How To Become A Physical Therapist Assistant

How To Become A Physical Therapist Assistant

A physical therapy assistant is often referred to as a PTA. This field works with people from all walks of life in order to help them learn how to a number of physical activities on their own again. In short, this is a great career for those who want to make a difference by helping people regain their independence and mobility.

Why Become A Physical Therapy Assistant

Becoming a physical therapy assistant takes less education than becoming a physical therapist, but it offers many of the same emotional and professional rewards. They are an integral part in the recovery of patients. This field includes patient treatment and education. A physical therapy assistant can change the life of a patient.

Physical Therapy Assistant Work Environment

Physical therapy assistants usually work full time. Some work on weekends or during the evening. Schedule is dependent upon the hiring facility.

Physical therapy assistants work under the supervision of physical therapists. They may work indoors or outdoors depending on need. Physical therapy assistants often work directly with patients in the plan of care. They often help a physical therapist keep the office running in a smooth and efficient manner.

Physical therapy assistants can be employed in a wide variety of offices. In addition to working in the office of a physical therapist, PTAs can be found in therapy centers that offer occupational therapy, hospitals, nursing care facilities, and working in a doctor’s office. Hospitals and outpatient orthopedic clinics will offer more jobs for PTAs.

This job is physically demanding. You will spend a lot of time standing, lifting, and supporting the weight of patients. It is important that you understand the importance of minimizing the risk of back injuries to yourself in this field.

Physical Therapy Assistant Salary

Median salary for physical therapy assistants was reported to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the amount of $52,160.00. Salary can depend on factors such as experience and the size of the facility. Smaller facilities may pay less, but offer other benefits such as a flexible or alternative schedule.

Average Physical Therapist Assistant Salary

Physical Therapist Assistant Salary By State

Rank State Hourly Rate Annual Salary
#1 Texas $34.51 $71,780
#2 New Jersey $30.88 $64,230
#3 California $30.61 $63,680
#4 Florida $30.16 $62,730
#5 Connecticut $29.58 $61,530
#6 Massachusetts $28.95 $60,210
#7 South Carolina $28.88 $60,080
#8 North Carolina $28.31 $58,880
#9 Delaware $28.28 $58,820
#10 Washington $28.26 $58,770
#11 Nevada $27.98 $58,210
#12 Ohio $27.92 $58,080
#13 Maryland $27.73 $57,670
#14 Arkansas $27.60 $57,410
#15 Oklahoma $27.40 $57,000
#16 Tennessee $27.34 $56,870
#17 New Hampshire $27.27 $56,730
#18 Alaska $27.24 $56,660
#19 Oregon $27.11 $56,380
#20 Georgia $27.07 $56,310
#21 Illinois $27.03 $56,220
#22 Indiana $26.90 $55,950
#23 Rhode Island $26.47 $55,050
#24 Virginia $26.44 $54,990
#25 Kentucky $25.99 $54,060
#26 Alabama $25.92 $53,910
#27 New York $25.71 $53,470
#28 Colorado $25.58 $53,220
#29 Minnesota $25.31 $52,640
#30 Vermont $25.06 $52,120
#31 Kansas $24.98 $51,960
#32 Wyoming $24.78 $51,540
#33 Pennsylvania $24.45 $50,850
#34 Missouri $24.44 $50,840
#35 Michigan $24.35 $50,640
#36 West Virginia $24.23 $50,390
#37 Utah $24.18 $50,300
#38 Wisconsin $24.16 $50,250
#39 Maine $23.94 $49,800
#40 New Mexico $23.63 $49,160
#41 Arizona $23.21 $48,290
#42 Mississippi $22.91 $47,650
#43 Nebraska $22.87 $47,560
#44 North Dakota $22.86 $47,560
#45 Montana $22.52 $46,840
#46 Iowa $22.45 $46,690
#47 District of Columbia $22.41 $46,610
#48 Louisiana $22.14 $46,060
#49 Idaho $21.47 $44,650
#50 Hawaii $20.39 $42,400
#51 South Dakota $18.64 $38,770
#52 Puerto Rico $11.44 $23,790

Physical Therapy Assistant Career Outlook

This field is expected to grow fast during the next ten years. The increased need for physical therapy assistants is due to the aging baby boom generation. Thanks to the drive and skill of the professionals involved in physical therapy, older individuals experience the treasure of living independently.

Physical therapy assistants often work with younger people for occupational and recovery needs. They also work with people who experience chronic health problems. This helps patients maintain their mobility and independence.

Physical therapy assistants also help keep health care costs down. There are many tasks that can be performed by a PTA. This reduces the cost of physical therapy services and physical therapists are reserved for more serious and acute matters while supervising the PTA in treatment of other patients.

Physical Therapy Assistant Degree

Competition in this field is expected to increase. It’s important to know the state regulations that involve physical therapy assistants. Some states require a two year degree to become a physical therapy assistant. Some states do not have this qualification. In those states most individuals have a high school diploma and receive on the job training. Additionally, all states except Hawaii require that a physical therapy assistant become licensed or certified.

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