15 statistics on the PA workforce

The first physician assistants were certified in 1975. Now, 40 years later, the profession has grown significantly.

Between 2009 and 2014 alone, the number of certified PAs grew 36.7 percent, according to a recent survey from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, marking the 40th anniversary of the profession.

Here are 15 key statistics to know about today's PA workforce, as presented by the National Commission on Certification of PAs.

  • The number of certified PAs has grown 6.7 percent last year, to a total 101,977 certified PAs by the end of 2014.
  • Family medicine has the greatest number of PAs (19.7 percent), followed by surgical subspecialties (19.5 percent) and emergency medicine (13.8 percent).
  • 26.6 percent of certified PAs work in primary care practices, including family medicine and general practices, general internal medicine and general pediatrics.
  • 77.1 percent work in an office-based private practice or a hospital setting.
  • PAs work an average of 40.63 hours per week.
  • The average PA makes a salary of $98,387.
  • PAs in dermatology make the highest average salary of $112,538.
  • The average full-time PA sees 76 patients per week.
  • 38 is the median age of PAs.
  • 86.8 percent of PAs identify as white, 5.1 percent identify as Asian and 3.9 percent identify as African-American.
  • 3.5 percent of PAs in the U.S. speak two or more languages, in addition to English.
  • 81.5 percent of PAs who speak with patients in another language use Spanish.
  • 66.6 percent of certified PAs are female today, compared to just 16 percent of PAs in 1974.
  • New York, California, Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida lead the nation as the top 5 states based on the number of PAs.
  • Alaska, South Dakota, Maine, Pennsylvania and New York lead the nation as the top 5 states based on the concentration of PAs per 100,000 people.

 

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