Physician Assistant Career: Job Duties and Salary Profile


Physician assistants are professionals that are licensed to practice various aspects of medicine under the supervision of a physician. Physician assistants assist physicians in their practice of treating the ill by taking the responsibility of conducting basic tasks required such as diagnosing a patient, taking their history and preparing them for the physician.

Physician assistants conduct basic physical examinations and sometimes even diagnose as well as treat minor illnesses. Physician assistants are in most states authorized to prescribe certain general medication. Physician assistants have the basic training required to organize and interpret the results of various tests performed to gauge a patient’s health. Physician assistants, especially those with experience are often required to counsel on preventive measures to avoid any hazards to health and even assist in surgery.

 Job Duties

Physicians assistance is not limited to curing of patient’s ailments, although this is the main goal of a physician assistant. Physician assistants can also quite possibly take on tasks in areas such as education, research and administrative services which will all likely be indirectly related to help with healthcare. However, a physician’s assistant is primarily responsible for the prevention, care, maintenance and treatment of all human illnesses and injuries.

Physician assistants conduct examinations on patients after which they evaluate the results to diagnose the ailment and advise appropriate treatment plans. Physician assistants are authorized to assist physicians during surgical procedures – this assistance allows physicians to focus on critical areas. Physicians have also been permitted to prescribe certain medications.


Physician assistants make provisions for diagnostics and therapy and also advise in preventative measures as per the guidance of the senior physician. The career or area of expertise in which a physician’s assistant functions is based according to the kind of physician they assist. Areas of expertise for physician assistants are as vast as the spectrum of the type of physicians which exist. The fields range from cosmetology to neurology. More commonly physician assistants function in emergency medicine, family medicine, and psychiatry.

Salary and Education Requirements

Physician assistants on an average earn around $41.54 an hour with a calculated annual earning average of $86,410 (BLS).  The basic education a physician’s assistant must have to break the barrier of entry in this field is a Master’s degree. One should explore conventional schools and colleges for degree options – keep in mind that academic requirements vary from state to state, so it is important to thoroughly familiarize yourself with state-specific requirements. Keep the option of distance learning open as well. Between the years 2010 and 2020, the employment opportunities for physician assistants could possibly increase by 30% (BLS) which paints a positive picture for aspiring students and professionals.

Search through various online and campus degree options for physician assistants and take advantage of the growing demand for physician assistants.

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