daily life of a Physical Therapist Assistant
are Physical Therapist Assistants happy with their job

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


Being A Physical Therapist Assistant: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Physical Therapist Assistants do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Physical Therapist Assistant or not.

Job summary

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.

We asked Physical Therapist Assistants how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


82% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 86% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical day

On a daily basis, Physical Therapist Assistants Instruct, motivate, safeguard, and assist patients as they practice exercises or functional activities. They Confer with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, or coordinating treatment.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Physical Therapist Assistant is to Measure patients’ range-of-joint motion, body parts, or vital signs to determine effects of treatments or for patient evaluations.

Some may also Secure patients into or onto therapy equipment.

In a normal work day, another thing that Physical Therapist Assistants do is they Transport patients to and from treatment areas, lifting and transferring them according to positioning requirements.

In addition to that, they Clean work area and check and store equipment after treatment..

A typical day for A Physical Therapist Assistant look like this:

Engage patients in exercises or activities.
Encourage patients during therapeutic activities.
Confer with other professionals to plan patient care.
Assess physical conditions of patients to aid in diagnosis or treatment.

We asked some Physical Therapist Assistants a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?45% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?40% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?86% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?75% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?44% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?68% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?16% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?69% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Physical Therapist Assistants do, they Fit patients for orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices, such as crutches. They might also Train patients in the use of orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Physical Therapist Assistants Monitor operation of equipment and record use of equipment and administration of treatment. and Assist patients to dress, undress, or put on and remove supportive devices, such as braces, splints, or slings.

In addition, they Administer traction to relieve neck or back pain, using intermittent or static traction equipment.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Perform postural drainage, percussions, or vibrations or teach deep breathing exercises to treat respiratory conditions.

To some Physical Therapist Assistants, it is also their responsibility to Communicate with or instruct caregivers or family members on patient therapeutic activities or treatment plans.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Fit patients for assistive devices.
Teach medical procedures or medical equipment use to patients.
Monitor medical equipment to ensure proper functioning.
Assist patients with daily activities.
Administer basic health care or medical treatments.

Working life

Working hours

40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as A Physical Therapist Assistant, you can expect to work 40 hours per week.

Do Physical Therapist Assistants work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Physical Therapist Assistants work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Physical Therapist Assistants work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


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.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

You 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.

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Career type

Healthcare and Medical
Therapeutic Services

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