Many people are opting to pursue physician assistant careers as analysts expect the job market to grow substantially in coming years, according to National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants' 2016 Statistical Profile of Certified Physician Assistants.
Here are 15 things to know:
1. At the end of 2010, there were 80,019 certified PAs. In 2016, there were 36 PAs per 100,000 U.S. residents.
2. The profession grew 44.4 percent between 2010 and 2016, with notable growth in Mississippi and New Hampshire between 2015 and 2016. The states had 19.8 percent and 11.6 percent growth, respectively.
3. The five states with the highest number of certified PAs include New York, California, Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida.
4. The median PA age was 38 in 2016.
5. Of all PAs, 67.7 percent are female.
6. Between 2000 and 2016, the percent of Hispanic PAs increased 2.7 percent.
7. In 2018, PAs' race composition was as follows:
● White: 86.7 percent
● Black: 3.9 percent
● Asian: 5.4 percent
● Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander: 0.4 percent
● American Indian or Alaskan Native: 0.4 percent
● Other: 3.2 percent
8. The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant anticipated the number of PA educational program to hit 270 by 2020, up from the current 218.
9. The average PA education program totals 26.3 months.
10. For 2017, U.S. News and World Report ranked the physician assistant profession third on its "100 Best Jobs of 2017" list.
11. Between 2014 and 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the PA profession to grow 30 percent.
12. Approximately 18.2 percent of PAs communicate with patients in Spanish.
13. The top PA practice area is family medicine at 20.6 percent, followed by surgical subspecialties at 18.5 percent.
14. Of certified and clinically-employed PAs, 6.4 percent said they plan to leave their current position within the next year.
15. Of those saying they plan to leave their current position, 64 percent said it was due to their desire to "seek another clinical position."