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Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides

Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides
Quick Facts : Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides*
2010 Median Pay$37,710
Entry Level Education
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012114,400
Job Outlook45% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change51,100


Both physical therapist assistants and physical therapist aides work under the direction of physical therapists. They help patients who are recovering from injuries, illnesses, and surgery regain movement and manage pain. Physical therapist assistants are involved in the direct care of patients while physical therapist aides often do tasks that are indirectly related to patient care.

What Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides Do

  • Observe patients before and during therapy, noting their status and reporting to a physical therapist
  • Use a variety of techniques, such as massage and stretching, to treat patients
  • Educate a patient and family members about what to do after treatment
  • Help patients move to or from a therapy area
  • Do clerical tasks, such as answering phones or helping patients with insurance paperwork

Work Environment

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.
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Job Outlook

Employment of physical therapist assistants is expected to increase 46 percent and 43 percent for physical therapist aides from 2010 to 2020.
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Pay

The average salary of physical therapist assistants was $49,690 in May 2010.
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Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides

37710

Healthcare Occupations

58203.2

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides*
Percent Change in Employment

Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides

44.6678

Healthcare Occupations

25.417691284418105

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides

Most states require physical therapist assistants to have an associate's degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Physical therapist aides usually have a high school diploma and get on-the-job training. Many physical therapist assistants and aides continue their formal education to qualify for jobs in administration, management, and education.
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