Job market booms for physician assistant degree holders

More universities are adopting physician assistant programs to prepare students for the fast-growing field.
More universities are adopting physician assistant programs to prepare students for the fast-growing field.

The physician assistance field is expected to be among the fastest-growing through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

As the seventh most rapidly growing profession, employment for physician assistants (PAs) is expected to increase by about 38.9 percent through 2018.

Part of the reason employment is expected to grow so rapidly is the increasing national desire to contain the costs of healthcare. PAs are more cost-effective than other employees and are still qualified to perform a variety of tasks, such as relieve physicians of their routine duties.

In order to prepare professionals for this fast-growing industry, many colleges and universities have added programs, according to the American Academy of Physician Assistants. These institutions include Illinois' Northwestern University, Connecticut's University of Bridgeport and, most recently, Mississippi College.

Mississippi College's physician assistant program was the first to be offered in the state, according to the institution. This course of study is designed to be completed within 30 months and will provide students with a master's degree in medicine.

According to the BLS, most physician assistants are expected to have a college degree and related healthcare experience. Additionally, all states require these professionals to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination.

SHARE: