Physician Assistant

Lindsay Schlabaugh


  • High school degree.
  • At least a bachelor's degree in science.
  • Bachelor's degree in nursing are common ( 4-year program).
  • PA program (2-year program after you receive your bachelor's degree).
  • Most PA programs give a master's degree.

Skills Needed

  • Critical thinking.
  • Active learning.
  • Active listening.
  • Writing.
  • Speaking (knowing a second language isn't required, but it would be good so you could talk to different types of patients).
  • Good judgment and decision making.
  • Social perceptiveness.
  • Time management.
  • Math and science knowledge.


Average Starting Wage: $67,080

Average Wage: $85,912

Average Experienced Wage: $95,347

Average Salary Range: $60,690-$120,060

  • Very good starting wage!
  • Wages go up as you work longer!
  • Potential to make over $100,000!

Advancement Opportunities

  • Earn higher salaries the longer you work!
  • Gain more responsibility from employers which gives you the chance to do many things for doctors.
  • Continuing education beyond the 2-year PA program allows you to specialize in certain areas or even become a physician!

Job Outlook

  • Annual growth rate in Iowa for this job is 22%!
  • National projected growth rate in 10 years is 29.5%!
  • Expected to grow more than any other career in the health field!

Where do they work?

PA's work in a variety of places and specialized fields!

Places you can work:

  • Hospitals.
  • Doctor's Offices.
  • Private Practices.
  • Clinics.
  • Outpatient Care Centers.
  • Universities.

Additional Info

A type day for a PA would include:

  • Visiting patients.
  • Diagnosing patients.
  • Charting.
  • Prescribing medicine.
  • Helping doctors doing procedures.
  • Doing some procedures by yourself.
  • Doing tests.
  • Looking at medical data.

Possible Downfalls:

  • PA's often work irregular hours, weekend shifts, and are on-call which may turn people away from this profession.

My Opinion

I think this would be a great career because I love helping people. It would give me a very rewarding feeling. The medical field also interests me. Although the schooling is hard, I think I would enjoy learning about it. I know for sure I want to get a BSN in nursing. I want a nursing degree because it's a secure job that's full of many opportunities. I am actually thinking about being a nurse practitioner instead of a PA, but the website gave more information for a PA. They are practically the same job except for some of the schooling.