professionals. Being a physician assistant pays well and it is a career that many people admire. Compared to becoming a doctor, it is less expensive and time consuming to become a physician assistant. According to US News and World Reports, being a PA was the best job in the US in 2021. Continue reading this article to learn more about the many advantages and benefits of pursuing a career as a physician assistant.
1. Makes Impact on People’s Lives
Being a medical practitioner is about changing the lives of people directly. When you work as a PA, you impact people’s lives directly and people’s lives change. Your experiences also keep improving your career journey and the more you practice the better you become for the sake of those you serve. If you find fulfillment in directly impacting lives, the PA career is just that.
2. Good Salary
If you are working and posses a master’s degree currently in the US, your average salary is approximately $71,000. The average pay for a PA in the US is $104,860 and depending on where you are located and working, the pay can offer you a good life. Majority, if not all, PA jobs offer amazing benefits, especially if you have higher education or an advanced PA career. The benefits also extend to your dependents and they may include education benefits, vacation, annual bonuses and more.
3. Working Within A Team
Unlike doctors, PAs hardly work independently. They work with a team of other medical professionals including doctors. A PA could work on part-time basis online and still perform clinical services physically. PAs interact with clinic managers, therapists, nurses and other medical personnel in their line of work. They all work together towards ensuring better lives and a good medical sector. PAs have flexible schedules and this is another reason why this career is admirable. You can even work on part time and be paid per hour.
4. There Are Many PA Jobs Available
The dream of any student is to get a good job after graduating from college as a professional PA. A PA performs similar functions as those of a doctor. Currently, there are more than 40,000 PA jobs available and this means that the demand for physician assistants is high. A PA reviews the medical history of patients and proposes an appropriate treatment. A PA also works under a doctor’s supervision to offer treatment plans and counseling to patients. Under a doctor’s supervision, PAs also perform surgery. Many people continue to find the PA career interesting and it is suitable for those who would want to become medical practitioners. Being a PA requires less certification compared to being a doctor and the training offered for PAs is not as intensive as the one offered to doctors. These are actually motivating factors for most PA professionals and students.
5. An Enjoyable Career
When we think of becoming a medical personnel, we imagine a complex education journey that is also expensive. However, this is not so for the PA career as the certification required to practice is not as much as the one required for doctors. A PA attends school for a shorter time compared to doctors and the charges to study are less. For students who prefer fewer years in school and a good medical career, therefore, being a PA is something to consider.
Practicing as a PA may be viewed as strenuous in some cases as dealing with patients is not easy. One has to accord each patient the time they need for ample consultation, review and prescription. It is, however, a great experience when you are able to help a patient and work to improving their health.
6. Flexible Schooling
The medical profession, especially being a doctor, requires a lot of schooling. To become a doctor takes very long and this is actually the main reason why many people shy away from pursuing the profession. Being a PA, however, takes less time in school and requires less certification to practice.
One takes 2 years in PA school and the roles at work are similar to those of a professional doctor. The PA career is one which a person can join even when they are a bit older for school. Recent times have even seen medical students change careers to become PAs.
7. There Are Ways To Pay Off Student Loans
The cost of taking college or university education in the US is quite high. For this reason, most students end up taking loans to pursue higher education. Currently, graduate students owe the government trillions from unpaid student loans. There are various PA grants and scholarships that help students to acquire their qualifications and certifications. There are various programs that help PA graduates to pay up for their student loans in a flexible manner. A good example is The National Health Service Corps Scholarship and Loan Repayment Program that assists PA professionals to pay off their student loan debts fully. The offer on the amount of debt repaid depends as some receive a percentage of the total debt amount. The programs to help you in repaying your student loan are a good opportunity to help relieve that burden.
8. Good Work/Life Balance
Good work balance is the main reason why many people choose to become PAs. It allows you to prioritize your career as well as get involved in other things. Depending on your choice, you can be the type of PA who puts in long hours into working and ends up with little time for leisure or other activities. As a PA, you can also simply plan to work on short-term work assignments and give yourself ample time for other things. The good thing about being PA is that there are many available jobs. If you feel that your current job is not flexible enough, you can choose to search for another PA job elsewhere. You can even change your location if possible for a better career that suits your goals.
There are times when as a PA, you find yourself working under a doctor or team that may inconvenience your goals and plans. You can plan to review your shifts or change your job for a more flexible routine at work. For majority of PAs who have families and children, working in the ER is a better choice. Here, they work for three shifts that are 12 hours long and this leaves them good time with their families. The other good thing about being a PA is that you can have commitments such as family and manage to balance both very well. There are many PS jobs and being one, you will always be on demand. You can also choose to work on an hourly schedule where the pay depends on the time taken by each shift. A PA who works part-time also earns well.
