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Employment Outlook

Recent statistics from, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNN and others show that the PA is one of the fastest growing professions in the country!

The Department of Labor expects the PA profession to grow by 27% from 2006 to 2016 – much faster than the average for all occupations. and rated the PA profession as the fastest growing health profession, and the fourth fastest growing profession in 2007.


Surgical PAs especially AASPA Members are in Demand

Information from the AAPA shows that more than half of all PAs graduating are employed in specialty practice. Job opportunities for PAs in all surgical specialties are currently expanding dramatically, and there are more surgical PA opportunities than there are qualified individuals to fill those positions! Look at the employment section of any PA journal and you will find a majority of jobs for PAs are surgical.

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More than 68,000 PAs work in clinical practices. However, the number of jobs is greater than the number of practicing PAs. According the AAPA, 15% of PAs in clinical practice hold more than one clinical job. For example, some PAs work with a supervising physician, but also work in another practice, clinic or hospital.

The 2008 AAPA Physician Assistant Census Report indicates that PAs work primarily for:

Single or Multi-specialty Physician Group44%
Solo Physician Office12%



According to the 2008 AAPA Physician Assistant Census Report, the median total annual income from the primary employer for respondents who work at least 32 hours per week for their primary employer and who are not self-employed is $85,710; the mean is $89,897.

The comparable figures for respondents who graduated in 2007 are $74,470 and $76,232.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, median annual earnings of wage-and-salary physician assistants were $78,450 in May 2007.

Mean annual earnings in the industries employing the largest number of PAs in May 2007 were:

Outpatient care centers$80,960
General medical and surgical hospitals$79,850
Offices of physicians$81,300

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