Total number of jobs: 103,422
Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 28.8%
Median annual salary: $98,869
Typical education: Master’s degree
Physician’s assistants (PAs) are similar to nurse practitioners in knowledge and abilities. PAs are trained to diagnose and treat patients and are able to write prescriptions and order tests. But unlike NPs, they work under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. (Again, specific duties and supervision requirements vary by state.)
To get started, you need at least two years of postgraduate study to earn a master’s in this field, and you need a license to practice. While the extra schooling is costly, it’s less taxing than a full M.D. According to the American Medical Association, the average medical student graduates with more than $180,000 in debt.