Steps to Become a Physician’s Assistant

 how to become a physician assistant

There are more than 68,000 practicing physicians’  physician’s Assistants in the United States, with an additional 12,000 PAs enrolling in schools across the country to get their degrees. If you wish to be part of the increasing healthcare industry and secure a job that there will almost always be a demand for, this may be the best career for you.

Physician’s Assistants are trained health care doctors and are not nurses. However, they can perform a wide range of support tasks below the management of a physician. Physician’s assistants help doctors in surgery, pre-operation, and post-operation. They perform physicals, order lab tests, recommend medication, take medical histories, and even diagnose illnesses.

To become a PA there are various levels of degrees to get. The procedure to become a PA is lengthy and demanding, but it will absolutely pay off once you finally get your white coat and become qualified. Get hands-on training with this flexible, highly-paid and in-demand career.

Physician’s Assistant Salary and Career Path

Physician’s Assistants typically hold a master’s degree and should have state licensure. Specialty certification is also an option. How much does a Physician’s Assistant make? Wholly depends on experience and education. So how much does a Physician’s Assistant make? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Physician’s Assistants made, on average, $86,410 in 2012.

In several settings like doctors and hospital staff offices, this could exceed nearly $94,000 in twelve-monthly salary, while states like California and Texas averaged salaries that were nearly $109,000. This profession is expected to grow quickly in the coming years.

Service of physician assistants is predicted to grow 20% over the next few years, much quicker than the average for all professions. In the next few years, almost 23,700 new Physician’s Assistant jobs will develop available. As the demand for healthcare services rises, Physician Assistants will be required to offer care to patients.

How to Become a Physicians Assistant in Steps

Step 1: Obtain Initial Experience and Training

Many physician’s Assistant programs will require that you possess some experience in the healthcare field and in providing direct care to patients. The obligatory amount of patient-care hours can range from 300 to 3,000. You can start your career by first working as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

Since there are also few Physician’s Assistant programs which take applicants who have non-paid healthcare experience, you may perform hands-on volunteer work and job shadowing in hospices, nursing homes or medical clinics. Most PA programs require the completion of a bachelor’s degree. You may earn a degree in a medical-related field, such as medical assisting or nursing.

Step 2: Register in an Accredited Physician’s Assistant Program

You require to complete a Physician Assistant’s master’s degree program. These programs can last among 24 and 26 months. The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician’s Assistant (ARC-PA) reports that prospectuses can contain projects in physiology, behavior, biochemistry, microbiology, and pharmacology. Other courses may contain pulmonary medicine, dermatology, ophthalmology, clinical decision-making, and pathology.

Step 3: Meet State Licensing Requirements

All states need you to positively clear the Physician’s Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) and get the Physician’s Assistant-Certified credential that is granted by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Your inspection will contain a series of multiple-choice queries, which will test your knowledge of numerous medical and surgical procedures.

[Also Read: Top Non-Clinical Jobs for Physicians that Pays Well]

Physician’s Assistant Job Description

A Physician’s assistant (PA) practices medication under the leadership of a licensed Physician. They might treat and diagnose illnesses, as well as prescribe medicine. Their day-to-day responsibilities might include reviewing, examining patients, checking medical histories recommending medical tests, offering treatment and instructing patients and families on the patient’s illness.

Physician assistants have to stay up to date on existing research in the field to offer quality patient care and might contribute to outreach groups. In countryside communities, a physician assistant might, through consultation with a Physician, have the responsibility of the primary care provider.

In over-all practices, Physician Assistants are expected to see patients in the requirement of physical examinations, laboratory testing, psychological assessments, surgical consultations, or contagious disease diagnoses.  In more particular clinics, Physician Assistants might offer all of these services, along with facilities that are exceptional to that medical field.

Physician’sAssistant Education

Most applicants to Physician Assistant education programs should have a bachelor’s degree and few patient care work involvements. Though admissions needs differ from program to program(1), most courses need at least 4 years of undergraduate course work with an emphasis on science. Numerous applicants already have experience as listed EMTs or paramedics or nurses before they apply to a course.


Demand for medical care services will keep increasing because of the aging and growing population. Good job projections are expected in primary care and across all specialisms, specifically for Physician Assistants functioning in medically and rural underserved areas. Physicians is an extremely rewarding profession to see the recovery of injured or ill patients.