As in any career, striking out in search of a new position as a physician assistant (PA) can come with a bit of trepidation. There is a lot to consider such as location, salary, duties, and the reputation of the company/organization to name a few.
At NP PA Recruiters, we understand that the process of finding a new job can be exciting and defined by unique needs. We are the medical recruitment agency you need to help you make this transition as smooth as possible.
We’re also here to remind you (and those looking to break into the field) that now is a great time to be a PA.
The Stats and Facts Behind Your Bright PA Future
The best career choices are ones that are in high demand and that is the current state of affairs for qualified PAs. The demand is primarily caused by the shortage of primary care physicians across the country, as well as by healthcare facilities that have begun to heavily employ PAs to help bridge this gap in available care. The U.S. Bureau of Labor has predicted that there will be a 37% increase in PAs by 2026.
The National Commission of Certified Physician Assistants (NCCPA) recently reported that out of 5,347 recently certified PAs, a little over 77% with a position received two or more offers.
Not only were the job offers plentiful, but they also featured generous compensation. These positions boasted an average starting salary of $95,000.
Prospective PAs don’t have to worry about being limited in the areas they choose to work, either. Some of the top salaries and best opportunities come in diverse fields like psychiatry, emergency medicine, and gynecology, to name a few. As per the NCCPA, almost 53% of recently certified PAs accepted a position in a hospital setting, while 19% accepted a job in a surgical specialty and another 19% accepted a position in emergency medicine.
This diversity of work environments has made the field engaging and interesting to my top college graduates.
Certified PAs are now practicing in every state in the nation, including the District of Columbia.
The highest concentration of practicing PAs are in the states of New York, Texas, California, North Carolina, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
Additional Topics of Interest Moving Forward
The increase in both the number of available jobs and the demand for qualified PAs also equates to an increase in the number of people seeking training for these positions. The NCCPA forecasts a growth of 24 percent in the number of accredited PA programs across the nation, bringing the projected total to just under 300 within the next three years.
Perhaps just as important as the rise in quality PA schools is the distribution of the PA workforce.
There is still a severe shortage of medical professionals in many rural and urban areas across the country. Some states, like Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana, have particularly low numbers of PAs working there.
Many times, PAs who have taken positions in these health professional shortage areas (HPSA) have done so because of incentives that come as a part of their job offer. One that is particularly popular is student loan forgiveness. These absolve practitioners of all acquired debt if they fulfill certain employment requirements, typically centered around serving a certain number of years in these HSPAs and/or making a certain number of required loan payments.
The success of this practice hints that it could continue to be effective in drawing PAs and other high-quality healthcare professionals to these areas in need.
Other incentives that PAs and other professionals enjoy in these HSPAs include reimbursement for maintaining certifications, signing and relocation bonuses, as well as aid for continuing their education.
Regardless of why you chose to become a PA, there are only positive outlooks for your future. Whether you choose a position in an HSPA or one of the states with a higher representation of your peers, only you can decide what suits your needs best.
Our physician assistant recruiters have the perfect job for you. If you’re ready to advance in the career you love, contact NP PA Recruiters today at (956) 772-1400 or (214) 351-3880.