Mapping the PA Job Market

A National and State Level Analysis of Job Openings for Physician Assistants

  • Primary Investigators: Perri Morgan, PhD, PA-C and Christine Everett, PhD, MPH, PA-C
  • Funded by:
    • Physician Assistant Education Association Faculty Research Fund
    • Pederson Physician Assistant Grant
  • Timeline: April 1, 2015 – 2019

Labor analysts predict a growing market for physician assistants (PAs), due in part to an expected shortage of primary care physicians. For PAs to address this shortage there must be both sufficient numbers of PAs prepared and willing to work in primary care and, equally important, there must be employers ready to hire them. 

This page provides information on the PA job market in 2014. The data come from over 34,000 internet PA job postings analyzed by the research team. The postings were coded for specific specialty of practice. For those products comparing specialty to primary care postings, we defined primary care as family medicine, general practice, general internal medicine, and general pediatrics. All other areas were coded as specialty practice. 

The maps below show the distribution of PA jobs across the United States by whether they are for primary care or specialty positions.     

heat map of US: Physician Assistant Job Posting Locations by Specialty, 2014
Kristine Himmerick, PhD, MPAS, PA-C created the GIS maps of job postings by specialty and state.

Additional resources from the project:

  • Duke PA Research Group Awarded Grant to Study 2016 Job Openings for PAs
  • February 2016 press release
  • Morgan P., Himmerick K., Leach B, Dieter P, Everett C. Scarcity of Primary Care Positions may Divert Physician Assistants into Specialty Practice. Medical Care Research and Review.  Published Online First on February 5, 2016.
  • Table showing the distribution of PA job postings by state and type of position, 2014
  • Rana, R., et al. (2020). "PA job availability in primary care during 2014 and 2016." Jaapa 33(7): 38-43. 
  • Researchers interested in investigating the PA job postings data further for state-specific or specialty-specific analyses, or who wish to analyze nurse practitioner job opening data, are encouraged to contact the investigators.