Last Updated: April 2, 2017
How much do physician assistants (PAs) make? Physician assistants earned a mean average annual salary of $102,090 or $49.08 per hour as of 2016 according to BLS.gov. However, the salary will vary based on state and the type of healthcare industry worked in. For example, in general medical and surgical hospitals, the average annual salary was $103,570 or around $49.79 dollars per hour. Physician assistants working in an outpatient care center can make an average of $107,740 annually or $51.80 dollars per hour. In offices of health practitioners, a physician assistant can earn an average annual salary of $93,570 or $44.98 dollars per hour. For local, private, and state educational services, the average annual salary was around $95,340 per year or $45.84 an hour. Finally, physician assistants working for a specialty provider can make an average salary of $103,330 dollars per year or $49.68 per hour. The BLS.gov also states the lower median salary for a physician assistant was $65,620 annually or $31.55 per hour and the top ten percent earned around $142,210 annually or around $68.37 per hour in 2016.
How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make by State?
Physician Assistant Salary with Annual and Hourly Rates
|State||PA Hourly Rate||PA Annual Salary|
|District of Columbia||$47.77||$99,370|
Source: BLS.gov, mean average salary data as of May 2016 | For more detailed information, try Payscale.com
What Does a Physician Assistant Do?
A licensed and credentialed physician assistant or “PA” generally provides diagnosis, consultation, and follow-up under the supervision of one or more physicians in their area of practice. The PA provides age and specialty appropriate medical care at the level of training achieved. The general scope of responsibility includes clinical practice, education, consultation, research and program coordination. The person in the PA position works under general supervision, may be responsible for working various shifts, may be subject to over 40 hour per week (callback hours if required), and may also be required to remain at the facility before, during and after sever weather/disasters depending on the healthcare industry.
Duties and Responsibilities
The job duties may for the physician assistant may depend on the type of healthcare industry. For a hospital setting, the PA should be able to effectively identify, evaluate, and address disease prevention and health promotion issues of the population in the person’s area of practice while administering quality patient care. The PA should also demonstrate satisfactory knowledge and clinical judgment to provide appropriate care for patients. The physician assistant should be able to perform general physical examination as indicated and instructs patients in health promotion and disease prevention. The PA also examines patients to determine presence of illness, utilizing physical findings, lab results, medical history, ascertains nature and extent of illness and prescribes treatments as indicated. The person in this role should document and maintain patient records of services provided per OSHA and JCAHO (Joint Commission) standards. Additional duties of the PA can include:
What Does a Physician Assistant Do Summary
- Developing appropriate treatment plans per protocol with the consultation of a medical director.
- Assists with various patient counseling & educational functions
- Responsible for other related job duties assigned by a medical director
- Responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of acute, chronic, and long-term healthcare issues.
- Educates patients/families about preventative care, medical issues, and use of prescribed medical treatments/medications.
- Documents all medical evaluations, diagnoses, procedures, treatment, outcomes, education, referrals, and consultations consistent with the National Committee for Quality Assurance, and the state regulatory standards.
- Assists with patient care management, provides follow-up care to patients, and updates physicians /surgeons on patient status.
- Keeps informed of patient’s progress by attending daily rounds, documents progress in medical record charts, and interacts with home health agencies.
- Completes patient’s comprehensive health history summary and physical examinations, and is responsible for clinical resumes for discharged patients.
Education, Requirements and Qualifications
To become a PA, a (MS) degree form an accredited PA school program is generally needed. In addition, it typically takes at least two years of full-time postgraduate study. Most people that apply to physician assistant programs already have a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field and work experience in a healthcare industry. Every state in the U.S. requires physician assistants to be licensed.
- Degree in physician assistant studies
- Current state physician assistant license
- Knowledge of healthcare procedures
- Counseling/advising skills
- Decision-making and problem solving skills
- Interpersonal/human relations skills
- Ability to maintain confidentiality
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