What Does it Take to Be a Physical Therapist Assistant?
Occupation Description Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Generally requires formal training.
List of Physical Therapist Assistant Job Duties
- Assist patients to dress, undress, or put on and remove supportive devices, such as braces, splints, or slings.
- Prepare treatment areas and electrotherapy equipment for use by physiotherapists.
- Perform clerical duties, such as taking inventory, ordering supplies, answering telephone, taking messages, or filling out forms.
- Monitor operation of equipment and record use of equipment and administration of treatment.
- Clean work area and check and store equipment after treatment.
- Observe patients during treatments to compile and evaluate data on their responses and progress and provide results to physical therapist in person or through progress notes.
Physical Therapist Assistant Needed Skills
Physical Therapist Assistants state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
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.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Other Physical Therapist Assistant Job Titles
- Per Diem Physical Therapist Assistant (Per Diem PTA)
- Physical Therapist Assistant and Nurse Aide
- Certified Physical Therapist Assistant (CPTA)
- Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA)
- Physical Therapy Technician (Physical Therapy Tech)
What Kind of Physical Therapist Assistant Job Opportunities Are There?
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 88,300 jobs in the United States for Physical Therapist Assistant. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 31.1% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 27,500 new jobs for Physical Therapist Assistant by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 14,700 job openings in this field each year.
The states with the most job growth for Physical Therapist Assistant are Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Kansas, or District of Columbia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Physical Therapist Assistant Salary
The salary for Physical Therapist Assistants ranges between about $33,780 and $79,810 a year.
Physical Therapist Assistants who work in Texas, New Jersey, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.
How much do Physical Therapist Assistants make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$40,920|
What Tools do Physical Therapist Assistants Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Physical Therapist Assistants:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft Access
- Email software
- Word processing software
- Microsoft Windows
- Spreadsheet software
- FileMaker Pro
- Scheduling software
- Medical condition coding software
- Billing software
- Accounting software
- Bookkeeping software
- Laboratory information system LIS
- SpectraSoft AppointmentsPRO
- Rehab Documentation Company ReDoc Suite
- Client caseload management software
Becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant
Individuals working as a Physical Therapist Assistant have obtained the following education levels:
How Long Does it Take to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant?
Where do Physical Therapist Assistants Work?
The table below shows the approximate number of Physical Therapist Assistants employed by various industries.
You May Also Be Interested In…
Those who work as a Physical Therapist Assistant sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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