Occupation Summary

Physician Assistants

O*NET 29-1071.00


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.

Annual Wages:
Employment Rate:
Employment is expected to increase by 41.35%.
Education Level:
Master's Degree. According to O*Net, the majority of people employed in this occupation have this level of education.
Public Service, Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM)

  1. Examine patients to obtain information about their physical condition.
  2. Interpret diagnostic test results for deviations from normal.
  3. Make tentative diagnoses and decisions about management and treatment of patients.
  4. Obtain, compile, and record patient medical data, including health history, progress notes, and results of physical examination.
  5. Administer or order diagnostic tests, such as x-ray, electrocardiogram, and laboratory tests.
  6. Prescribe therapy or medication with physician approval.
  7. Perform therapeutic procedures, such as injections, immunizations, suturing and wound care, and infection management.
  8. Instruct and counsel patients about prescribed therapeutic regimens, normal growth and development, family planning, emotional problems of daily living, and health maintenance.
  9. Provide physicians with assistance during surgery or complicated medical procedures.
  10. Supervise and coordinate activities of technicians and technical assistants.
  11. Visit and observe patients on hospital rounds or house calls, updating charts, ordering therapy, and reporting back to physician.
  12. Order medical and laboratory supplies and equipment.

National Industry Employment Patterns

Industry % of Physician Assistants employed Annual Growth Rate
Offices of physicians 53 2.93
General medical and surgical hospitals 24.1 2.85
Outpatient care centers 8 4.10
Colleges, universities, and professional schools 4.8 0.78

Labor Market Information

2021 Statewide average hourly wage $55.81
2021 National average hourly wage $57.43
2020 National employment 129,400
2020 Texas employment 9,038
Texas projected employment by 2030 12,775
Texas projected annual employment and Turnover openings through 2030 974

* Due to confidentiality rules, not all regions may have the data displayed. The sum of all the regions may not be equal to the state total.

Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Top 10 Relevant Skill Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Active Learning
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Top 10 Relevant Abilities Relevant Importance Levels
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
    -- Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Getting Information
    -- Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
    -- Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
    -- Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Documenting/Recording Information
    -- Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Other Activities

  • Relationships
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Working Conditions
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.


Alcohol analyzers: Breath alcohol testers;

Anal or rectal exam speculas: Anoscopes;

Anesthesia inhalers or inhaler units: Anesthesia ventilators;

Anesthesia nerve block kit or tray: Lumbar puncture equipment; Bone marrow biopsy equipment;

Arterial blood gas monitors: Arterial blood gas monitoring equipment;

Arterial line catheters: Arterial line catheters;

Audiometers: Audiometers;

Binocular light compound microscopes: Binocular light compound microscopes;

Blood collection needles: Blood collection needles;

Blood collection syringes: Blood collection syringes;

Canes: Canes;

Cast cutters or saws: Cast removal saws;

Central venous catheters: Central venous pressure lines; Subclavian lines;

Cervical collars or neck braces: Cervical collars;

Chest tubes: Chest tubes;

Crutches: Crutches;

Diagnostic or interventional vascular catheters for general use: Swan catheters;

Dispensing pins or needles: Aspirating needles;

Electrocardiography EKG units: Electrocardiography EKG units;

Electronic blood pressure units: Electronic blood pressure monitors;

Electrosurgical or electrocautery equipment: Electrocautery devices;

Endoscopic video cameras or recorders or adapters or accessories: Endoscopic camera/video systems;

Eye charts or vision cards: Eye charts;

Gas anesthesia apparatus or machines: Anesthesia equipment;

Glucose monitors or meters: Glucometers;

Head or neck traction supplies: Halo fixation devices; Tong traction devices;

High frequency ventilators: High-frequency ventilators;

Holter or wearable EKG monitoring systems or accessories: Holter monitors;

Hypodermic needle: Intramuscular needles; Subcutaneous hypodermic needles;

Infusion pump kits: Interthercal therapy equipment;

Intraaortic balloon pumps: Intra-aortic balloon pumps IABP;

Intracranial pressure ICP monitoring units: Intracranial pressure monitors;

Intravenous tubing with catheter administration kits: Intravenous IV equipment;

Knee therapeutic brace or support: Knee braces;

Lancets: Lancets;

Laser printers: Laser printers;

Medical acoustic stethoscopes: Mechanical stethoscopes;

