Physician Assistant Careers Tips

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How can I determine my physician assistant salary?

Determining your Physician Assistant Salary

Whether you just graduated from college or have several years of experience, determining your physician assistant salary is important. This will give you the ability to negotiate the best compensation package available. Read on to learn tips for determining your physician assistant salary.

Evaluate the industry. When working in a physician assistant job, your salary will vary depending on the industry in which you work. For example, in a physician's office you'll earn approximately $74,160 annually, and an outpatient care facility will pay higher – about $80,960 each year.

Conduct a quick salary survey. Another factor in your compensation is geographic location. To determine salaries in your area, contact hospitals and local medical practices and ask for salary ranges.

Partner with a staffing firm. Companies like Clinical One can help you determine an appropriate salary based on your education and experience level. Plus, they can help you find a position that will meet both your income and career goals.

How should I prepare for a physician assistant interview?

Preparing for a Physician Assistant Interview

Landing an interview for a physician assistant job is exciting. But actually attending the interview can be nerve-racking. Taking the time to prepare for the interview will make you seem more knowledgeable and like a natural fit for the position. Read on to learn interview tips that can help land jobs:

Learn buzz words in the industry. If you're applying to a new sector, talk with physician assistants in that industry to learn the lingo. This will make you appear more knowledgeable in the interview.

Research the hospital or medical practice. Having a solid understanding about the practice will earn you points in the interview. Learn about the doctors, when the practice was established and their philosophy for treating patients.

Be prepared to talk about your grades. If you just graduated from college, be prepared to discuss your academic track record. This is your opportunity to showcase your enthusiasm for the career you've chosen, and win the hiring physician over.

How can I prepare myself for a physician assistant career?

Preparing for a Career as a Physician Assistant

Before launching your career as a physician assistant (PA), you'll need to take care of positioning yourself to get accepted to a program. This includes taking care of prerequisites and clinical requirements. Read on to learn tips for preparing yourself for employment in a physician assistant job.

Take care of prerequisites. Most physician assistant programs require that applicants have the following prerequisites before applying: one year of general or cell biology, one year of microbiology, one year of inorganic chemistry, one year of human anatomy and physiology, and a course in developmental physiology and statistics.

Ask about clinical experience. Some programs require up to 1,000 hours of clinical experience before entering a PA program. If you aren't currently working in the medical field, get creative. Volunteer experience and PA shadowing often counts.

Secure financial aid. The cost of earning a PA degree isn't cheap, usually about $60,000 or more to complete the entire program. Before entering a program, check out financial aid and scholarship availability.

How can I find my first physician assistant job?

Tips for Finding your First Physician Assistant Job

You've attended school for two or more years, and now it's time to land your first physician assistant job. But you aren't sure where to start. Fortunately, there are many resources available, helping you land your first job sooner.

Partner with your career services department. They have relationships established with employers that regularly post positions. Look through the career services current job listings, and ask what other organizations in your area hire regularly. This will allow you to contact these companies, and may give you access to unlisted positions.

Talk with college professors. In this field, you'll have many college professors who have contacts in the medical community. Get to know your professors, and ask for ideas about which companies may be hiring. And if the professor has an inside contact, they may be able to help you get your foot in the door.

Check out staffing firms. Companies like Clinical One specialize in physician assistant jobs and already have relationships established with employers. This may help you find a job sooner.

What are common resume mistakes?

Physician Assistant Jobs: Resume Mistakes to Avoid

A recruiter screening for physician assistant jobs doesn't have time to read entire resumes. They often skim the document, and if they see something they like, they read further. That's why it's essential to avoid common resume mistakes. Read on to learn three mistakes to avoid.

Resume is unfocused. With only seconds to make a case for your candidacy, your resume can't afford to be unfocused. Make sure to customize the resume to the specific industry for which you're applying. For example, when applying to jobs in a pediatric setting, focus on your experience working with children.

Resume is duty-driven. Have you ever used the phrase, “Duties include diagnosing and treating patients”? If so, stop right away. Instead, make sure your resume is accomplishment-driven. For example, discuss how you made the practice more efficient or developed tools to enhance patient care.

Resume that doesn't focus on the reader. When writing your resume, make sure to think about the hiring manager every step of the way. For example, put your most impressive accomplishments in the first ¼ of the page. This will entice them to read further.

Where can I find the top ranked physician assistant programs?

