Physical Therapy Assistant Jobs and Employment Outlook


A physical therapy assistant works under the supervision of a therapist, and is an important cog in the physical therapy process. A physical therapist works closely with patients and pharmacy technician, and helps in rehabilitating patients with various physical disabilities, alleviating their excruciating pain and improving their mobility, including their treatment.

Sometimes when pain becomes unmanageable, a physical therapist in consultation with the pharmacy technician will provide medication for mitigating the suffering of their patient.


Various conditions such as pain the lower back, fractures, accidents, cardiovascular diseases, cerebral palsy, etc call for the services of the physical therapy assistant who will work inclusively with them and will help them in their daily exercises, or using therapy devices and equipment for improving their mobility.

Various therapeutic techniques such as balance and gait training, massage therapy, electrical stimulation and ways to use crutches are all responsibilities of a physical therapy assistant. Under the guidance of a physical therapist, the assistant will keep logical records and will also administer treatment, but will also ensure the cleanliness of the therapy area.

They will also transport patients from one place to another. Special clinical tasks make it mandatory for assistant to have licensure and certification. Aside from this, they must also treat patients with kid gloves, and should also have compassion for them. All in all, they should keep their patients happy all the time, in spite of their aches and pains.

Although minimum qualification for physical therapy assistant is high school diploma, but these days most of the institutions hire only those who posses associated degree accredited to some leading physical therapy association such as NTPE, CAPTE, or APTA. In the US, there are more than 240 academic and practical training accreditation programs for all those who want to study physical therapy.

For clinical portion of the training, hands on experience in the physical therapy clinic, and a certification in first aid and CPR are necessary, and for academic part, the licensing also includes subjects such as English, psychology, physiology, algebra and anatomy.

A physical therapy assistant may slowly evolve into a physical therapist, based on his/her experience, accreditation and education. Many of them proceed on to obtain specialization in subjects such as neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary and musculoskeletal therapy, and pediatrics. Specialization helps a physical therapy assistant to move to an administrative position.

Career prospects

A fresher with a physical therapy assistant degree can easily earn an annual salary of about $33,000. With increase in certifications and experience, this salary scale would increase with time. After five years of experience, a physical therapy assistant can expect a salary in the range of $36,000-$44,000. The location of job also affects the salary of assistant for more salary info click .


All those who plan to work in Virginia can earn higher than those working New York and Florida. Actually, the factors such as the cost of living, and the actual demand for a physical therapy assistant are also responsible for these variations. .

Nursing homes these days pay the second highest salary followed by government facilities. One can earn a higher salary while working in home-health service facilities than working in schools, or a physician’s office.

Physical Therapy Assistant Salary Information

A physical therapist can be described as a medical expert who makes use of various physical treatment regimes and exercises to treat dysfunctions and injuries.

Physical therapist generally deal with a wide range of patients the most common being arthritis patients, accident victims, cerebral palsy patients and athletes.

Due to the taxing nature of their work, physical therapists have assistants who help them out with the various procedures, these assistants are commonly referred to as physical therapist assistants or aides.

A career as an assistant is generally considered as being lucrative due to the amount of money PTA assistants earn. Before we go into the finer details of a physical therapy assistant salary, we must first have a basic overview of what a physical therapy assistant actually does


Some of the duties performed by physical therapist aides include

  • Providing treatment to patients so as to improve their mobility and by doing so, lessen disability in a patient
  • Teaching patients on how to use self support equipment such as crutches
  • Aid in preparation of therapy equipment
  • Helps patients to perform therapeutic exercises
  • Help to keep a tab on the progress of a patient
  • Schedule patient appointments on behalf of the therapist

Pay scale

  • The physical therapy assistant salary is in the range of $28,000 to $70,000 per annum, with the average salary being $47,322 per annum.
  • However, the earning potential in this field varies from one individual to another and is dependent on a number of factors. Some of these factors include

Experience is a chief determinant on the salary of a physical therapy assistant.

