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All About Physical Therapist Aides

Example of a Physical Therapist Aide Job Under close supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, perform only delegated, selected, or routine tasks in specific situations. These duties include preparing the patient and the treatment area.

Physical Therapist Aide Responsibilities

  • Confer with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, or coordinating treatment.
  • Fit patients for orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices, adjusting fit as needed.
  • Measure patient’s range-of-joint motion, body parts, or vital signs to determine effects of treatments or for patient evaluations.
  • Transport patients to and from treatment areas, using wheelchairs or providing standing support.
  • Schedule patient appointments with physical therapists and coordinate therapists’ schedules.
  • Assist patients to dress, undress, or put on and remove supportive devices, such as braces, splints, or slings.

What Every Physical Therapist Aide Should Know

When polled, Physical Therapist Aides say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Types of Physical Therapist Aides

  • Physical Therapy Attendant
  • Therapy Aide
  • Physical Therapy Aide (PTA)
  • Restorative Aide (RA)
  • Physiotherapy Aide

Are There Job Opportunities for Physical Therapist Aides?

There were about 52,000 jobs for Physical Therapist Aides in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 29.4% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 15,300 new jobs for Physical Therapist Aides by 2026. There will be an estimated 8,500 positions for Physical Therapist Aide per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Physical Therapist Aides in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Physical Therapist Aides are California, Texas, and New York.

Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Maine, or South Dakota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Physical Therapist Aide Salary

The average yearly salary of a Physical Therapist Aide ranges between $20,040 and $39,230. A Physical Therapist Aide median salary is $26,240.

Salary Ranges for Physical Therapist Aides

How much do Physical Therapist Aides make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Alaska

$46,230

Idaho

$39,120

Minnesota

$37,230

Rhode Island

$33,960

Vermont

$33,900

Massachusetts

$33,740

North Dakota

$33,350

New Hampshire

$32,820

Colorado

$32,240

Illinois

$31,100

California

$31,090

Connecticut

$30,980

Maine

$30,690

District of Columbia

$30,520

Wisconsin

$30,460

South Carolina

$30,440

New York

$30,230

Oregon

$30,200

Hawaii

$30,050

Washington

$29,870

Indiana

$29,450

Pennsylvania

$29,450

Missouri

$28,940

South Dakota

$28,810

Arizona

$28,360

Montana

$28,320

New Mexico

$28,210

Ohio

$28,210

Virginia

$28,110

Nebraska

$28,000

Michigan

$27,810

North Carolina

$27,780

Louisiana

$27,620

Iowa

$27,580

Kansas

$27,490

New Jersey

$27,480

Georgia

$27,270

Florida

$27,160

Texas

$26,810

Kentucky

$26,320

Alabama

$26,190

Wyoming

$26,080

Delaware

$26,050

Nevada

$26,000

Maryland

$25,980

Tennessee

$25,740

Arkansas

$25,650

West Virginia

$25,620

Mississippi

$22,870

Utah

$22,860

Oklahoma

$21,610

Tools & Technologies Used by Physical Therapist Aides

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Physical Therapist Aides:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • MEDITECH software
  • Epic Systems
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Medical procedure coding software
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Word

Becoming a Physical Therapist Aide

Are there Physical Therapist Aide education requirements?

Physical Therapist Aide Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become Physical Therapist Aide?

Physical Therapist Aide Work Experience

Where do Physical Therapist Aides Work?

Physical Therapist Aide Sectors

Those thinking about becoming Physical Therapist Aides might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

Career changers with experience as a Physical Therapist Aide sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

  • Pharmacy Technicians

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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