Becoming a Physician Assistant: Careers
The job market for your services as a physician assistant is exceptional, with an increase in demand expected in the future. You will be qualified to work in many areas of health care, including
- Emergency medicine
- Family medicine
- Internal medicine
- Occupational medicine
- Pharmaceutical sales
- Pediatrics/neonatal intensive care
- Other specialty practice areas
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, physician assistants also may be needed to supplement medical staffing in inpatient teaching hospital settings as the number of hours resident physicians are permitted to work is reduced, encouraging hospitals to use PAs to supply some resident physician services. Additionally, the field is ranked among the top five careers for satisfaction and flexibility.
Graduates of the Physician Assistant Studies program earn competitive salaries immediately following graduation. According to a survey conducted by the University's Career Services Division, the department’s alumni from the Class of 2007 earned salaries ranging from $65,000 to more than $100,000 upon graduating.
After graduation, you will need to seek National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) certification by taking the PANCE (Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam).
You will then be required to obtain a license to practice as a physician assistant. Requirements and procedures vary from state to state, but graduation from an accredited PA program and passage of the national certifying examination are two consistent requirements.
After passing the PANCE, you will be issued an NCCPA certificate, entitling you the use of the PA-Certified (PA-C) designation until expiration. To maintain PA-C certification and retain the right to use the designation beyond the date of certificate expiration, you will follow a two-pronged process, involving submission of certification maintenance materials including documentation of continuing medical education (CME) and successful completion of a recertification exam.