Medical cinefluoroscopy units: Fluoroscopes;

Medical magnetic resonance imaging MRI scanners: Medical magnetic resonance imaging MRI machines;

Medical or surgical suction or vacuum appliances: Tracheal suctioning equipment;

Medical ultrasound or doppler or echocardiograph transducer accessories: Doppler ultrasound fetascopes; Doppler vascular equipment;

Medical x ray units for general diagnostic use: X ray machines;

Mercury blood pressure units: Manual blood pressure units;

Microscope slides: Microscope slides;

Mobile medical services automated external defibrillators AED or hard paddles: Defibrillators;

Mobile medical services litter: Life support for trauma and transport LSTAT intensive care units;

Nasogastric tubes: Nasogastric tubes;

Nebulizers: Nebulizers;

Notebook computers: Notebook computers;

Ophthalmic slit lamps: Slit lamps;

Ophthalmoscopes or otoscopes or scope sets: Ophthalmoscopes; Otoscopes;

Orthopedic splint systems: Splints;

Personal computers: Personal computers;

Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers: Personal digital assistants PDA;

Pulse oximeter units: Oximeters;

Radio frequency transmitters or receivers: Portable satellite telehealth terminals;

Reflex hammers or mallets: Reflex hammers;

Spirometers: Pulmonary function testing PFT equipment; Spirometers;

Surgical clamps or clips or forceps: Vascular straight aortic clamps; Mosquito artery forceps; Artery forceps; Bull dog nose clamps;

Surgical curettes or loops or curette sets: Surgical curettes;

Surgical dissectors: Harvester rods; Dissector rods;

Surgical lasers: Plastic surgery lasers;

Surgical microscopes or loupes or magnifiers: Operating microscopes;

Surgical needle holders: Needle holders;

Surgical nippers: Nail nippers;

Surgical probes or directors: Nail probes;

Surgical retractors: Retractors;

Surgical scalpels or knives or blades or trephines: Scalpel blades; Scalpel handles;

Surgical trocars for general use: Trocars;

Suture needles: Suturing needles;

Suture removers: Suture scissors;

Tablet computers: Tablet computers;

Tongue depressors or blades or sticks: Tongue blades;

Tourniquets: Tourniquets;

Treadmill exercisers for rehabilitation or therapy: Therapeutic treadmill exercisers;

Tuberculin syringes: Tuberculin TB skin test equipment;

Vacuum blood collection tubes or containers: Evacuated blood collection tubes;

Vaginal exam speculas: Vaginal specula;

Videoconferencing systems: Videoconferencing equipment;

Walkers or rollators: Walkers;

Walking braces: Walking braces;


Internet browser software: Web browser software;

Medical software: Teleradiology systems; ChartWare EMR; Electronic medical record EMR software; Epic Systems; Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS; MEDITECH software; Medical condition coding software; Medical procedure coding software;

Office suite software: Microsoft Office;

Spreadsheet software: Spreadsheet software; Microsoft Excel;

Storage media loading software: Patient records software for personal digital assistants PDAs;

Video conferencing software: Teleconferencing software;

Word processing software: Microsoft Word; Word processing software;

Related O*NET occupational titles for Physician Assistants include:
  • 29-1071.01 Anesthesiologist Assistants
  • 29-1212.00 Cardiologists
  • 29-1141.04 Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • 29-1214.00 Emergency Medicine Physicians
  • 29-1215.00 Family Medicine Physicians
  • 29-1216.00 General Internal Medicine Physicians
  • 29-1171.00 Nurse Practitioners
  • 29-1242.00 Orthopedic Surgeons, Except Pediatric
  • 29-1243.00 Pediatric Surgeons
  • 29-1221.00 Pediatricians, General

Sources of Additional Information
  • For more information about physician assistants, visit: American Academy of PAs
  • For a list of accredited physician assistant programs, visit: Physician Assistant Education Association
  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA)
  • Association of Postgraduate Physician Assistant Programs
  • For information about certification requirements, visit: National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
  • Anesthesiologist Assistants
  • Physician Assistants

  • Contact Texas Workforce Commission
    Labor Market and Career Information  |  101 E. 15th Street, Annex Room 0252  |  Austin, Texas 78778
    Official Website  |  1-800-822-PLAN (7526)  |  512.936.3200

    ** The information in this report may be derived from many sources like O*NET, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook), and Career One Stop.