Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 93,800 people employed as physical therapist assistants in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $59,800.
Entry level employees earn approximately $33,840 per year and senior employees earn approximately $82,470
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Instruct, motivate, safeguard, and assist patients as they practice exercises or functional activities.
- Document patient information, such as notes on their progress.
- Fit patients for orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices, such as crutches.
- Perform postural drainage, percussions, or vibrations or teach deep breathing exercises to treat respiratory conditions.
- Perform clerical duties, such as taking inventory, ordering supplies, answering telephone, taking messages, or filling out forms.
- Prepare treatment areas and electrotherapy equipment for use by physiotherapists.
- Administer traction to relieve neck or back pain, using intermittent or static traction equipment.
- Perform therapeutic wound care.
- 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.
- Instruct patients in proper body mechanics and in ways to improve functional mobility, such as aquatic exercise.
- Secure patients into or onto therapy equipment.
- Confer with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, or coordinating treatment.
- Administer active or passive manual therapeutic exercises, therapeutic massage, aquatic physical therapy, or heat, light, sound, or electrical modality treatments, such as ultrasound.
- Transport patients to and from treatment areas, lifting and transferring them according to positioning requirements.
- Clean work area and check and store equipment after treatment.
- Communicate with or instruct caregivers or family members on patient therapeutic activities or treatment plans.
- Measure patients' range-of-joint motion, body parts, or vital signs to determine effects of treatments or for patient evaluations.
- Train patients in the use of orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices.
- Monitor operation of equipment and record use of equipment and administration of treatment.
- Assist patients to dress, undress, or put on and remove supportive devices, such as braces, splints, or slings.
- Attend or conduct continuing education courses, seminars, or in-service activities.