Physician assistants expected to have a 38 percent job growth

The Career Center at Saddleback College hosted a Careers in Physical Therapy Workshop featuring the college’s adapted kinesiology instructor, Michael Bennett. The workshop took place on April 23 in the Student Services Committee Building, Room 140.

“The assistant positions in physical therapy are booming right now,” Bennett said. “That includes physician assistants and PT assistants.”

It’s important to recognize the difference between a physician and a physician assistant. A physician assistant is not a doctor. A PA is a licensed healthcare professional who practices medicine as part of a team with physicians, and the field is expected to grow.

“The average job growth rate in the US is 15 percent,” Bennett said.  “Assistant jobs are at around 40 percent, which is near astronomical.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bennett is right. The government agency projects a 38 percent job growth for PAs from 2012 to 2022.

Bennett emphasized that it’s important for students to know what their career goals are and research their options. He told students they should find out how long they’re willing to go to school and how much they can afford.

“Make sure to research your options,” Bennett said. “See if you want to go to a Cal State, back east, or somewhere else, and make sure you know how far you want to pursue your studies.”

Having graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a master’s degree in physical therapy, Bennett informed students of a recent change in requirements to become a certified physical therapist.

“As of 2013, you need a doctorate to become a physical therapist, not an assistant though,” Bennett said.

For more information about careers in physical therapy, Instructor Bennett can be contacted at [email protected].