Employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 30 percent from 2014 to 2024, 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 providers, and baby boomers will require more medical attention as they age. 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. Furthermore, the number of individuals who have access to health insurance is expected to increase because of federal health insurance reform.
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.
The role of physician assistants is expected to expand as states continue to allow them to perform more procedures; as team-based models of care become more widely used; and as insurance companies expand their coverage of physician assistant services.
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.
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Health diagnosing and treating practitioners
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program