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Physician Assistants PA Job Outlook


Optometrists Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22

Employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 38 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Demand for healthcare services will increase because of the growing and aging population. More people means more need for healthcare specialists, and as the large baby-boom generation ages, it will require more healthcare. This, coupled with an increase in several chronic diseases such as diabetes, will drive the need for physician assistants to provide preventive care and treat those who are sick.

Physician assistants, who can perform many of the same services as doctors, are expected to have a larger role in giving routine care because they are more cost effective than physicians. As more physicians retire or enter specialty areas of medicine, more physician assistants are expected to take on the role of primary care provider. Furthermore, the number of individuals who have access to primary care services will increase as a result of federal health insurance reform.

The role of physician assistants is expected to expand as states continue to allow assistants to do more procedures and as insurance companies expand their coverage of physician assistant services.

Job Prospects

Good job prospects are expected, particularly for physician assistants working in rural and medically underserved areas, as well as physician assistants working in primary care.

Employment projections data for physician assistants, 2012-22

Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2012 Projected Employment, 2022 Change, 2012-22
Percent Numeric
Physician Assistants 29-1071 86,700 120,000 38 33,300
SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program
Last Modification: 01-26-2014