7. Physician assistants
Projected increase in 2018: 39.0 percent
Number employed in 2008: 75,000
Median pay in 2008: $81,230
Education/training: Physician assistant educational programs usually take at least 2 years to complete for full-time students. Most programs are at schools of allied health, academic health centers, medical schools, or 4-year colleges.
Job outlook: Physicians and institutions are expected to employ more PAs to provide primary care and to assist with medical and surgical procedures because PAs are cost-effective and productive members of the healthcare team.