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Best Jobs in America

CNNMoney/PayScale's top 100 careers with big growth, great pay and satisfying work.

21. Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant
21
Median pay: $96,200
Top pay: $127,000
10-year job growth: 29.5%
Total jobs*: 83,600

What they do all day? Physician assistants can perform many of the same duties as a doctor, but they don't have to get an M.D. They typically complete a two- or three-year PA program and get hands-on training in a clinical setting. They must be licensed and work under the direction of a physician.

How to get the job?

What's great? What's not? --Jillian Anthony

What they do all day? Physician assistants can perform many of the same duties as a doctor, but they don't have to get an M.D. They typically complete a two- or three-year PA program and get hands-on training in a clinical setting. They must be licensed and work under the direction of a physician. --Jillian Anthony

Quality of life ratings:
  • Personal satisfaction: A
  • Benefit to society: A
  • Flexibility: C
  • Low stress: C
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*Total jobs is estimated number of people working in broader BLS 'job family.'

Sources: PayScale.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and CNNMoney research

Do Physician Assistants have great jobs, or what? Are these great jobs, or what?
It's still a tough job market, so when CNNMoney, in partnership with data from PayScale.com, set out to find America's Best Jobs this year, first and foremost we looked for professions that offer great growth opportunities.

Other big factors: pay (how strong it is now, and how fast it's growing), overall job satisfaction, and how many jobs are in the field overall.
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