9. It Is A Very Independent Career
Any career requires key decision making skills. In the healthcare sector, each person involved makes important decisions in the entire chain. Even the receptionist at the entrance of a hospital or clinic is crucial in the decisions he or she makes in the healthcare chain. For Pas, however, one can independently offer consultation to a patient. A physician assistant can also decide on the treatment and prescription to offer. There is, however, a supervising physician who joins in the consultations and duties of a PA.
10. PA Professionals May Be Safe From The AI Revolution
With time, there are careers that are being wiped out because of technological advancements. For PAs, their roles are incorporated with the current healthcare electronic medical records for improved services to patients. A report by Oxford Martin School showed that nearly half of all the jobs in the US risk being replaced by technological innovations such as robots. The replaced by robot website stated that robots would not replace PAs in the near future as the career has an automation possibility of 14%. The PA career is also rated at position 190 out of the 702 that are less likely to be affected by the robotics technology.
Technology has, however, had a good impact in the medical sector. It has helped reduce the cases of human medical error by medical professionals through AI and upcoming technologies such as IBM’s Watson. These advancements are aimed at improving the outcomes of health analysis for patients and boosting affordable access to healthcare for all.
As the shortage for physicians continues to get worse, there is a great demand for Physician Assistants in the United States. It is expected that PAs will continue to be in high demand as the number of patients that need to be catered for continues to increase. This has resulted in an increase in job opportunities for physician assistants. Many other medical professionals are opting to change to the PA career and it can be said to be worth it.
There are numerous colleges and universities where students who qualify can study to become physician assistants. For those who are considering a career as PAs, there is a rising number of PA programs that are accredited and this shows that the career is becoming more popular. Additionally, the health professionals’ education sector is expanding to accommodate the growing PA sector. This growth has been attributed by various factors including the following:
High Demand For PAs
Job offers and employment of PAs will have risen by 37% by the end of 2026. This is a projection by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This would be such a great growth when compared to all the other careers. The great demand for physician assistants has resulted in new PA programs. The growth of this career has been noted by various people and leaders. PA jobs are distributed in healthcare systems in each of the 50 states in the US. There are guidelines and laws in each state that allow PAs to get their practicing license. While PA programs continue to grow and the implementation of the ACA advances, healthcare professionals continue to be in high demand as employment continues to be good in the country.
Public health reports indicate that the PA sector will advance by a 72% margin by the year 2025. Cost of education to qualify to be a PA and shortage of physicians with the high demand are among the reasons why this sector is thriving in a big way. Current new guidelines on the scope of practice for PAs and their practice independence are matters that PAs are adapting to quite well. The PA profession is not a new one as it has existed since the 1960s when a shortage of healthcare providers resulted in the rise of physician assistants.
The budgetary aspect for PAs is what makes this career attractive. PAs offer treatment and medical care services to patients at pocket friendly rates, which make many people prefer seeking their services. For those who desire to practice medicine, the PA career is more admirable since education is more affordable and the training is less intensive. It also takes a shorter period of time to become a professional PA and they can begin to work in the healthcare sector. Also, a PA offers similar services to those that are offered by doctors, although still under supervision.
By mid-2019, the US only had 242 accredited physician assistant programs. The number of these programs has, however, increased significantly over time. In April 2017, the PAEA (Physician Assistant Education Association) review board mandated with accreditation endorsed eight new PA programs. 24 more programs were scheduled for accreditation by the PAEA board by the end of July 2019.
These and more programs continue to be endorsed as a way of meeting the high demand for PAs all over the country. According to Morton-Rias, the existing education programs in the US are not able to meet the great demand for healthcare workers. Some of the PA programs include:
This is among the most exciting. It offers good PA curriculum allowing students to have the real work experience at an early stage. Through the program, many students have succeeded in becoming professional PAs in the sector. The program is offered in a religious institution and it, therefore, emphasizes on ethical practice where the welfare of patients is prioritized always. By the year 2019, this PA program was operating on under review and probation by PAEA.
This institution is based in Florida and it offers the PA program on provisional accreditation. The institution has a friendly studying environment and the size of the classes is small for all students to receive utmost attention and growth. The program also has a unique simulation suite that has three mannequin labs for simulation, seven different exam rooms for patients and a cadaver lab to allow students to receive more practical opportunities for their medical skills. Through these facilities, students begin to receive clinical experience from the beginning of the program. The students who attend this program also have the chance of practicing at the Mel Leaman Free Clinic that is just nearby.
This is a provisionally accredited program that is unique as it helps PA students to not only become professional physician assistants, but also certified nutrition support clinicians at the same time. The professional clinicians are equipped to take care of their patients’ special enteral and parenteral needs. The clinicians can work either in hospitals, clinics or in-home health care set-ups.
New physician assistant programs have continued to come up all over America at a time when the demand for such professionals is so high. The goal of these programs is to boost the healthcare industry through enough medical professionals, the best curricula, and quality of professionals.
Finding Physician Assistant Jobs
For several years now, the PA profession has been ranked as one of the best in America. In 2021, it is ranked as the best with the demand for PAs continuing to rise. The salary paid to PAs is among the reasons for its ranking and demand. A physician assistant is paid more than $100,00 annually. This amount would be a high return for a master’s degree in the US.
