|Quick Facts: Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides|
|2012 Median Pay||
$39,430 per year
$18.96 per hour
|Entry-Level Education||See How to Become One|
|Work Experience in a Related Occupation||None|
|On-the-job Training||See How to Become One|
|Number of Jobs, 2012||121,400|
|Job Outlook, 2012-22||41% (Much faster than average)|
|Employment Change, 2012-22||49,400|
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.
Most states require physical therapist assistants to have an associate’s degree from an accredited physical therapist assistant program. Physical therapist aides generally have a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training.
In May 2012, the median annual wage for physical therapist assistants was $52,160. The median annual wage for physical therapist aides was $23,880 in May 2012.
Employment of physical therapist assistants and aides is projected to grow 41 percent from 2012 to 2022, 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 growing rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of physical therapist assistants and aides with similar occupations.
Learn more about physical therapist assistants and aides by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.