Physical therapist assistants, sometimes called PTAs, and physical therapist aides work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. They help patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses regain movement and manage pain.
Most physical therapist assistants and aides work in physical therapists' offices or in hospitals. Physical therapist assistants and aides are frequently on their feet and moving as they set up equipment and help care for patients.
Physical therapist assistants entering the profession need an associate's degree from an accredited program. All states require physical therapist assistants to be licensed or certified. Physical therapist aides usually have a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training.
The median annual wage for physical therapist assistants and aides was $42,980 in May 2015.
Employment of physical therapist assistants and aides is projected to grow 40 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for physical therapy services is expected to increase in response to the healthcare needs of an older population and individuals with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for physical therapist assistants and aides.
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Learn more about physical therapist assistants and aides by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.