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Working as a General Surgery Physician Assistant

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a general surgery physician assistant. For example, did you know that they make an average of $36.56 an hour? That's $76,041 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 31% and produce 37,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a General Surgery Physician Assistant Do

There are certain skills that many general surgery 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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a general surgery physician assistant, we found that a lot of resumes listed 24.4% of general surgery physician assistants included surgery, while 19.2% of resumes included patient care, and 9.0% of resumes included clinical staff. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the general surgery physician assistant job title. But what industry to start with? Most general surgery physician assistants actually find jobs in the health care and education industries.

How To Become a General Surgery Physician Assistant

If you're interested in becoming a general surgery physician assistant, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 27.8% of general surgery physician assistants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 58.3% of general surgery physician assistants have master's degrees. Even though most general surgery physician assistants have a college degree, it's impossible 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 general surgery physician assistant. When we researched the most common majors for a general surgery physician assistant, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on general surgery physician assistant resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a general surgery physician assistant. In fact, many general surgery physician assistant jobs require experience in a role such as physician assistant. Meanwhile, many general surgery physician assistants also have previous career experience in roles such as family practice physician assistant or emergency medicine, physician assistant.

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Average Salary$76,041
Job Growth Rate31%

Average Salary for a General Surgery Physician Assistant

General Surgery Physician Assistants in America make an average salary of $76,041 per year or $37 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $184,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $31,000 per year.
Average Salary
$76,041

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Bernardino, CA
Salary Range174k - 436k$276k$276,068
Urban Honolulu, HI
Salary Range208k - 361k$275k$274,894
Moline, IL
Salary Range169k - 427k$269k$269,206
Boston, MA
Salary Range148k - 353k$229k$228,732
Loveland, CO
Salary Range140k - 348k$221k$221,387
Alamogordo, NM
Salary Range142k - 342k$221k$220,821
$96k
$436k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
General Surgery Physician In New Mexico's Prime Resort Area
General Surgery Physician In New Mexico's Prime Resort Area
Integrity Healthcare
Integrity Healthcare
10/27/2020
10/27/2020
$350,00010/27/2020
$350,000
Physician-General Surgery-Serve Your Country-Save Lives!
Physician-General Surgery-Serve Your Country-Save Lives!
The U.S. Army Medical Recruiting Brigade
The U.S. Army Medical Recruiting Brigade
09/29/2020
09/29/2020
$75,00009/29/2020
$75,000
Physician Assistant-General Surgery
Physician Assistant-General Surgery
Uconn Health Center
Uconn Health Center
07/30/2020
07/30/2020
$101,54607/30/2020
$101,546
Physician-General Surgery-Your Specialty IS Critical To The Success of Ournation
Physician-General Surgery-Your Specialty IS Critical To The Success of Ournation
The U.S. Army Medical Recruiting Brigade
The U.S. Army Medical Recruiting Brigade
07/30/2020
07/30/2020
$40,00007/30/2020
$40,000
Physician-General Surgery-General Surgery Position
Physician-General Surgery-General Surgery Position
The U.S. Army Medical Recruiting Brigade
The U.S. Army Medical Recruiting Brigade
07/30/2020
07/30/2020
$40,00007/30/2020
$40,000
See More Recent Salaries

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General Surgery Physician Assistant Demographics

Gender

female

62.4 %

male

36.0 %

unknown

1.6 %

Ethnicity

White

77.2 %

Asian

8.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

8.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.1 %

Chinese

7.1 %

German

7.1 %
See More Demographics

General Surgery Physician Assistant Education

Degrees

Masters

58.3 %

Bachelors

27.8 %

Certificate

7.8 %

Top Colleges for General Surgery Physician Assistants

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

3. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

4. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

6. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

7. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

8. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840

9. Tufts University

Medford, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,382
Enrollment
5,597

10. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564
See More Education Info
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Internship
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Top Skills For a General Surgery Physician Assistant

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 24.4% of general surgery physician assistants listed surgery on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and compassion are important as well.

Best States For a General Surgery Physician Assistant

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a general surgery physician assistant. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota. General surgery physician assistants make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $211,225. Whereas in North Dakota and Minnesota, they would average $192,204 and $185,600, respectively. While general surgery physician assistants would only make an average of $174,781 in South Dakota, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total General Surgery Physician Assistant Jobs:
42
Highest 10% Earn:
$280,000
Location Quotient:
2.11
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Maine

Total General Surgery Physician Assistant Jobs:
56
Highest 10% Earn:
$268,000
Location Quotient:
2.07
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Minnesota

Total General Surgery Physician Assistant Jobs:
190
Highest 10% Earn:
$277,000
Location Quotient:
1.23
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top General Surgery Physician Assistant Employers

1. Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$334,247
General Surgery Physician Assistants Hired: 
6+
2. Nationwide Mutual Insurance ...
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$241,956
General Surgery Physician Assistants Hired: 
5+
3. SIH
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$275,614
General Surgery Physician Assistants Hired: 
4+
4. Swedish
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$272,756
General Surgery Physician Assistants Hired: 
3+
5. Baptist Health
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$276,348
General Surgery Physician Assistants Hired: 
3+
6. NorthShore University HealthSystem
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$316,117
General Surgery Physician Assistants Hired: 
3+
Updated October 2, 2020