Physical therapists help patients improve their mobility and their ability to perform daily tasks, as well as helping to reducing pain. Physical therapy is often part of the recovery process after a patient has suffered an illness or injury. A physical therapist will evaluate a patient’s condition and assign exercises, stretches, or the use of equipment to help the patient recover.
Physical therapy assistants they lead patients through exercises, instruct patients on how to use equipment, and track patients’ progress. They also educate patients on how to avoid further injuries and improve quality of life.
Annual salaries for physical therapy assistants will vary depending on your experience, education level, and expertise. In 2013, the average annual salary for physical therapy assistants working in the U.S. was $53,320 per year.
For more information on what parts of the country have the most opportunity for physical therapy assistants, click through to our Best Places to Work tab for information on the number of people employed and the average salary in each state.
Texas leads the nation in employment for physical therapy assistants, with 5,300 making an average yearly salary of $68,730. Ohio is second in the United States in employment, where 4,940 physical therapy assistants make an average salary of $56,480.
The metro areas employing the most physical therapy assistants are:
The metro areas employing the highest concentration of physical therapy assistants are:
The metro areas employing the best-paid physical therapy assistants are:
Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career as a physical therapy assistant. The associated information has been gathered from Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.
It’s a skilled job where your role is to help people. Take a look at some of the reasons to become a physical therapy assistant:
A physical therapy assistant needs a strong working knowledge of the practice of physical therapy, particularly exercises and other treatments. As they help patients with activities and exercises, they need excellent people skills. A working knowledge of these skill sets will help to set you apart from other candidates.
Feel like you’ve got a lot to learn? Get more information about physical therapy assistant careers, degrees, and applicable courses from one of the schools below.
Usually, you need an associate’s degree in physical therapy assisting. Many physical therapy assistant candidates also do volunteer work in health to make themselves more employable. Nursing facilities and physical therapists’ offices may offer volunteering opportunities.
Today, there are about 160 accredited physical therapy assistant programs. These programs can take anywhere from one to two years of full-time study to complete, and usually feature coursework on topics such as anatomy and physiology, psychology, kinesiology, and some math. You also often learn CPR and first aid.
Currently, every state except Hawaii requires physical therapy assistants to hold a license, which usually involves passing an exam. The license may also require a background check.