The average annual salary of a physical therapist assistant (PTA) is around $58,720 per year. This salary is 33 percent lower than the salary of a physical therapist (PT). As a PTA, you can earn around $4,893 per month. You can expect around $1,129 per week and around $28.23 per hour. The salary of a certified PTA is around $38,520 per year. So, your average monthly salary will be around $3,210 and $18.52 per hour.

Physical Therapist Assistant Job Description

By working as a part of a team, PT assistants provide services under the supervision and direction of a physical therapist. The PTAs are mainly responsible for assisting physical therapists in helping patients recovering from illnesses, surgeries and injuries. They help patients to regain movement and manage pain. Physical therapy is becoming very popular among patients treated for lower back pain, arthritis, heart diseases and injuries due to accidents. PTAs need to do a variety of interventions such as wound management, use of adaptive equipment, functional training in both work reintegration and self-care, therapeutic exercises, etc. They help patients with therapy and instruction including massage, ultrasound, balance coordination and stimulation tools. They record reactions of patients, outcomes and progress in reports to a PT. They also need to help patients with devices such as leg braces or crutches.

How to Become A Physical Therapist Assistant?

physical therapist assistant

If you want to become a licensed PT assistant, you need to complete a 2-year degree program, which is approved by CAPTE (Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education). PTA associate degree programs focus on classroom studies and clinical physical therapy education. Courses may include topics such as medical terminology, kinesiology, anatomy, pathology, therapy exercises and physical therapy assistance techniques. You must have a state license or certification to work in all states except Hawaii and Colorado. Different state follows different eligibility criteria. However, you need to complete an approved degree program and a state administered exam or National Physical Therapy Exam. In order to maintain certification, you need to acquire continuing education credits.

Duties of Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapy assistants help PTs in rehab centers, clinics, outpatient centers, offices, research centers, education centers, hospitals, industrial places, sports training facilities, schools and extended care facilities. The major duties of these professionals are:

* Measure motor functions of patients
* Record muscle performance and strength
* Use and care for prostheses or braces
* Help patients with devices and equipment like walkers
* Treat patients with varieties of techniques like massage and stretching
* Assist patients in doing specific exercises
* Evaluate the capability of patients to do independently
* Observe patients and write progress reports
* Teach patients and family members regarding what to do at home after treatment
* Educate patients on doing exercises properly to improve mobility and strengthen muscles
* Use ultrasound and electrical stimulation

How Much Does a Physical Therapist Assistant Can Make?

The median salary of PT assistant is estimated around $52,320 per year. These professionals can make around $25.15 per hour.

Physical Therapist Assistant Salary in USA

Physical therapist assistant salary is highly competitive in the US and it is higher than the other similar healthcare jobs’ salaries. You can earn around $30 or higher per hour if you are employed in home healthcare services, employment services, nursing care services, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, and continuing care retirement communities. Two years back, the median annual salary of PT assistant was $49,690 per year. However, after two years, the salary has increased to $52,160 per year. So, just within a couple of years, the salary has increased up to 5%. So, these professionals can expect good salary increment in the coming years as well. However, do not think that all physical therapist assistants are earning the same income. Your salary is influenced by various factors such as training, experience, location and industry.

Physical Therapist Assistant Salary by State

Physical therapist assistants get the best payment from Texas. The average annual income prevailing in this state is around $69,870 per year. This is 19% higher than the median salary of PT assistants. Here is an evaluation of PTA salaries prevailing in a few states in the US.

* Texas : $69,870
* Nevada : $65,430
* New Jersey : $63,880
* California : $63,820
* Connecticut : $61,870
* Florida : $61,590
* Delaware : $60,710
* Alaska : $60,260
* Kansas : $60,090
* District of Columbia : $59,990

Physical Therapist Assistant Salary in Canada

Average hourly wages of PTA in Canada is around C$14.45. You can make higher salary if you are highly skilled. You may not get much hike in your salary even if you have years of experience in this field. If you are working in Canada, you are eligible for getting C$1,982 as bonus. By calculating all the benefits together, a physical therapist assistant can expect around C$23,471-C$47,126 per year.

Physical Therapist Assistant Salary in UK

Starting salary of PT assistant who work in UK ranges from £15,000-£18,000 per year. Senior PTA can earn around £22,000 per year. If you are highly skilled and experienced, you can earn more. If you are working in London, you can earn around £44,690 per year. Salary prevailing in South West is around £35,670 per year. Professionals who work in Scotland can earn around £34,850 per year.

Physical Therapist Assistant Salary in Australia

Hourly wage of PT assistants who work in Australia is around AU$17.56. If you have a few years of experience, you can earn around AU$24.68 per hour. The average salary of PTAs ranges from AU$35,494-AU$51,232 per year. Around 50 percent professionals earn around AU$61,170 per year. If you are highly experienced, you can earn around AU$82,158 per year. Besides, you are eligible for getting around AU$5,847 as bonus and between AU$503 to AU$32,779 as commission. By calculating all the benefits, your total income may ranges from AU$48,019-AU$89,081 per year.

Physical Therapist Assistant Job Outlook

Physical therapist assistance is a fastest growing profession in healthcare industry and the projected growth of this occupation is 41 percent between 2012 to 2022. At present, the US needs around 29,300 new PT assistants per year. Physical therapy is rapidly becoming an effective alternative treatment. So, people prefer to adopt this treatment option than the traditional medical treatment. Baby boomers age is also increasing and they need the service of PT assistants substantially. This tendency also increases the demand for these professionals. Increase in senior population is the other factor that influences the increasing demand for PTAs. Cost of hiring physical therapists is very high. So, lots of people prefer to hire PTAs. Advancements in medical technology is the other major factor that contributes the demand for physical therapist assistants.