A certified physician assistant works under the supervision of a physician to care for patients. Although they are not a doctor themselves, a certified physician assistant can still diagnose and treat basic illnesses. They can prescribe medication and order additional tests, such as X-rays, if they need more information to make a diagnosis.
For many patients, a certified physician assistant is their primary care provider, and they only see a supervising physician if they have a particularly complicated medical problem. Even then, a certified physician assistant is usually on hand to help develop treatment plans and assist with surgical procedures.
By definition, a certified physician assistant needs to get a certificate from the National Commission of Certification of Physician Assistants. They need to renew their certification every few years. Before getting certified, most physician assistants get a master's degree from a physician assistant program. They also have some hands-on medical experience through internships. It takes many years of hard work to become a certified physician assistant, but it pays off with an average annual salary of $143,430.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Certified Physician Assistant. For example, did you know that they make an average of $65.8 an hour? That's $136,869 a year!
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 31% and produce 37,000 job opportunities across the U.S.
There are certain skills that many Certified Physician Assistants have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Communication skills, Compassion and Detail oriented.
If you're interested in becoming a Certified Physician Assistant, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 43.9% of Certified Physician Assistants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 42.8% of Certified Physician Assistants have master's degrees. Even though most Certified Physician Assistants have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Certified Physician Assistant. When we researched the most common majors for a Certified Physician Assistant, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Master's Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Certified Physician Assistant resumes include Associate Degree degrees or Doctoral Degree degrees.
You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Certified Physician Assistant. In fact, many Certified Physician Assistant jobs require experience in a role such as Physician Assistant. Meanwhile, many Certified Physician Assistants also have previous career experience in roles such as Physician Assistant Student or Medical Assistant.