The information below is for those who are interested in becoming a physical therapist assistant. We will show how this can be done and why the job is growing and is a great choice for an allied health career!

Bls.gov shows a 30% for physical therapy assistants (PTA). This is a great growth percentage!! We will cover salary details and job information later in the article.

Lets get started on describing the field as a whole and showing you the steps and details for becoming a PTA!

What does a Physical Therapist Assistant do?

PTs or Physical Therapists assist the sick and injured to improve movements and manage overall ans specific pain. The are integral to treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of injuries and chronic conditions.

(PTAs) Physical therapist assistants work directly for and under the supervision of physical therapists. They do a vast array of duties. Be it assisting the patient in an exercise or movement, setting up an area or facility or clerical work they are the “Jack of all Trades” in the physical therapy environment. This is key to growing from a PTA to possibly becoming a PT.

Below we get in to much more detail about the specific duties of the jobs.

Core Duties of a Physical Therapy Assistant

Below are the most common tasks for physical therapy assistants.

Observe patients before, during, and after therapy, noting status to PT.
Help patients with exercises
Treat patients (massage, stretches)
Use equipment to help patients
Educate patients and their families about what to do after patient treatment
Clean treatment areas/set up any necessary therapy equipment
Assists patients moving to or from therapy area if it is needed
Wash all linens
Clerical duties

What is the process to become a Physical Therapist Assistant?

The four core steps to becoming a PTA are detailed below. From start to finish! Lets get started!

STEP 1 – Have Your High School Diploma

The first step to being eligible to become a physical therapy assistant you need to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

STEP 2 – Enroll in to a Physical Therapy Assisting Program

All PTAs need to have an associates degree from an accredited program. Below is a link to all the accredited PTA programs. The Commission of Accredidation in Physical Therapy Education has a database of accredited programs with an interactive map that will help you find a progam near you. Use the link below.

Accredited PTA Programs

PTA Programs are usually about 2 years in length. Your coursework will include English, anatomy, physiology, algebra and even psychology. Assistants will in most cases also get hands-on training with supervised clinical work. (CPR), basic life support (BLS), and other first-aid skills are also taught with certifications being available for each.

 

Step 3 – Pass the National Physical Therapy Assistant Exam

All states require certification for their physical therapy assistants. The exam is given at a national level by the Federation of State Boards of Phyical Therapy.

Step 4 – Get your Physical Therapy Certification

After successfully passing the certification exam you may have to pass a background check in most states. Once you have done that you will have all you need for PTA certification!

About Physical Therapist Assistant Salary

Physical therapy assisting is growing at a wonderful rate of 30%! This is a great rate of growth for the field as a whole. Bls.gov has many statistics that back this up below.

What is the average salary for a Physical Therapist Assistant?

According to bls.gov the average salary is $46,920 per year and hourly pay is $22.56 per hour.

PTA salary by state

State NameEmploymentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wageEmployment per 1,000 jobs
Alabama189026.45550200.983
Alaska-29.4061150-
Arizona140026.48550700.516
Arkansas101027.17565100.841
California512029.22607800.307
Colorado127025.37527800.498
Connecticut68029.55614700.412
Delaware35027.47571400.799
Florida588030.15627100.698
Georgia217025.95539800.503
Hawaii21026.90559600.333
Idaho36021.12439200.524
Illinois468027.77577500.789
Indiana284026.83558000.942
Iowa98022.88475900.639
Kansas121025.50530400.884
Kentucky168026.05541800.896
Louisiana153022.73472700.803
Maine28024.50509600.462
Maryland152028.15585400.571
Massachusetts272030.00624000.770
Michigan387025.77536100.904
Minnesota141025.65533500.497
Mississippi93023.27484000.834
Missouri220025.64533300.789
Montana16022.32464300.342
Nebraska79021.59449200.817
Nevada63030.40632300.480
New Hampshire43028.54593600.669
New Jersey143032.69679900.356
New Mexico48023.67492300.598
New York432026.57552600.469
North Carolina279028.38590300.648
North Dakota14022.61470200.343
Ohio590028.04583301.099
Oklahoma132029.50613500.842
Oregon75028.58594400.409
Pennsylvania518025.05521000.895
Rhode Island27029.54614500.567
South Carolina129026.87559000.643
South Dakota25019.75410800.595
Tennessee282028.02582800.967
Texas724033.87704500.609
Utah71024.99519900.504
Vermont19025.36527400.619
Virginia265028.60595000.700
Washington129027.60574200.404
West Virginia74023.81495201.070
Wisconsin164024.87517300.581
Wyoming17025.46529500.629

Source: www.bls.gov

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