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Posted By: SABER College | Posted In: Professional Nursing | July 4, 2022
physical therapist assistant

You’ve searched high and low on the Internet to find the best physical therapist assistant schools, but you’re still overwhelmed with information. Maybe you have even looked at a few sites like ours but are looking for more information about what physical therapist assistants do.

A physical therapist assistant (PTA) is an allied health professional working under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. This assistant may have similar responsibilities as a physical therapist, but they don’t have to be approved. They can perform treatments and procedures delegated by a licensed PT under their direction to provide additional treatment.

A Physical therapist assistant may be responsible for the following: 

  • Explaining treatment plans and instructions to patients
  • Assisting patients with exercises
  • Measuring range of motion and muscle strength, as well as movement patterns
  • Helping patients with transfers and positioning for treatments
  • Performing therapeutic exercises with patients
  • Providing education and counseling to patients and family members
  • Performing diagnostic tests such as range-of-motion tests, gait analysis and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) testing
  • Assisting with procedures such as electrotherapy, ultrasound therapy and therapeutic exercises
  • Supervising patients during exercise sessions 

Physical Therapist Assistant Salary

Becoming a physical therapist assistant is one of the best ways to get into the healthcare industry. The job offers a chance to make a difference in people’s lives while earning a decent salary. 

If you’re considering becoming a physical therapist assistant, you may be curious about the salary and job opportunities for this profession. Physical therapist assistants may expect to make about $49,180 per year or $23.64 per hour as of 2021, depending on their experience and location.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2021 there were 140,500 physical therapist assistants employed in the United States.

Job Outlook for PTAs

The BLS expects 32% growth from 2020-2030 for this occupation. This is faster than the national average for all occupations during the same time.. This is faster than the average for all occupations.

Physical therapists and other healthcare workers are in demand as the population ages and because many people with chronic conditions want to stay out of nursing homes as long as possible. The demand for physical therapy services is expected to grow at a rate that’s faster than average because of an aging population and increased awareness of the importance of exercise and physical activity in maintaining health.

Education Overview for PTA

 Physical therapist assistants are the support staff of physical therapists, providing them with assistance with their patients’ care. They help with a wide range of treatments, including massages, hydrotherapy and other modalities, patient transfers, and general physical therapy tasks.

Physical therapist assistants can be certified through several organizations, including the National Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics (NBCOT) and the Board for Orthotic Certification (BOC). The NBCOT certification is for those who wish to work with orthotics and prosthetics; the BOC certification is for those who wish to work with orthotics only. Both certifications require a minimum of an associate’s degree from an accredited program.

Physical therapist assistants must also pass criminal background checks before they can be licensed by a state board of occupational licensing. Requirements vary by state, but most have minimum age requirements, as well as education requirements that include at least 60 semester hours at an accredited institution of higher education.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Needed

A physical therapist assistant is an entry-level position in the field of physical therapy. They perform a variety of tasks to assist their supervising physical therapist in providing treatment and rehabilitation services to patients.

To become a physical therapist assistant, you will need to complete formal training at a post-secondary education institution.

Physical therapist assistants are responsible for assisting physical therapists in their work with patients. They must be able to provide treatment and support, and they must possess a number of specific knowledge and skills, including:

  • An understanding of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics
  • A working knowledge of laws governing the practice of physical therapy
  • The ability to perform manual movements with patients
  • An understanding of the principles of exercise therapy
  • The ability to instruct patients on proper use of equipment or other assistive devices
How to Become a PTA

Becoming a physical therapist assistant is a great career choice for people who want to get into in the healthcare field, but don’t want to go into medical school. Practicing as a physical therapist assistant is also a great way to get your foot in the door with large companies, because it gives you the opportunity to gain experience and build a relationship with management.

But how do you actually become a physical therapist assistant? It’s quite simple! Here are some things to consider:

1) Education requirements: Most states require that you have an associate degree before being able to practice as a physical therapist assistant. However, there are some states where only having a high school diploma will suffice.

2) Licensing requirements: All states require that you pass an exam in order to become licensed as a physical therapist assistant. This includes passing both written and clinical exams. Some states will also require you to take continuing education courses throughout your career in order to maintain your license.

3) Experience requirements: There are no required experience requirements for becoming licensed as a PTA.

A PTA career is rewarding and in-demand.

A PTA career can be rewarding. For those who want a stable future, this might just be the perfect fit.

Overall, the benefits of a physical therapist assistant career are extremely favorable and plentiful. The demand for physical therapist assistants rising in coming years. So, we can expect to see even more opportunities open up. Are you thinking about going into a healthcare profession and want to learn more? A physical therapist assistant career is definitely one to consider seriously.

SABER College can help get you on your way to becoming a physical therapist assistant!