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General surgery physician assistants are healthcare professionals that assist surgeons during surgery. They play a significant role in ensuring each surgery is a success and that patients recover from their operations as effectively as possible.

In the operating room, general surgery physician assistants perform various tasks such as inserting tubes, handing tools to surgeons, retracting tissues, cleaning up the operation area, and many more. Outside of the actual surgery, general surgery physician assistants help prepare patients for their operations as well as monitor them afterward. They may also provide comfort to patients who are nervous about their surgery or have undergone traumatic operations.

The general requirements for this role are a degree in physician assistant, clinical or medical laboratory science, or something similar, as well as experience working in an operating room or other similar healthcare settings. They may also need to have an appropriate license to practice, depending on their state.

On average, general surgery physician assistants earn $85,000 a year. In terms of the work environment, one can expect to encounter a lot of blood and high-stress situations for this role, which requires the ability to stay calm under pressure.

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 $82.77 an hour? That's $172,165 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.

Learn more about what a General Surgery Physician Assistant does

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 45.0% of general surgery physician assistants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 39.6% of general surgery physician assistants have master's degrees. Even though most general surgery 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 general surgery physician assistant. When we researched the most common majors for a general surgery 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 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 physician assistant student or emergency medicine, physician assistant.

Top General Surgery Physician Assistant Jobs Near You

Average Salary for a General Surgery Physician Assistant

General Surgery Physician Assistants in America make an average salary of $172,165 per year or $83 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $344,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $86,000 per year.
Average General Surgery Physician Assistant Salary
$172,165 Yearly
$82.77 hourly
$86,000
10 %
$172,000
Median
$344,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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General Surgery Physician Assistant Education

General Surgery Physician Assistant Majors

15.2 %

General Surgery Physician Assistant Degrees

Bachelors

45.0 %

Masters

39.6 %

Certificate

7.4 %

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 • Private

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 • Private

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 • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

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.

General Surgery Physician Assistant Demographics

General Surgery Physician Assistant Gender Distribution

Female
Female
62%
Male
Male
38%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among general surgery physician assistants, 62.0% of them are women, while 38.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among general surgery physician assistants is White, which makes up 70.3% of all general surgery physician assistants.

  • The most common foreign language among general surgery physician assistants is Spanish at 57.1%.

Online Courses For General Surgery Physician Assistant That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Health After Cancer: Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care
coursera

This course presents basic principles of cancer survivorship to primary-care physicians. Developed by a team of experts in caring for cancer survivors, and narrated by a primary-care physician, this course provides practical tips and tools that can be easily integrated into medical practice. You will learn about the complex physical and psychosocial needs and concerns of the growing number of cancer survivors, along with the key role that primary care physicians have in guiding these patients ba...

The Basics of Trauma Surgery
coursera

This course imparts a wide range of basic knowledge and skills in the field of trauma surgical and orthopedic treatment of patients. To facilitate this, the course employs a new concept of information transfer. We follow a scientific approach and a sophisticated combination of modern teaching methods to vividly impart the taught contents. This included case-based learning, comprehensive factual knowledge, and consecutive quizzes, which help to better memorize the learned contents and later emplo...

Transgender Medicine for General Medical Providers
coursera

The course is a comprehensive set of didactic lectures surveying fundamentals of transgender medical and surgical treatment. The material is meant to provide the student with core knowledge that is essential for current primary care providers caring for transgender patients. There are 10 modules led by the expert clinical faculty from the pioneering Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, located within the Mount Sinai Health System and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New Yor...

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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 North Dakota, Washington, Minnesota, and Vermont. General surgery physician assistants make the most in North Dakota with an average salary of $207,653. Whereas in Washington and Minnesota, they would average $204,866 and $202,392, respectively. While general surgery physician assistants would only make an average of $196,114 in Vermont, 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:
206
Highest 10% Earn:
$285,000
Location Quotient:
2 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. Washington

Total General Surgery Physician Assistant Jobs:
1,309
Highest 10% Earn:
$282,000
Location Quotient:
1.62 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. Nebraska

Total General Surgery Physician Assistant Jobs:
316
Highest 10% Earn:
$280,000
Location Quotient:
1.28 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
Full List Of Best States For General Surgery Physician Assistants

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Top General Surgery Physician Assistant Employers

Most Common Employers For General Surgery Physician Assistant

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Presbyterian$281,501$135.343
2CHRISTUS Health$265,384$127.596
3Kaiser Permanente$249,847$120.123
4UC Health$247,528$119.005
5Cleveland Clinic$241,899$116.302
6Mayo Clinic$235,009$112.993
7Baptist Health$232,151$111.613
8LifeBridge Health$230,271$110.713
9Banner Health$225,417$108.3724
10NorthShore University HealthSystem$216,659$104.163