Physical Therapist Assistants: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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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.

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Average salary
$57750 per year

Average hourly wage
$28 per hour

Physical Therapist Assistants with little to no experience tend to make between $33780 and $46800 while the more experienced ones can earn over $68700 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
TX $34 $69,890
NJ $33 $68,000
CT $32 $65,810
CA $31 $64,210
MA $31 $64,180

One 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, NJ, CT, CA and MA.

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

Three 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.


Recommended degree level
Associate’s degree

We asked other Physical Therapist Assistants what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had an Associate’s Degree followed by a Bachelor’s 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
Read more about how to become a Physical Therapist Assistant and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Physical Therapist Assistant.

Suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
One of the fastest growing careers
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

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.

Learn more about Physical Therapist Assistants

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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, careers in Healthcare and Medical

Similar careers

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

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