Physical Therapist Assistants: Salary, Job Description, How To Be One and More

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Physical Therapist Assistants jobs information
pros and cons of being a Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistants

Other names for this job might include Certified Physical Therapist Assistant (CPTA), Home Health Physical Therapist Assistant, Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (LPTA), Outpatient Physical Therapist Assistant, Per Diem Physical Therapist Assistant (Per Diem PTA), Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), Physical Therapist Assistant and Nurse Aide, Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), Physical Therapy Technician (Physical Therapy Tech), Physiotherapy Assistant


  • $55250
    Salary
  • 82%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

A



Physical Therapist Assistants: Know It All In 1 Minute


In this career summary, you will find out what the job of A Physical Therapist Assistant is about and what it is like.

After reading this, you will have a good idea on what the job is about and decide if this is the right career for you.



Job description

Physical Therapist Assistants assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Generally requires formal training.

  • Instruct, motivate, safeguard, and assist patients as they practice exercises or functional activities.
  • Observe patients during treatments to compile and evaluate data on their responses and progress and provide results to physical therapist in person or through progress notes.
  • Confer with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, or coordinating treatment.
  • Administer active or passive manual therapeutic exercises, therapeutic massage, aquatic physical therapy, or heat, light, sound, or electrical modality treatments, such as ultrasound.

Read more about what does A Physical Therapist Assistant really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Become one

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Salary

Average salary
$55250 per year

Hourly wage
$26.56 an hour


Physical Therapist Assistants with little to no experience tend to make between $32640 and $44070 while the more experienced ones make over $65920 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
TX$35.01$72820
AK$30.63$63720
CA$30.11$62630
NJ$30.04$62490
FL$29.62$61610

1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as A Physical Therapist Assistant is to move to a higher paying state like TX. Right now, the highest paying states for Physical Therapist Assistants are TX, AK, CA, NJ and FL.

However a higher pay at TX doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at TX might be 2x higher than where you are currently at now.

3 other factors that can increase your salary as A Physical Therapist Assistant is the degree you hold, the industry you work in and lastly the company you work for (bigger companies like the Fortune 500 companies tend to pay more).

Find out how much do successful Physical Therapist Assistants make and if their salary is high when compared to all the other careers.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)

We asked other Physical Therapist Assistants what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Associates degree followed by Bachelors degree.

Other than that we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Physical Therapy Technician/Assistant

Another popular question from our readers is what makes A Physical Therapist Assistant successful or would they be good in this career.

Well, we found that most successful Physical Therapist Assistants have these 5 skillsets.

Active Listening
Speaking
Monitoring
Social Perceptiveness
Service Orientation

In addition to that, 1 common characteristic among successful Physical Therapist Assistants is they are good at Concern for Others. Here are the top 5 common characteristics.

Concern for Others
Integrity
Dependability
Cooperation
Attention to Detail
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Read more about what it really takes to become A Physical Therapist Assistant and the degree, training and education you need


Pros and Cons

Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t choose A Physical Therapist Assistant as your career.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Suitable for people who values relationships between coworkers and customers and wants to work in a friendly noncompetitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous workrelated skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
One of the fastest growing careers
Normal working hours (40 hours per week)
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs


There will be pros and cons for all jobs. The point is how much do the pros outweigh the cons to you.

A pro to you might be a con to Bob. A pro to Bob might be a con to you. We suggest reading about this career framework that can help you to find out what type of careers are right for you.



What is the job like

Job satisfaction
82%

Is this job meaningful
86%


Working hours
40 hours per week

Working schedule
Regular (Set schedule and routine)


On a normal working week Physical Therapist Assistants work 40 hours per week.

82% of Physical Therapist Assistants said they were satisfied with their job and 86% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Helpers and The Builders


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.



How we can help

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Rank: B+
Salary: $43420

They care for ill, injured, or convalescing patients or persons with disabilities in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, private homes, group homes, and similar institutions. May work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Licensing required.
Rank: A
Salary: $57260

They assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments. Generally requires formal training.
Rank: C+
Salary: $31220

They perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.
Rank: A
Salary: $69790

They assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required.
Rank: C
Salary: $35160

They care for individuals with mental or emotional conditions or disabilities, following the instructions of physicians or other health practitioners. Monitor patients’ physical and emotional well-being and report to medical staff. May participate in rehabilitation and treatment programs, help with personal hygiene, and administer oral or injectable medications.






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Career type

Healthcare and Medical
Therapeutic Services

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Job Description
Salary
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Is This Right For Me

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Related to Physical Therapist Assistants Career Information

Physical Therapist Assistants job description, Physical Therapist Assistants salary, Physical Therapist Assistants information, what is the job of a Physical Therapist Assistant like, pros and cons about Physical Therapist Assistants, colleges and universities for Physical Therapist Assistants, is Physical Therapist Assistants the right career for me, Medium careers to get into, careers in Healthcare and Medical

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/healthcare/physical-therapist-assistants-and-aides.htm
http://www.apta.org/
http://www.capteonline.org/home.aspx
https://www.fsbpt.org/

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Physical Therapist Assistants
Written by: Stanley Tan
Physical Therapist Assistants assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Generally requires formal training.
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