Health Occupations
& Technology

Physician Assistant

To be a successful Physician Assistant you should…

  • possess critical listening skills and the ability to communicate clearly
  • desire to work with all types of people and work as a team member
  • possess good interpersonal skills

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What will my job be like?

Physician Assistants (PAs) provide routine health care services with the supervision of a physician. They have many responsibilities, which include taking a patient’s medical history, performing physical examinations, ordering and interpreting laboratory tests, applying casts, prescribing certain medications, diagnosing and treating illness, suturing wounds and assisting in surgery.

PAs may specialize in:

  • General Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Family Medicine
  • General and Thoracic Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics
  • Geriatrics
  • and many other fields

Where could I work?

Physician assistants work in doctor offices, clinics, hospitals, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), health departments and the military. Some work in clinics away from the direct supervision of the physician and communicate with the physician by telephone or radio.

Other workplace settings:

  • Community Health Centers
  • Nursing Homes
  • Prisons
  • Student Health Services

What is the average annual salary?


What is the future of this career?

The BLS reports employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 31 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 12,200 openings for physician assistants are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

What type of education and/or training do I need?

Graduation from an accredited PA program, current NCCPA certification, a bachelor’s degree, and documentation of 60 hours of pharmacology education.

Where can I get the education and/or training?

  • Quinnipiac University, Hamden
  • Sacred Heart University, Fairfield
  • University of Bridgeport – Physician Assistant Institute
  • University of St Joseph, West Hartford
  • Yale University, New Haven

Do I need a license or certification for this career?

Licensure is required in the state of Connecticut. Prerequisite: Licensure requires Bachelor’s degree from an approved PA program, NCCPA certification examination, current NCCPA certification, and 60 hours acceptable pharmacology course work.

Please visit the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health website for more information.

Where can I get more information?

American Academy of Physician Assistants
2318 Mill Road, Suite 1300
Alexandria, VA   22314
(703) 836-2272