Occupational Outlook of Physician Assistants

Physician assistant jobs are expected to increase by 28 percent between 2021 and 2031. This is substantially quicker than the average for all healthcare occupations in the past year following the pandemic. Because of the growing scarcity of healthcare professionals, PAs are now becoming more relevant than ever.

Over the following years, there are expected to be, on average, 12,700 openings for physician assistants. Many of these positions are anticipated to be brought on by the need to replace workers who change careers or leave the workforce due to retirement. If you’re a physician assistant looking for a quick way to get employed, our team at Arthur Marshall can help you find your way. Here is some helpful information to learn more about the outlook of physician assistants today.

New employee happy with her Physician assistant job

Job Outlook for Physician Assistants


The demand for healthcare services in the following years will continue to rise as the population grows. The need for healthcare will also rise due to an increase in the population of older individuals, who are more prone than young people to need medical attention, and patients with chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.

As a result, there’s an increased demand for healthcare professionals like physician assistants (PAs) who frequently treat patients and provide preventive care.  

Team-based Healthcare

For various reasons, PAs, who may offer many of the same services as doctors, may continue expanding their involvement in delivering healthcare services. Team-based healthcare delivery models will continue to develop and become more prevalent since they can be educated more quickly than doctors. States also keep broadening the scope of permitted actions and their level of autonomy, and insurance providers are covering physician assistant services.  

PA Specialties That Earn the Most

According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants compensation study released on June 8, physician assistants working in cardiovascular/cardiothoracic surgery earned $147,000 in 2021, making it the highest-paid PA specialty the previous year. To evaluate the total remuneration across 60 PA specialties, the AAPA gathers base pay data in salary, hourly earnings, or guaranteed pay within a productivity model. Bonuses are included in the totals.

The report only includes specialties with 100 or more responders across the US. With an average salary of $130,000 in 2020, cardiovascular/cardiothoracic surgery was the most-paid PA specialty. 

 The Average Salary of Specific PA Specialties

  • Subspecialties in heart and lungs for $147,00  
  • Subspecialties in skincare for $146,000  
  • Subspecialties in emergency medical care for $129,146  
  • Subspecialties in surgery for $127,775  
  • Subspecialties in occupational medicine for $125,600 
  • Subspecialties in intensive care for $124,88  
  • Subspecialties in neurosurgery for $124,000
  • Subspecialties in urgent care for $123,517 
  • Subspecialties in radiology for $122,350 
  • Subspecialties in plastic surgery for $122,000 

Opportunities for Work and the Future

It’s anticipated that doctors and institutions will employ more PAs to help with routine care and medical and surgical procedures. Due to the expansion of health services and emphasis on cost-cutting, this is happening considerably faster than is typical. The usage of physician assistants will also grow due to technological advancements and a rise in one-on-one, direct engagement with patients.

Additionally, state-imposed legal restrictions on how much time medical residents can work are becoming more prevalent. They encourage hospitals to engage PAs to provide some physician resident services. States that give PAs a more excellent range of practice options will offer the best opportunities.

Physician assistant jobs can be hard to fill

Are You Looking for Physician Assistant Job Openings?  

At Arthur Marshall, our team can help you find suitable employment for your skill set. Give us a call today to learn more about our services!

Client Solutions

Successfully locate the Candidate who is right for you.

Career Opportunities

Find job and practice opportunities.