A career as a physician assistant can be quite lucrative. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2012, the average annual salary for physician assistants was $90, 930. As you move ever further down your career path, you can spread your wings, learn, advance—and increase your salary along the way. It just takes a little planning and some key skills. Here’s what you need to know.

Four steps to building your career as a physician assistant

You can achieve satisfaction and financial success in your career when you acquire the right skills and follow the right steps. Consider the following:

  1. Learn how to negotiate. You might be pleased with your salary as you come on board with a new PA job. But you can be hired at even more when you know how to negotiate. You must be able to explain your key strengths and how they uniquely prepare you for an open position. You must also have a clear understanding of your “marketing advantage” over other candidates—what do you do better than everyone else? You can gain even more leverage with additional qualifications, such as specialties and certifications. Lastly, you should know what salary a professional with your skills and experience commands, so you’ll have parameters to negotiate within.
  2. Gain a specialty. What branch of the medical field, or patient population, are you most interested in working in or with? You might choose dermatology, neurology or cardiology. When you choose a specialty, it allows you to learn more about your interests, which can be rewarding. Also, when you have specialized knowledge that fits perfectly with an open position, it puts you that much more in demand—and that leaves room to negotiate salary.
  3. Get certified. Whether you choose to return to school for an advanced degree or to become accredited from a recognized institution, you’ll gain more PA experience if you do. These accolades help you establish yourself as a knowledgeable healthcare professional. And this can be a bargaining chip to help advance your career.
  4. Work with a staffing agency. Perhaps you’re looking to move on to something new but you’re not sure where to begin looking for job opportunities. A staffing agency—especially a niche firm that specializes in healthcare and medicine—can help you find positions that match well with your skills, qualifications and interests. And since recruiters build relationships with many employers and facilities, they’re aware of positions that are never advertised to the public—so you’ll be able to find placements you otherwise couldn’t if searching on your own.

Your commitment to success is your most important skill

As you work to achieve the above, always remember that your own commitment to your career is the single most important tool you can have. This way, you’ll always be ready to work hard and make solid choices to develop your PA career.

Check out KTE Services

We’re a niche medical staffing agency that will work with you for a rewarding career placement based on your skills, qualifications and job requirements. To learn more about our staffing services for PA professionals, contact one of our experience recruiters today.

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