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Physician Assistant Jobs in California Overview
Physician assistants work as part of a medical team under the supervision of doctors in hospitals, physician's offices, and other healthcare facilities. They are trained to examine patients, diagnose their illnesses or injuries, and treat these ailments. Physician assistants work in a range of medical specialties, including pediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, psychiatry, and family practice, alongside other health professionals, including registered nurses and medical assistants.
The specific duties of a physician assistant will depend on his or her specialty and in some cases, the location. In some parts of California that have a shortage of doctors, a physician assistant may serve as a primary care provider.
Physician assistants in California must hold at least a bachelor's degree, usually in heath science. Many physician assistants then go on to earn a master's degree, as an increasing number of California employers require this qualification. Physician assistants must also pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination and hold a valid license from the Physician Assistant Board of the Medical Board of California.
California Physician Assistant Job Market
California employs more than 9,200 physician assistants, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only New York has a higher volume of physician assistants, so these medical professionals have plenty of job opportunities in California.
Most of California's physician assistants find work in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale metropolitan division. It has the second highest volume of physician assistants of any metropolitan area, after the New York-White Plains-Wayne area. Yuba City is also a popular area. This city has the fourth-highest concentration of physician assistants in the United States.
Physician Assistant Salaries in California
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), physician assistants in California make an annual mean wage of $102,800, or a mean hourly wage of $49.43. Entry-level physician assistants stand to make about $51,580, but this wage can jump dramatically with experience. Top-tier physician assistants working in California earn an average of $148,560. Many of these big earners work in the Santa Rosa-Petaluma area, which is the fifth-highest-paying metropolitan area for physician assistants.