A Physician Assistant Jobs Guide

March 5, 2012 · Posted in Business · Comment 

With the healthcare industry witnessing a boom, physician assistants are high in demand. Here is a guide to the Physician Assistants career which is growing in demand in both rural and urban areas.

The typical physician assistant has successfully completed course work in a 26-month specialized program after receiving a 4-year degree. Both this and some job experience is required. After their initial certification, a Physician Assistant must complete 100 hours of continuing education credits every two years along with the successful completion of a recertification exam every six years to retain their certification to practice.

There are two professional bodies in the industry – the AAPA (American Association of Physician Assistants) that regulates and the NCCPA (National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants) that administers exams and takes care of continuing education.

In a doctor’s office, the role of a Physician Assistant plays an important part. They can work independently inside a doctor’s office however they are supervised by a licensed doctor. They must be within 1 hour of their doctor’s call.

They help in diagnosis and analyzing lab reports including x-rays. Also, the physician assistant can assist patients with writing prescriptions for medications or therapy, examinations, as well as helping the doctor by listening to patients’ needs, recording their history, and providing surgical assistance. On top of that, excellent communication skills need to be in a Physician Assistant’s repertoire because they will be interacting with patients most of the time.

Physician Assistants are on their feet most of the time interacting with and attending to patients. Assistants who are part of a surgical team are the busiest of the lot. This job requires the ability to handle large amounts of stress, working late, nights, weekends, and holidays and as such, is not easy. The Physician Assistant must handle all physical and mental stress with a cool and calm that does not show on his face because that may panic the patient.

Different American states prescribe the tasks that a Physician assistant can perform. In order to know the exact job responsibilities for that state, you will want to refer to that state’s employment website.

The growth in availability of Physician Assistant jobs is expected to be more rapid than in other industries. The demand is much greater in hospitals, clinics, prisons and other facilities both in rural and urban areas for Physician Assistants. The growth in demand for physician assistant jobs is expected to rise by 39% from 2008 to 2018 according to a government report published in 2008. The increased demand is caused by the simultaneous evolution and cost lowering initiatives that are happening in the healthcare industry. On of the ways that the healthcare industry is maintaining the quality of service and productivity is by appointing Physician Assistants. These factors, when combined with each state allowing physician assistants the ability to perform more medical procedures, combine and attribute to the increase in demand for these professionals.

There are a few factors which determine a Physician Assistant’s salary which are as follows:

Specialization: Physician Assistants trained to handle complicated medical conditions like HIV or AIDS or cancer gets paid more than other assistants who can handle regular medical conditions. The demand for specialized physical assistants is very high and their salary can even exceed the maximum figure (given below).

Area: Rural healthcare facilities pay lesser than urban centers. The density of the population surrounding an urban center can affect the pay as it is often found that centers that have a higher density of population pay more. Urban areas often have a higher cost of living compared to their rural counterparts which can attribute to the higher salary.

Another factor is experience. Highly experienced Physician Assistants get a higher salary.

As per Salary.com, Physician Assistants earn anything between $75,000 and $106,000 yearly. Aside from a few exceptions, a typical salary range is between $65, 000 and $90,000. Remember, that specialization counts and so, specialized Physician Assistants can expect to get a higher salary. Hospitals and outpatient centers pay the highest salary, while government facilities and educational institutions pay low. As stated above, urban centers pay higher than rural centers.

Physician Assistants can also expect their employers to pay for their state licensing fees, registration fees, credential fees and professional liability insurance.

Critical medical specializations for conditions like HIV/AIDS, neonatology, cancer, and many others are all options for a Physician Assistant. As mentioned above, professionals who specialize in such critical medical conditions are paid a much higher salary. Specialization programs are offered by many schools in fields like surgery, cancer, HIV, neonatology, pediatrics, emergency medicine, and much more.

Then, a Physician Assistant can enroll for a postgraduate residency training program in areas like emergency medicine, rural primary care, occupational medicine, etc.

More experience and time will drive pay increases for a Physician Assistant. A licensed doctor must always supervise the assistant, regardless of pay or specialization.

Physician Assistant jobs have many advantages – PAs do not have to attend to med school, they do not have to go through the taxing internship that all doctors go through, and they can learn different specialties or move from one specialty to another with ease. On top of that, the career can be rewarding and self-satisfying because they still can help people heal and recover from major and minor medical conditions.

No two days are the same in the life of a PA because each day poses new challenges and learning opportunities. However, it is impossible for a Physician Assistant to become an entrepreneur because they are still required to be supervised by a licensed doctor.

This is all you need to know about Physician Assistant jobs and career prospects.

As you can see, physician assistant jobs are on the rise. For more information, please check out: Physician Assistant Salary

How Much Can You Make As A Physician Assistant?

