The physician assistant workforce rose an estimated 8% in 2006 and was projected to total about 63,600 as of Jan. 1, according to the American Academy of Physician Assistants. The Alexandria, Va.-based professional group estimated 85% of those eligible to practice as physician assistants are in the workforce, up from 83% a year ago. On average, physician assistants’ income rose 4% to $84,396 in 2006 from $81,129 in 2005, after adjusting for inflation. Those who did not change jobs saw smaller average income gains in 2006—an estimated 2.2%—rather than the 4.1% increase reported by those who landed new positions. The workforce estimation is based on graduation, certification, licensing and AAPA membership data. The association calculated income changes using 2004, 2005 and 2006 survey data from full-time physician assistants who provided information two years in a row.
Physician assistants on the rise
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