Best Physician Assistant Schools in Ohio – 2020

Ohio thinks so highly of physician assistants (PAs) that in late 2018, Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill No. 259, which makes it easier for PAs to practice in the Buckeye State. Physician assistants in Ohio have a broad scope of practice that enables them to provide diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative services under the supervision of a physician. On this page we’ve ranked the best physician assistant programs in Ohio to help you decide which one is the right choice for you.

What Skills and Knowledge will I Gain from a Physician Assistant Program in Ohio?

Although you’ll find physician assistants in every medical specialty from psychiatry to cardiology, approximately 16 percent of PAs in Ohio work in primary care. The classroom curricula at physician assistant schools in OH typically focus upon clinical subjects like hematology, cardiology and pharmacology, but aspiring PAs also study more general topics like medical decision making and the art of taking patient histories. PAs perform clinical rotations in internal medicine, surgery, family medicine, OBGYN and other medical specialties under the auspices of a practicing physician assistant or a physician. The objective of this intensive training is to make the PA an effective gatekeeper for the types of services a prospective patient may need when he or she visits a physician or a hospital.

Physician Assistant Program Length & Cost in Ohio

Physician assistant programs are master’s degree level programs. The length of the program ranges between 24 and 36 months for classroom and clinical training. Tuition costs vary between $21,160 and $78,720. Public schools typically prove to be the less costly option, particularly for Buckeye State residents.

Type of Program Length Cost
Master's2 - 3 Years$21,160 - $78,720

Which are the 7 Best Physician Assistant Programs in Ohio for 2020?

View Ranking Methodology

1) Marietta College - Marietta

2) Ohio University - Athens

3) University of Findlay - Findlay

4) University of Mount Union - Alliance

5) Baldwin Wallace University - Berea

6) Mount St. Joseph University - Cincinnati

7) University of Dayton - Dayton

Physician Assistant Career Outlook in Ohio - 2019

How Many Physician Assistants are Currently Employed in OH?


Where do Physician Assistants Work in Ohio?

In Ohio, an overwhelming majority of PAs—2,481 or slightly more than 60 percent—work in physicians’ offices. There, they provide the same types of clinical services that physicians themselves provide such as taking patient histories, performing physical exams, ordering and interpreting lab tests, and diagnosing and treating illnesses.

In hospitals, physician assistants often assist in surgeries and help with complex diagnostic imaging procedures. They help staff emergency rooms where they often function at the level of first year residents, assisting with tasks like suturing, wound care and starting central IV lines; 1,019 or just under 25 percent of Ohio’s PAs work in state and public hospitals.

The remaining PAs in Ohio work as primary care providers in outpatient care clinics (354 or 9 percent), as instructors at health care training programs throughout the state (133 or 3 percent) or as providers of in-house care at companies whose employees are at risk for injuries because of the physical nature of the work these employees do (133 or 3 percent.)

Industry Number of Medical Assistants
Offices of Physicians 2,481
Hospitals; State, Local, and Private 1,019
Outpatient Care Centers 354
Educational Services; State, Local, and Private 133
Employment Services133

What is the Average Salary of a Physician Assistant in Ohio?

The average physician assistant salary in Ohio is $105,410. PAs typically command great benefit packages, too, that include health insurance, paid leave, retirement savings accounts and continuing education reimbursement. Most physician assistants work 40 hours a week or more, and are often called upon to work weekends, holidays and nights. If you work swing shift or nights, you can generally count upon a shift differential in addition to your base salary. Many hospitals also reimburse PAs handsomely when they are called upon to work overtime.

Type Salary
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Salary Based on Years of Experience

Years of Experience Hourly Monthly Annual
Less than 1 year (Starting)$34.77 $6,030 $72,320
1-4 years$42.82 $7,420 $89,060
5-9 years$50.94 $8,830 $105,940
10-19 years$59.02 $10,230 $122,770
20 years or more$67.47 $11,690 $140,330
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Physician Assistant Average Salary Comparison: Ohio vs. National

Physician assistants in Ohio make slightly less than the national average. This may be partly due-to-the-fact that PAs have less autonomy in Ohio than they do in several other states.

California National Difference
Number %
$105,410 $108,430 -$3,020-2.79%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Job Outlook

The demand for PAs is expected to grow by almost a third by 2026. Ohio is one of the states that’s facing a significant shortage of primary care physicians. This means that physician assistants who specialize in this field are in high demand now and likely to become even more so as the doctor shortage escalates.

Within the next 15 years, nearly 25 percent of the Buckeye State’s population will be 65 years of age or older; Ohio has also been hard hit by the opioid epidemic and still has relatively high smoking rates. All these factors make the need for primary care providers even more urgent, and physician assistants are cost-effective means of supplying primary care interventions.

Employment Employment Growth, 2016-26
2016 2026 Number Percent
(Source: careeronestop)

Annual Job Openings

New Replacement Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
(Source: careeronestop)

Metro Wise Employment & Salary Data

It shouldn’t be surprising that the highest demand for physician assistants in Ohio is in densely populated cities like Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo, or that PAs here are compensated commensurately. Crowded living conditions typically generate a greater likelihood of illness and injury, and that means there must be more medical personnel on hand to deal with those illnesses and injuries. Cincinnati where PAs earn $50.35 on average is home to topnotch medical facilities like the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, which is ranked among the nation’s finest medical facilities.

Smaller metropolitan areas like Canton-Massillon and Lima also pay well because they are trying to attract health care professionals. The costs of living are much lower here than they are in many other parts of Ohio, so working here is a great way to stretch your salary and to touch the lives of people who really need the services you provide.

Metro Employment Average Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Useful Physician Assistant Organizations & Associations in Ohio

Ohio Association of Physician Assistants

The Ohio Association of Physician Assistants maintains a job bank where PAs can look for employment opportunities throughout the state. Members may also be eligible for a variety of discounts with companies that have developed relationships with the association

Physician Assistant Schools in other States

  • Virginia