Physician Assistant Programs: Top Schools in the United States

Choosing a physician assistant program can be difficult. Fortunately, organizations like the U.S. News and World Report have ranked programs from across the nation. Landing admission to one of these schools can make securing positions much easier. Read on to learn which programs have the best-ranked curriculum in the nation:

1. University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)

2. Duke University (Durham, NC)

3. Emory University (Atlanta, GA)

4. George Washington University (Dallas, TX)

5. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas)

6. University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)

7. University of Washington (Seattle, WA)

8. University of Colorado (Denver, CO)

9. Oregon Health and Sciences University (Portland, OR)

10. Interservice Physician Assistant Program (Fort Sam Houston, TX)

Once you graduate from a program, don't forget to partner with a staffing firm like Clinical One. Since they already have relationships established with employers, they can help you find a job quicker.

Should I use a staffing firm?

Physician Assistant Jobs: Benefits of Using a Staffing Firm

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand to fill physician assistant jobs is expected to grow faster than average by 2016. As physicians are looking for ways to cut costs, these professionals will have access to more employment opportunities. Before launching your career search, it helps to partner with a staffing firm. Read on to learn the benefits of using a staffing firm.

Better access to jobs. Staffing firms have access to jobs that aren't available at traditional career boards. This will speed up your job search, allowing you to find employment sooner.

Interview pointers. If you have questions about what to wear or what the employer is looking for, a staffing firm can help. Since they have experience with employers, they already know what they're looking for.

Resume critique. When a staffing firm reads your resume, they can tell you what parts will be appealing and unappealing to a potential employer. This will give you opportunities to refresh the content.

Should I choose a physician assistant specialty?

Choosing a Physician Assistant Specialty

According to the Bureau of Statistics, physician assistant job growth is expected to double in the future. These professionals have many career opportunities, from working with children to preparing patients for surgery. Read on to learn three popular specialties:

Pediatrics. These professionals work under a pediatrician and handle most of the same responsibilities as the doctor, but under the supervision of the doctor. Tasks typically include physical exams, lab testing and developing treatment plans.

Occupation Medicine. These professionals work in occupational medicine offices with a variety of patients. These offices typically require physician assistants to have some background in family practice or orthopedics.

Surgery. Although this specialty is competitive, those focusing on working in a surgery environment often experience rewarding careers. Tasks will typically include preparing patients for operations and performing the admission and discharging of patients.

How can I get better paying physician assistant positions?

Top Paying Physician Assistant Jobs

Although physician assistant jobs pay well, there are certain positions that pay top dollar like outpatient care, which pays about $80,960 annually. The growth for these positions is also expected to rise, providing more opportunities for physician assistants. Read on to learn tips for landing these high paying physician assistant jobs.

Network with outpatient care recruiters. Even if a company isn't hiring, refresh your resume and send it to recruiters. Then check back periodically to see if positions have opened up.

Join professional organizations. Joining professional organizations, like the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), will provide networking opportunities. Attending continuing education events will provide the ability to network with other professionals working in outpatient care centers.

Partner with staffing firms. Companies that specialize in physician assistant jobs can help you find outpatient care positions that aren't available on mainstream job boards. They can also help you find jobs that meet both your income and professional goals.

How can I get licensed as a physician assistant?

Tips for Getting Certified as a Physician Assistant

Once you've graduated from a physician assistant program, you'll need to secure licensure before practicing in your state. In most states, this process is overseen by the State Medical Board, which typically requires a completed application packet and verification materials. Read on to learn tips for getting certified as a physician assistant.

Get your information in order. The first step in becoming certified is to gather important information such as verification of education, exam history and any criminal background information that may be required.

Make sure you have a supervising physician. Although each state is different, many require that you have a supervising physician that is in good standing with the board, before granting certification. If you just graduated from a physician assistant program, talk with your college about how to achieve this.

Contact your state's medical board. Most have an application for licensure that is available online. You can expect to pay about $300 or more for licensure, and processing can take up to a month in some states.

Once you've secured a license in your state, contact a staffing firm like Clinical One. Since they already have relationships established with employers, they can help you secure physician assistant jobs.

Where can I find tips for applying to physician assistant programs?

Tips for Applying to Physician Assistant Programs

Deciding to become a physician assistant is an important decision. But before applying to programs, it's helpful to have a few pointers. Read on to learn tips for applying to physician assistant programs.

Gather important information. Before applying to physician assistant programs, gather important items such as references, official transcripts and a professional resume. Having this information compiled beforehand will streamline the application process.

Apply to programs early. Sometimes, getting your applications in early will give you a leg up on the competition. Some programs even allow early acceptance for early applicants.

Check for testing requirements. Some programs require applicants to take special tests such as the GRE or a Pre-Admission Assessment. Get these requirements taken care of early so you can retake tests if needed.

Once you've graduated from a program, make sure to partner with a staffing firm like Clinical One. They can help you access physician assistant jobs that aren't available on mainstream job boards.

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