Neurosurgical Physician Assistant: Job Duties & Career Info

See how you can get a job as a neurosurgical physician assistant. Learn about education and training requirements. Read on to find out about career prospects, too.

Career Definition for a Neurosurgical Physician Assistant

Neurosurgical physician assistants work in conjunction with a supervising neurosurgeon to take detailed medical histories, perform exams, interpret lab results, make diagnoses, and discuss and implement in- and out-patient treatment. Hospital duties include assisting in neurosurgical procedures, closing wounds, ordering and reviewing MRIs and CT scans, and making rounds.

Required Education Generally, a master's degree and/or passing the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, plus 1 year of on-the-job training
Job Duties Include taking detailed medical histories, performing exams, making diagnoses; hospital duties include closing wounds and making rounds
Median Salary (2015)* $98,180 for physician assistants
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 30% growth for physician assistants

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

A physician assistant in neurosurgery usually has a master's degree. All states will require PA's to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, and a year of on-the-job training is required to specialize in Neurosurgery Assisting. Neurosurgical PA's will also need to complete 100 hours of continued medical education every two years and pass a recertification exam every six years in order to keep their PA certifications active.

Essential Skills

Neurosurgical PA's must enjoy working with sometimes difficult patients, have a good bedside manner, and be able to make emergency decisions quickly. Physicians assistants must also be self-motivated and organized as they will perform many duties and juggle large numbers of patients without immediate supervision.

Career Opportunities and Earning Potential

The median income among physician assistants was $98,180 in May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Employment in this field is predicted to grow much faster than average at a rate of 30% between 2014 and 2024. Job opportunities are especially high in inner-city and rural areas that have difficulty attracting physicians. As of 2013, the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) reported 67% of physician assistants to be female; the largest number of practicing respondents live in New York and California and work in a hospital setting (www.aapa.org).

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Athletic Trainer
  • Cardiovascular Technologies
  • Electrocardiograph Tech. - ECG, EKG
  • Electroencephalographic Tech. - EEG, END
  • EMT and Paramedic
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Industrial Radiologic Technology
  • Medical Radiologic Therapist
  • Nuclear Medical Technologist
  • Perfusionist
  • Physician Assistant
  • Radiation Protection Technology
  • Radiological Science and Technologies
  • Respiratory Care Therapy
  • Surgical Technologies
  • Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies

Alternative Career Options

Here are some alternative career ideas:

Physician

Physicians take care of people who are sick or injured; they also provide their patients with preventive care. After a 4-year bachelor's degree program, aspiring physicians attend a 4-year medical school program that culminates with either an M.D. (Medical Doctor) or D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). There are many areas of specialty, from internist to pediatrician to surgeon. Medical school graduates complete a residency program of 3-8 years. Doctors are required to hold state licenses; board certification is also available in some areas of medicine, and requirements for board certification vary by specialty. According to the BLS, jobs for physicians and surgeons are expected to increase 14% from 2014-2024. Median pay can vary by area of practice; the BLS reported that in 2015, the median pay of general practitioners was $184,390 while pediatricians earned $170,300, and surgeons earned more than $187,200.

Registered Nurse

A registered nurse, or RN, has completed an approved diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree program and passed the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN. They also hold state licenses. Registered nurses observe and report on patients' conditions, provide hands-on care, and advise patients on how to care for themselves at home after illness, surgery or injury. Some RNs specialize; areas of specialization include population served (such as geriatric or oncological care) and setting (such as emergency room or operating room), among others. Job growth is expected to be 16% from 2014-2024, per the BLS. Registered nurses earned median pay of $67,490 in 2015, reported the BLS.


What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MS in Nursing
    • Bachelors of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN
    • BS in Health Science

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
    • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
    • MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences
    • MSHS in Translational Microbiology

    What is your highest level of education?

    • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
    • MBA: Health Systems Management
    • MS in Health Care Administration
    • BS in Health Sciences: Professional Development & Advanced Patient Care
    • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science
    • BS in Health Care Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
    • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership - Healthcare Management
    • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Medical Assistant-Certificate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • MBA - Healthcare Administration
    • Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Administration

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Bachelor of Science in Health Science - Pre-Physical Therapy
    • Bachelor of Science in Health Science - Pre-Physician Assistant
    • Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a Concentration in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
    • Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a Concentration in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
    • BS Health Science (Post PTA)
    • BS Health Science w/Con Diagnostic Medical Sonography
    • Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
    • Associate of Science in Health Science
    • Associate of Science in Health Science - Pre-Nursing
    • Associate of Science in Health Science - Pre-Pharmacy
    • AS Diagnostic Medical Sonography
    • AS Health Science
    • Certificate in Medical Assisting
    • CERT Medical Assisting
    • CERT Computed Tomography
    • CERT Nuclear Medicine

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Medical Assisting, Associate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?