The job scope as a Physician's Assistant is growing consistently. With great pay and prospects in the career path, this career opportunity is evolving and will likely grow by 31% by 2029. It is a high-demand job with over 125,000 people employed just in 2019. The midpoint salary starts from $108,000, which is not a bad start to one's career.
If you want to be in the medical field but realize that the courses are too challenging for you, enrolling and working as a Physician's Assistant is the next best thing. Aside from the assisting skills, an individual intending to explore this field needs to be compassionate and have efficient problem-solving skills.
With this job prospect's growing popularity, it is becoming one of the most in-demand and highest-paid jobs in the United States.
What are the eligibility criteria for Physician's Assistant?
If you plan on opting for this career move, there are a few necessary education qualification criteria that need to be discussed. There are three essential steps involved in it:
Graduate from a certified PA program
Pass the national certification exam in the country
Obtain a license to work under a Physician
Majority of the courses that offer the certification for the PA program come with some standard and some unique pre-requisites that the student needs to keep an eye out for. The Bachelor's degree, GPAs, and the overall experience in the healthcare niche are a few factors to consider.
How is the job market for this prospect?
Before obtaining certification for any job role, the one-factor one cannot bypass the availability of jobs. So, how is the job market for the Physician's Assistants? Well, the job market is booming, offering opportunities in various fields, ranging from the educational field to working at an actual hospital under the Physician.
The ones working for outpatient services tend to earn the most. As for the top states in the U.S offering more job opportunities, it includes:
But, with the growing demand for this job opportunity, more and more jobs are opening up in some of the other states in the country. Some of the states that have the highest projected growth rates for this job role includes:
Compared to the other job prospects' median growths, this profession's growth is likely the maximum with an estimated 5% growth.
What skills are beneficial in a Physician's Assistant?
Since this job demands a Master's degree, the candidate needs to work on the remaining skills mentioned below.
The first and most important skill is understanding and empathizing with the patients and keeping a check on their needs. They also need to be prompt with the issues of the patients and effectively manage their downsides. The ideal candidate should have hands-on training and supervised training needs.
Since these individuals directly communicate with the patients, the candidate must have excellent communication skills that help them work in high-stress situations. The majority of the candidates are taught these skills directly during their graduation to relay relevant information between the candidates and the Physician.
The medical field is extremely unpredictable. So, as a physician's assistant, the candidate needs to wear multiple hats and juggle work and responsibilities throughout the day. They might need to assist in immediate and urgent procedures under the Physician and even keep records of the new patients during the intake process. They need to be extremely flexible with their work in any setting they are thrown around in.
Aside from their job responsibility under the Physician, they might also have to work under the clerical tasks and the management sites. These skills are honed during the certification process or the graduation of the candidate. So, you might have to look over the administrative part of the operations too.
Why choose the career of a Physician's Assistant?
With the necessary information out of the way, the one common question that everyone has about the Physicians Assistant job is the reason behind choosing that career. While the PA can diagnose a patient and come up with a treatment plan, they will need the doctor's approval for the same.
Lesser time in the classroom
While doctors take years to study and then establish their careers, building your career as a PA takes less time. The process is not easy or seamless, but it requires a lot lesser time than what it takes for an M.D. The majority of the individuals achieve their certifications with a 4-years degree with 25-months of accredited physician assistant program. So, in total, it takes around 7-years to complete the entire degree and achieve the certifications needed.
Aside from the fact that the job of a PA is gratifying, it is highly paid too. The median salary starts from $108,000, which is fantastic for a beginner-level job. They are also respected well and can help a patient with their problem with the doctor's approval. The job doesn't demand unnecessary issues concerning the budget or bureaucracy, which is a bonus.
While the doctors need to study for specializations to practice in that field, a physician's assistant's job is highly flexible. They can work under a pediatric physician or even an orthopedic physician. There are no restrictions to that, which makes it an ideal job opportunity. A single certification is enough to get you the essential insights that you need concerning the medical field.
Unlike doctors who have longer 10-16-hour shifts, depending on their roster, PA's have a shorter and flexible work shift. They have regular shifts, allowing them to have a normal semblance of their lifestyle. They can clock out after their shift ends without the need to spend their time doing off-duty hours.
Roadmap to becoming a Physician's Assistant
Aside from the primary Bachelor's degree, a PA might need a master's degree along with the necessary patient care experience to get them on board. Here is a quick overview of the steps involved in the roadmap.
Start by earning a Bachelor's degree in relevant streams of healthcare or nursing
Complete a Master's degree in the same field with relevant credit hours
Apply for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) and pass the examination
For better experiences and chances, sit for more board certifications
Maintain the achieved certification and renew them as per the legalities
The career of a Physician's Assistant is fast evolving with salient growth in job opportunities. If you have meant to switch to this field and settle your career in this niche, we hope this article serves as a guide to all the relevant information you'd need to excel in this field. Ensure that you have set goals and aspirations before you jump headfirst into exploring the Physician's Assistant job in the U.S.