Physical Therapy Assistant Salary

Physical Therapy Assistant Salary

Physical therapy assistants, commonly referred to as PTAs, are trained medical professionals who assist physical assistants in their daily activities, and who have a median yearly salary of around $52,000 a year. However, the luckiest physical therapy assistants should expect to make as much as $70,000, while the lowest paying ones typically make less than $35,000 a year. The PTAs who work in nursing care facilities tend to earn more money than those who work for public hospitals.

Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States of America

In Alabama, these professionals get little over the national average (they make around $55,000), while in Alaska they make as much as $60,000. Also, in the state of Arkansas the physicla therapy assistants make little over $50,000, while in the states of Connecticut, Delaware and Florida they should expect a median yearly salary that typically exceeds $60,000. Last, but not least, these professionals make around $59,000 a year in the District of Columbia.

Physical Therapy Assistant Job Description

The job outlook is excellent for physical therapy assistants these days, given the fact that physical therapy itself has become an increasingly popular profession. Simply put, physical therapists are skilled professionals who treat those that suffer from heart disease, different accidents, arthritis as well as lower back pain. It is the duty of the physical therapy assistant to assist the physical therapist and to help the patient recover as quickly as possible. Sometimes, the assistant must perform different exercises to help the joints and muscles relax and become more flexible.

The assistants work closely with the physical therapists, and they also need to make sure that the patients are following the regimen and the medication treatment prescribed by the physician. It is their duty to help the physical therapist reduce the pain and improve the mobility of the patient, while preventing further injuries at the same time. These professionals can be found in extended care facilities, sports, hospitals, outpatient centers, rehabilitation centers as well as private offices and clinics.

In addition to this, the physical therapy assistant has numerous other duties and responsibilities as well, such as measuring the motor function of the patient and recording the overall muscle performance. These professionals also need to use electrical stimulation, to teach patients how to use and maintain the different artificial body parts, treat them with different stretching techniques and massage, assist them, evaluate them and write detailed reports regarding their progress, reports that will be presented to the physical therapist, later on.

How To Become A Physical Therapist Assistant?

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physical therapyPhysical therapist assistants have become very sought-after in the medical field, and they can nowadays be found virtually anywhere from hospitals and rehab centers to clinics as well as medical offices. Before becoming physical therapist assistants, it is important to know that this is a difficult career that requires a lot of physical strength for moving the heavy equipment and lifting the disabled patient – in other words, the physical therapist must be in good shape.

Generally speaking, the first thing a good physical therapy assistant should do in order to pursue a career in the field is to get an Associate’s Degree provided by a CAPTE accredited program (CAPTE stands for Commission on Accreditation in Physical Education). The training program usually lasts for two years, and it combines clinical experience with coursework and classes in anatomy, physiology, psychology and such. The clinical training is just as important as the theoretical training, given the fact that it helps physical therapy assistants gain more hands-on expertise in the field. They may need to learn how to give the first aid to patients, along with getting their CPR certification (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).


Most of the US states require their physical therapy assistants to be licensed in order to practice, but the certification is purely optional and it is obtained by passing the NPTE exam, or the National Physical Therapy Examination that is administered by the FSBPT, or the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. It is important for these professionals to apply for the license in the state where they wish to practice.

Physical Therapy Assistant Salary In Canada, Australia And The UK

In Canada, a physical therapy assistant makes around CAD$33,000, in Australia around Au$61,000 while in the United Kingdom they should expect to make between 21,000 and 40,000 pounds a year.

Verdict On Physical Therapy Assistant Salary

To conclude, physical therapy assistants get very rewarding payments these days, and the job outlook is perfect as well.

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