In their job, PAs have flexible roles and their work environment is versatile. A PA enjoys plenty of personal freedom they have minimal job burnout compared to other medical professionals such as doctors. The role of PAs in the healthcare sector is very important as they offer critical services including family care, consultation and critical care. According to the Bureau of Labor and statistics in America, the physician assistant profession is estimated to experience a 31% growth by 2028.
There are various specialties in the PA career. They vary from plastic surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, care-focused family medicine, dermatology and emergency medicine. With these varieties, there are many jobs available for PAs and here are 5 good places you can search for a PA job.
The American Academy of Physician Assistants
This is one of the job boards in USA that is managed by PA professional organizations. The AAPA has a PA job source where physician assistant job seekers can easily access available job openings. Through the site, you can search for particular positions and job specialty commonly referred to as ‘job function’. You can include your preferred type of practice such as academic practice or government practice. In your search, feel free to specify the location you prefer the jobs to be and you can also arrange to have the job opening listings presented to you in an alphabetical order. Such kind of filtering gives you clear and relevant results. The AAPA platform has very many PA job openings and it is a good platform to search.
This is a jobs site that was started in 2004. It is among the best job boards in in the United States and has received recognition severally for being the most visited and reviewed job sites. Job seekers can search for jobs in their preferred location through the Indeed platform. You can also upload your resume on Indeed and create a profile for you to be considered for jobs in the future.
On Indeed, job seekers can also filter available jobs based on the salary and job type. While searching for a good physician assistant job on Indeed, filter your search results to jobs that offer $53,000 to $145,000. You can also filter the results to part time or full time jobs depending on what you are looking for. The search results mainly show the job openings available as filtered in the specified location and the areas surrounding this location.
In the listings you can see the company that is offering the job and the level of experience they are looking for in a candidate. Through Indeed, a job seeker can view available job listings for jobs all over the US. You could also seek a good internship first for experience and exposure.
You can easily try to get a job through a recruiting agency. Searching for a job consumes a lot of time and is a tedious process. However, you can seek help from a recruiting agency in your search for a physician assistant job. A recruitment agency offers you access to a wide variety of job listings that you would not manage to easily find on your own. The agency will also offer you support in your application process with services such as structuring your resume and helping you to prepare for interview through mock interviews.
LinkPAs is a platform that is created to assist job seekers find jobs. Finding a physician assistant job is quite easy since PAs are on high demand. Through LinkPAs, it is easy for you to find your next PA job and the platform is operated and owned by PA-Cs. The platform helps candidates attain their dream jobs and through it, clients get the best qualified candidates to fill the positions.
LinkPAs has skilled recruiters who work hand in hand with nurses and PAs who have advanced skills to help job seekers acquire good positions. On this platform, you can directly view the physician assistant job listings available or seek the help of a recruiter in viewing the available listings. On the list, you can filter the results to the ones you prefer in terms of location or years of experience. From the listings, you can clearly view the job description, roles or responsibilities, requirements and offered benefits. Applying for a job on LinkPAs is quite easy and the site is easy to browse through. Incase you can’t find a job in your preferred location, simply upload your resume to the site for you to be considered for available positions in future. Many great medical facilities reach out to LinkPAs to search for qualified practitioners because their recruiting method is efficient. PA-C does not require job seekers to pay any fee to access job listings and acquire support from LinkPAs.
Google has a virtual job board recently released and it is a good platform to search for available physician assisntant jobs. You can access job listings for medical professionals on the Google Jobs platform. Jobs are posted from Google Jobs to websites such as ZipRecruiter and they are easily accessible. You can search for physician jobs in the location or city that you prefer on the site and a listing appears for the available searches. In the listing, you can view when the job was posted and the type of position, whether part time or full time. You can also see the job description and requirements for the suitable candidate.
You can save any search you find suitable for you and set up alerts notifications for new jobs through your email. This means that when there is a job offer that is suitable for you, you get notified. This platform gathers information from other job boards and creates job listings that are well researched, offering job seekers many listings to review in one place. It is, therefore, highly likely to find similar jobs posted on Google Jobs, Glassdoor, CareerBliss and other platforms.
Hospitals And Healthcare Facilities Platforms
This is another easy way of finding PA jobs. From where you are located, identify hospitals and health facilities that you would want to work with. This is a way of identifying healthcare institutions that favor you in terms of locations. Follow these institutions online and check out their sites often for information on job openings that you might be interested in. Calling the human resource department for information is also a good move. You can also review newspapers or other journals for advertised positions. This way of searching for Physician assistant jobs works especially now when there is high demand for physician assistants and healthcare workers.
This method of job searching could, however, be limiting since online job boards normally post more listings. There are many other platforms where you can find available job posts including LinkedIn, Glassdoor and others. Through a good internship, you begin professional experience that could lead you to a good job