Have you found yourself wondering “how much does a physical therapist assistant make”? You’ve come to the right place.
Becoming a physical therapist assistant (PTA) can be a rewarding career if you enjoy working one-on-one with patients and seek to make a difference in others’ lives. Physical therapist assistants work closely with physical therapists to develop physical therapy plans and provide therapies tailored around the patient’s injury or disability. By working as a physical therapist assistant, you can help your patients recover from injuries, manage pain, and ultimately live healthier lives.
Understanding “how much does a physical therapist assistant make”
So, exactly how much does a physical therapist assistant make? The job outlook for PTAs is excellence. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of PTAs to grow 35% from 2020 to 2030, due to the aging population in the U.S. and the increased need for patient healthcare. The salary for a physical therapist assistant varies based on education, work setting, and state of residence. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for physical therapist assistants was $60,740 per year. Physical therapist assistants working in home health care settings experience the largest salary average at $75,130 per year, followed by PTAs that work in nursing care facilities, who make $69,890 on average per year. PTAs working in physicians offices or offices of other healthcare practitioners typically experienced the lowest salaries in the field. In addition, Florida experiences some of the highest wages for PTAs in the country, with average mean wage ranging from $61,090 to $73,150 per year.
What do physical therapist assistants do?
Physical therapist assistants perform a range of duties centered around patient care. Duties include:
- Assist physical therapists in providing patient care, including administering physical therapy treatments
- Assist physical therapists in developing treatment plans for patients
- Help patients improve strength, heal from injuries, or rehabilitate from surgery
- Assist patients while performing exercises
- Teach patients how to use equipment or perform movements using proper form
- Document patient history and program progress
- Clean therapy environment and prepare equipment for physical therapy sessions
- Educate patients on their disease condition and path to recovery
How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Florida
There are several steps you will need to follow to become a physical therapist assistant in Florida.
- Apply to an accredited physical therapist assistant program. To be eligible for entry into a PTA program, students must have a high school diploma or have completed a GED. Before starting a career as a PTA, students must graduate from a physical therapy assistant program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Admission requirements and program duration will vary depending on the school, however most PTA programs are typically two years duration.
- Complete the PTA program and any practicum requirements. Physical therapist assistant programs will offer coursework on several topics including kinesiology, anatomy and physiology, psychology, human growth and development, as well as instruction on therapeutic techniques and rehabilitation concepts. To meet the requirements to become a physical therapist assistant, students will need to complete 16 weeks of clinical training under the supervision of a physical therapist. This will allow students to practice important skills necessary for a career as a physical therapist assistant. PTA degree programs will typically build in this requirement as part of their curriculum and will help students arrange practicums with licensed physical therapists.
- Apply for a PTA license. After graduation from an accredited physical therapist assistant program, students can apply for their PTA license. Students will need to send a copy of their degree program transcript to the Florida Board of Physical Therapy and take the applicable PTA exams. To obtain a PTA license in Florida, students must pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) and Florida Laws and Rules Exam. If a candidate has already passed the NPTE and holds a PTA license in another state, candidates can apply for a Florida PTA license by endorsement.
- Begin work as a physical therapist assistant and maintain licensure. After successfully obtaining a PTA license from the Florida Board of Physical Therapy, PTAs can find work in a variety of settings including private practice, hospital systems, physical therapy practices and clinics, home health care settings, and nursing homes. Although PTAs only need to pass the NPTE once to obtain a PTA license, PTAs must maintain their licensure by participating in periodic continuing education classes to keep their knowledge current.
Beginning Your Journey at SABER College
We’ve answered “how much does a physical therapist assistant make”. Now, are you ready to make a difference in patient’s lives? Start your journey to become a physical therapist assistant at SABER College, the leading physical therapist assistant school in Miami.
Our physical therapist program provides a combination of traditional coursework, clinical work, and hands-on training to help prepare students for a career as a PTA. Our program incorporates a clinical course component that focuses on providing students with real-world experience working with patients in physical therapy settings to help build appropriate skills. The majority of students’ final semester will focus on clinical work and practicing for the NPTE.
At SABER, we offer a flexible, convenient, and affordable physical therapist assistant program to help you grow personally and professionally throughout your studies. Our school is student-centered, meaning our goal is to help you succeed and aid our students in starting and finishing their chosen fields of study. Let us help you on the next step of your journey as you work to achieve your goal of becoming a physical therapist assistant!