How To Become A Physician Assistant: Degree and Education Requirements

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what degree do you need to become a Physician Assistant
majors for Physician Assistants

Physician Assistants

Other names for this job might include Anesthesiologist Assistant, Anesthetic Assistant, Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C), Certified Physician’s Assistant, Clinical Physician Assistant, Doctor, Doctor Assistant, Family Practice Physician Assistant, General Surgery Physician Assistant, Gynecological Assistant


  • $99270
    Salary
  • 78%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

A+



Be A Physician Assistant: What You Really Need


In this requirements guide for Physician Assistants, you will find out what do you need to become a Physician Assistant and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be a Physician Assistant.



Degree required

Recommended degree level

Master’s Degree

Master’s degree
50%

Bachelors degree
30%

First professional degree
15%

Post-bachelor certificate
5%

No degree
%

Generally, employers are looking for Physician Assistants who have a Master’s degree. They also prefer someone who is good in Reading Comprehension and Active Listening.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become A Physician Assistant or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other Physician Assistants what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Physician Assistant

Physician assistants typically need a master’s degree from an accredited educational program. Earning that degree usually takes at least 2 years of full-time postgraduate study. Most applicants to physician assistant education programs already have a bachelor’s degree and some healthcare-related work experience. All states require physician assistants to be licensed.



Schools

schools for Physician Assistants

Interested in becoming A Physician Assistant? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?

Click to start becoming a Physician Assistant




How long does it take

Difficulty
Hard

You will need a considerable amount of skill, knowledge and experience to be A Physician Assistant. Normally you will be required to have more than five years of experience.

For example: A surgeon have to complete 4 years of college plus an additional 5 to 7 years of specialized medical training to be able to do his/her job.

In terms of on-the-job training, you may need some training however you will be assumed that you will already have the necessary skills and work experience to perform the job.


How long does it take
1 to 2 years


Work experience
1 to 2 years

1 to 2 years
35%

No experience
30%

2 to 4 years
20%

6 months to 1 year
15%

0 to 1 month
%

Job training
0 to 1 month

0 to 1 month
30%

1 to 3 months
30%

6 months to 1 year
25%

No training
10%

1 to 2 years
5%

Most Physician Assistants have 1 to 2 years work experience and 0 to 1 month job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.



License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Required


All states and the District of Columbia require physician assistants to be licensed. To become licensed, they must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). A physician assistant who passes the exam may use the credential “Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C).” To keep their certification, physician assistants must complete 100 hours of continuing education every 2 years. Beginning in 2014, the recertification exam will be required every 10 years.



Skills required

We asked other Physician Assistants if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Reading Comprehension what does this mean
2.Active Listening what does this mean
3.Speaking what does this mean
4.Critical Thinking what does this mean
5.Social Perceptiveness what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful Physician Assistants have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Integrity and Attention to Detail.

1.Integrity
2.Attention to Detail
3.Concern for Others
4.Dependability
5.Cooperation




Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful Physician Assistants you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. Medicine and Dentistry what does this mean
2.Biology what does this mean
3.Psychology what does this mean
4.Therapy and Counseling what does this mean
5.English Language what does this mean

As A Physician Assistant, you may also be required to know how to use certain Medical software, Medical software and Medical software tools.

ChartWare software (Medical software)
Electronic medical record EMR software (Medical software)
Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS software (Medical software)
Medical condition coding software (Medical software)
Medical procedure coding software (Medical software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for




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Career type

Healthcare and Medical
Diagnostic Services, Therapeutic Services

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Related to Physician Assistants Requirements

Physician Assistants requirements, how to become Physician Assistants, degree required to be a Physician Assistant, Physician Assistants license and certifications, majors to be a Physician Assistant, is it hard to become a Physician Assistant and how long does it take

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/healthcare/physician-assistants.htm
http://www.anesthetist.org/
http://www.aapa.org/
http://www.nccpa.net/

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Physician Assistants
Written by: Stanley Tan
Physician Assistants provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.
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