  • As a rule, physical therapy assistants who have had more experience earn more than newbie’s as they make fewer mistakes and have a thorough understanding of the profession.
  • Physical therapist assistants who are starting out on the job generally get around $30,000-$40,00 per annum
  • Those with 1 to 4 years of e experience earn an average of between $33,000-$40,000 per annum
  • Those with 4-10 years of e experience get between $40,00 and $55,000 per annum
  • While those with more than 10 years experience get more than $45,000 per annum

Employer type

  • The organization or institution in which a physical therapy assistant is employed is a major contributing factor as to the amount of money an individual will get.
  • Contractual employer generally tend to pay more with the average salary per annum being $42,000-$70,00.
  • Government institutions generally offer between $42,000 to $58,000 per annum, hospitals offer a pay package of between $34,000-$48,00 per annum while educational institutions pay an average of $25,000-$40,000 per annum.


  • The location where a physical therapist assistant works also contributes a lot to the salary scale.
  • For instance, there are areas considered as being hot spots for physical therapy and by working in these areas, a physical therapy assistant is assured of higher pay due to the constant work flow.
  • Some of the regions considered as being hot spots in the US include Florida, New York and Virginia

A physical therapy assistant salary is also affected by the number of additional courses taken with aides who might have taken additional short courses earning more.

All About Physical Therapy Assistant Schools Accredited Schools, Entry Points, Course Outline and More

PTA Schools

PTA Schools

By and by, people from every corner of the world are realizing the great need to have Physical Therapy Assistants in healthcare centers.

Responding well to the marked increase in demand for PTA specialists, many training centers have started offering online Physical Therapy Assistant programs and opening up more branches. However, not many people are aware of the implication of this trend since the courses are not directly named after their respective area of specialization.

Ideally, a good number of candidates interested in PTA are not aware that courses like Associate of Science in Allied-Health and Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant actually leads to acquisition of a certificate and license in Physical Therapy Assistance Practice.

Other courses which also lead to acquisition of similar accreditation are:
-Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
-Associate of Science in Physical Therapy Assisting
-BSc. in Biology – Physical Therapy
-BSc. in Health Science

Accredited Physical Therapy Assistant Schools
In the recent past, accessing education programs from overseas was not an easy task; thanks to the new turn that has made online programs a major breakthrough and a good solace point for a vast majority that only long distance learning can work for them.

As long as one has the necessary qualifications, pursuing an Associate or a Bachelors Degree from the comfort of one’s home has become quite easy. Nevertheless, any program that relates to human health attracts tight regulations and thus choosing a school that is accredited by the National Board is always worthwhile.

The list below outlines some of the well known accredited Physical Therapy Assistant Schools:
-PIMA Medical Institute
-Keiser University
-Penn Foster Career School
-Grand Canyon University
-Kaplan University
-Ashworth College

This list however only picks some of the most prominent schools that offer courses leading to PTA accreditation. Anyone who plans to pursue a program leading to Physical Therapy Accreditation whether through an online mode or through Campus attendance should always evaluate if his or her center of choice is accredited.

Learning from an accredited physical therapy assistant school guarantees quality training, easy accusation of a license of practice and easy credit transfers when need be.

Entry Point Benchmark
Any candidate interested in enrolling for Physical Therapy Assistant course must at least have a grade C pass in English, Physics, Math and Biology since these are the subjects that form the basis of the program.

Physical Therapy Assistant Course Outline

PTA’s course outline may vary from one institution to another based on the emphasis that the institution puts in offering additional training alongside PTA training, such as medical assistance and clerical training.

However, there are a number of courses that are considered to be mandatory for any course leading to acquisition of an Associate or a Bachelors Degree in Physical Therapy Assistant. These courses include Medical Terminology, Anatomy and Physiology, Math and Physics application, Kinesiology, Clinical Practice and more specific Physical Therapy units.

The institutions additionally define the number of hours that one must attend and also sets the minimum credit scores to be garnered before being awarded a certificate of completion.

Job Opportunities for Physical Therapy Assistant Graduate

Most of PTA graduates get absorbed in hospitals, clinics, homecare units, in private medical care units and in sports centers.

Their major roles include helping patients recovering from ailments and physical injuries e.g. fractures and frozen shoulder conditions, assisting children experiencing developmental delays, assisting the elderly keep fit, conducting hydrotherapy and treating sports-related physical complications. And even though many people are joining this field, the demand for PTA practitioners still remains quite high.