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Economic News Release
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2010-11 Editions of the Occupational Outlook Handbook and the Career Guide to Industries News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Thursday, December 17, 2009            USDL-09-1534

Technical information:  
  Handbook              (202) 691-5700  *  *
  Career Guide          (202) 691-5700  *  *

Media contact:          (202) 691-5902  *


The 2010-11 editions of the Occupational Outlook Handbook and the 
Career Guide to Industries were released today by the U.S. Bureau 
of Labor Statistics. The Handbook and the Career Guide can be ac-
cessed online at and, respec-
tively. The print version of the Occupational Outlook Handbook 
is expected to be available in the spring of 2010.

Considered the Government's premier source of career information, 
the Handbook and Career Guide profile hundreds of occupations and 
dozens of industries, respectively. Both publications provide com-
prehensive, up-to-date, and reliable labor market information that 
has helped millions of people plan their future work lives. In ad-
dition, this information has proven invaluable to counselors, stu-
dents, jobseekers, career changers, education and training offi-
cials, and researchers.

These publications reflect the Bureau's latest employment projec-
tions, which cover the 2008-18 decade. The 10-year projections of 
industry and occupational employment are revised every 2 years. 
They were made available through a news release on December 10, 
2009, accessible at De-
tailed information on the 2008-18 projections appears in five 
articles in the November 2009 issue of the Monthly Labor Review, 
accessible online at A graphic 
presentation of the highlights of the projections appears in the 
Winter 2009-10 Occupational Outlook Quarterly, accessible at

The Occupational Outlook Handbook

For more than 50 years, the Handbook has proven to be the most
reliable source of career guidance. Useful for looking up infor-
mation on particular occupations or just browsing through possi-
ble careers, the Handbook profiles nearly 300 occupations that 
provide most of the jobs in the economy. For each occupation, the 
Handbook highlights key characteristics, such as work environment, 
job prospects, and education requirements. Each occupation is pre-
sented in a standard format which allows comparisons to be performed 
relatively easy. Excerpts from the 2010-11 edition of the Handbook 
describing physician assistants are presented at the end of this 
news release.

The Career Guide to Industries

The Career Guide to Industries, the Occupational Outlook Hand-
book's  companion publication, analyzes employment change from 
an industry perspective, providing information on 43 industries
that cover 3 out of 4 jobs in the economy. For each industry, 
the Career Guide describes the nature of the industry and recent
developments, typical working conditions, and key occupations
employed in the industry. The Career Guide also discusses
industry training practices and worker earnings. The "Outlook"
section compares the industry's projected percent change in
employment with the percent change in the total number of jobs
for all industries combined.

"What's New?" the 2010-11 Editions

The new editions of the Occupational Outlook Handbook and Career
Guide to Industries incorporate several website enhancements and
changes in occupational coverage. For example, the online version
of the Handbook will now include photos associated with each
occupation, as well as direct links to O*NET--the Occupational
Information Network--a database sponsored by the U.S. Department
of Labor's Employment and Training Administration that has
information about different aspects of a job, including tasks
performed, knowledge, skills, work activities and more. O*NET can
be accessed on the Internet at Within
the Career Guide, there is one less industry covered--43 instead
of 44 in the previous edition--due to classification changes
between the 2002 and 2007 North American Industry Classification
System (NAICS) on which it is based. An overview and discussion of 
this and other modifications can be found in the "Occupational 
Information Included in the Handbook" and the "Information in the 
Career Guide to Industries" sections of each respective  publi-

Ordering Information

The print version of the 2010-11 edition of the Occupational
Outlook Handbook is sold by the U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, DC 20402, and is expected to be available in the
spring of 2010. Ordering and price information will appear online

Technical documentation about the projections is available online

Information in this release will be made available to sensory
impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200;
Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.
 |Following are excerpts from the 2010-11 edition of the            |
 |Occupational Outlook Handbook describing physician assistants.    |
 |                                                                  |
 | Nature of Work                                                   |
 |      This section describes the typical tasks and respon-        |
 |      sibilities of workers.                                      |
 |                                                                  |
 |          Physician assistants (PAs) are formally trained to      |
 |          provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive         |
 |          healthcare services, as delegated by a physician.       |
 |          Working as members of a healthcare team, they take      |
 |          medical histories, examine and treat patients, order    |
 |          and interpret laboratory tests and X rays, and make     |
 |          diagnoses.                                              |
 |                                                                  |
 | Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement                  |
 |      Typical paths to entry and advancement are explained        |
 |      in this section.                                            |
 |                                                                  |
 |          Requirements for admission to training programs vary;   |
 |          most applicants have a college degree and some health-  |
 |          related work experience. All states require physician   |
 |          assistants to complete an accredited, formal education  |
 |          program and pass a national exam to obtain a license.   |
 |                                                                  |
 | Employment                                                       |
 |      This section reports the number of jobs in 2008, and        |
 |      key industries in which those jobs were found.              |
 |                                                                  |
 |          Physician assistants held about 74,800 jobs in 2008.    |
 |          More than 53 percent of jobs for PAs were in the        |
 |          offices of physicians. About 24 percent were in general |
 |          medical and surgical hospitals, public or private.      |
 |                                                                  |
 | Job Outlook                                                      |
 |      Here, each occupation's projected employment change over    |
 |      the next decade is covered, as well as the various factors  |
 |      expected to affect employment trends.                       |
 |                                                                  |
 |          Employment of physician assistants is expected to grow  |
 |          by 39 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the   |
 |          average for all occupations. Projected rapid job        |
 |          growth reflects the expansion of healthcare industries  |
 |          and an emphasis on cost containment, which results in   |
 |          increasing use of PAs by healthcare establishments.     |
 |                                                                  |
 | Earnings                                                         |
 |      This section discusses typical earnings and how workers are |
 |      compensated.                                                |
 |                                                                  |
 |          The median annual wage of physician assistants was      |
 |          $81,230 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent of physician |
 |          assistants earned between $68,210 and $97,070. The      |
 |          lowest 10 percent earned less than $51,360, and the     |
 |          highest 10 percent earned more than $110,240.           |
 |                                                                  |
 | Related Occupations                                              |
 |      Occupations involving similar duties, skills, education     |
 |      and training are discussed in this section.                 |
 |                                                                  |
 |          Occupations with similar educational backgrounds,       |
 |          healthcare experience, and/or responsibilities include  |
 |          audiologists, occupational therapists, physical         |
 |          therapists, registered nurses and speech-language       |
 |          pathologists.                                           |
 |                                                                  |
 | Sources of Additional Information                                |
 |      In this section, the Handbook lists the mailing addresses   |
 |      of associations, government agencies, unions, and other     |
 |      organizations that can provide occupational information.    |
 |                                                                  |
 |          For information on a career as a physician assistant,   |
 |          including a list of accredited programs, contact the    |
 |          American Academy of Physician Assistants Information    |
 |          Center, 950 North Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314. |
 |          Internet:                                 |

Last Modified Date: December 17, 2009