January 31, 2012 · Posted in Health · Comment 

What can you expect to earn as a physician assistant? All students in training want to know how much money they stand to make in the future, and it is no different for those studying to become physician assistants. Do not write your physician assistant job off as a simple way to get into the health field, because there is so much more to be gained in this industry. A physician assistant has far more earning power than those working in many other sections of the healthcare field. The reason for this can be traced back to a number of reasons. For example, physician assistants take care of many of the same duties and tasks that regular doctors do. Their advanced training to do more in the doctor’s office puts them in great demand. Most healthcare workers cannot do half of the tasks a physician assistant will do every single day.

While the pay can be lucrative, it does vary from one location of employment to another. There are many factors that can come into play when determining salaries for a specific position. The good news is you won’t have to go to school an extra year to determine the factors contributing to pay scales. Below you will find a complete analysis that will help you understand the expected pay for physician assistants. As students weigh both the pros and the cons of becoming physician assistants, they will increasingly find that the benefits of this occupation are not strictly limited to money.

The average salary for a physician assistant position today is somewhere between fifty and eighty thousand dollars a year, but keep reading to understand all of the factors that could push you toward the lower or higher end of that range. It is to be expected that some will make quite a bit more than others. Indeed.com has come up with this salary range and it tends to be spot on with what physician assistants are experiencing in the job market today. So just how much do physician assistants make?Read on to find out.

Specialized Creditials – Physician assistants specialized in one field will typically be offered a higher salary than those with general knowledge. An example would be the physician assistant who earns substantially more because they are heavily specialized in oncology. For those with heavy specializations in fields that have a heavy demand for knowledgeable, talented assistants, it is not hard to imagine a scenario where they can literally ask for whatever they want in terms of salary.

Location – Those physician assistants who work in areas that are rural are not going to be earning as much money as those physician assistants who are employed in urban areas that have a higher cost of living. When students ask themselves, “How much do physician assistants make?” they should always keep in their minds that geography will massively impact the size of their salary in this field. It is possible to get high paying jobs as a physician assistant in a rural area, just as some do find low paying positions in the big cities, so nothing is absolute.

As is plain to see, there is a lot to think about when students think about how much they will pull in as physician assistants. It is easier to understand pay in this field if you think of it as a fluctuation that goes up or down according to the qualifications and experiences of the job candidate. With fifty thousand dollars being the lower end of the pay scale for the field, you have to admit that even that is a great paycheck by the standards of most people. Students are often attracted to the field because of the higher “low” starting pay.

Are you starting to understand what a physician assistant can reasonably make today? One of the best resources for this type of knowledge is the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average reported salary for physician assistants in 2008 was over $80,000. They estimate that most of the physician assistants currently working in the field will earn between $68,000 and $97,000 in salary. Now, the lower 10 percent of physician assistants makes about $51,360, and the higher 10 percent of physician assistants might make up to about $110,240 each year.

Following is an interesting look at the average salaries for physician assistants working in different types of medical facilities:

Hospital Settings: $84,550

Educational Centers: $74,200

Government Settings: $78,200

Physician Offices and Clinics: $80,440

Outpatient Settings: $84,390

Do you have a much better idea of what physician assistants can make? You have to also consider other factors, such as how many hours a particular physician assistant is contracted to work. The American Academy of Physician Assistants in their 2008 Census Report found that physician assistants employed full-time make $85,710 on a yearly basis. Physician assistants who work at an entry-level position make around $74,470.

Besides what they make, physician assistants have the right to receive payment for state licensing fees, professional liability insurance, credential fees and registration fees with the DEA or the Drug Enforcement Administration.

$85,700 is the average yearly salary for a physician assistant in a full time position with a medical clinic. For the first year graduate, the average income was $74,000. This is all according to the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Just remember all of the factors that can determine your exact pay, from where you live to what you are specialized in and how many years of experience you possess. Since licensing and insurance policies are quite expensive in the field, you also have to consider the payment of those fees as part of your salary.

Physician assistants can even leave credits that they can utilize for sickness recovery or for vacation. Some choose early retirement at age 50, but most will keep working until 65 so that they can get even more money as part of their benefits when they retire.

There should be no lingering questions about what a physician assistant can make at this point. This analysis breaks it all down into understandable numbers, so keep it close at hand. Generally, physician assistants can expect to make between $50,000 and $80,000 per year, though this range is not set in stone. Based on factors like experience, geography and specialization, physician assistants can make a little bit more or a little bit less than the money in this range.

Hopefully you have a clear idea of How much do physician assistants make and realize how lucrative this career can be. For more information, please visit: Physician Assistant Salary