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Become A Rehab Technician

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Working As A Rehab Technician

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $46,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Rehab Technician Do

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. Physical therapist assistants are involved in the direct care of patients. Physical therapist aides often do tasks that are indirectly related to patient care, such as cleaning and setting up the treatment area, moving patients, and performing clerical duties.

Duties

Physical therapist assistants typically do the following:

  • Observe patients before, during, and after therapy, noting patient status and reporting it to a physical therapist
  • Help patients do specific exercises as part of the plan of care
  • Treat patients using a variety of techniques, such as massage and stretching
  • Use devices and equipment, such as walkers, to help patients
  • Educate a patient and family members about what to do after treatment

Physical therapist aides typically do the following:

  • Clean treatment areas and set up therapy equipment
  • Wash linens
  • Help patients move to or from a therapy area
  • Do clerical tasks, such as answering phones and scheduling patients

Physical therapist assistants help physical therapists provide care to patients. Under the direction and supervision of physical therapists, they treat patients through exercise, massage, gait and balance training, and other therapeutic interventions. Physical therapist assistants record patients’ progress and report the results of each treatment to the physical therapist.

Physical therapist aides work under the direct supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. They usually are responsible for keeping the treatment area clean and organized, and preparing for each patient's therapy. They also help patients who need assistance moving to or from a treatment area. In addition, aides do a variety of clerical tasks, such as ordering supplies, scheduling treatment sessions, and filling out insurance forms. The types of tasks that physical therapist aides are allowed to perform vary by state. Contact your state licensing board for more information.

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How To Become A Rehab Technician

Physical therapist assistants entering the profession need an associate’s degree from an accredited program. All states require physical therapist assistants to be licensed or certified. Physical therapist aides usually have a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training.

Education and Training

All states require physical therapist assistants to have an associate’s degree from an accredited physical therapist assistant program. There were more than 300 associate’s degree programs for physical therapist assistants accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education in 2015.

Programs typically last about 2 years. Classroom study includes courses in algebra, English, anatomy, physiology, and psychology. Assistants also gain hands-on experience during supervised clinical work. They may earn certifications in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other first-aid skills.

Physical therapist aides typically have a high school diploma or the equivalent. They usually gain clinical experience through on-the-job training that can last from about a week to a month. Employers often prefer to hire applicants with computer skills.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require physical therapist assistants to be licensed or certified. Licensure typically requires graduation from an accredited physical therapist assistant program and passing the National Physical Therapy Exam for physical therapist assistants administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Some states require that applicants pass additional state-administered exams, undergo a criminal background check, and be at least 18 years old. Physical therapist assistants also may need to take continuing education courses to keep their license. Check with your state board for specific licensing requirements.

Physical therapist aides are not required to be licensed.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Physical therapist assistants and aides should enjoy helping people. They work with people who are in pain, and they must have empathy to help their patients.

Detail oriented. Like other healthcare professionals, physical therapist assistants and aides should be organized and have a keen eye for detail. They must keep accurate records and follow written and verbal instructions carefully to ensure quality care.

Dexterity. Physical therapist assistants should be comfortable using their hands to provide manual therapy and therapeutic exercises. Aides should also be comfortable working with their hands to set up equipment and prepare treatment areas.

Interpersonal skills. Physical therapist assistants and aides spend much of their time interacting with clients, their families, and other healthcare practitioners; and therefore should be courteous and friendly.

Physical stamina. Physical therapist assistants and aides are frequently on their feet and moving as they work with their patients. They must often kneel, stoop, bend, and stand for long periods. They should enjoy physical activity.

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Rehab Technician Career Paths

Rehab Technician
Certified Nursing Assistant Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Assistant Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Patient Care Coordinator Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Specialist Consultant
Partner
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Patient Care Coordinator Assistant Manager
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapist Assistant Physical Therapist Therapist
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapist Assistant Massage Therapist Therapist
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapist Assistant PRN Registered Nurse Supervisor
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Executive Assistant Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Consultant General Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Consultant Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Patient Care Technician Specialist Accountant
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Patient Care Technician Licensed Practical Nurse Senior Technician Specialist
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Patient Care Technician Clinical Research Nurse Clinical Research Associate
Clinical Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Senior Technician Specialist Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Management
10 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor Clinical Manager
Patient Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Registered Nurse Occupational Health Nurse
Health Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Massage Therapist Lead Teacher Assistant To The Director
Membership Director
5 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapy Aide Staff Physical Therapist Therapy Program Manager
Rehab Director
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Rehab Technician?

Rehab Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

60.1%

Male

29.6%

Unknown

10.3%
Ethnicity

White

61.5%

Hispanic or Latino

16.3%

Black or African American

12.8%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.6%

Tagalog

4.4%

Polish

4.4%

Portuguese

3.3%

Russian

3.3%

Filipino

2.2%

Ilocano

2.2%

French

2.2%

Korean

2.2%

Chinese

2.2%

Swedish

1.1%

Afrikaans

1.1%

Hungarian

1.1%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Czech

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Urdu

1.1%

Hindi

1.1%

Dutch

1.1%

Mandarin

1.1%
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Rehab Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.3%

Texas A&M University

5.8%

Liberty University

5.8%

Kaplan University

5.8%

University of Illinois at Chicago

5.4%

Texas State University

5.0%

Texas Woman's University

5.0%

Delgado Community College

5.0%

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

4.6%

Northern Illinois University

4.6%

University of North Texas

4.2%

Texas Tech University

4.2%

Houston Community College

4.2%

Old Dominion University

4.2%

Austin Community College

4.2%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

4.2%

Remington College

4.2%

College of DuPage

3.8%

University of South Florida

3.3%

Henry Ford College

3.3%
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Majors

Kinesiology

15.5%

Nursing

12.6%

Physical Therapy

10.7%

Medical Assisting Services

9.1%

Occupational Therapy

8.3%

Business

7.5%

Health Care Administration

6.1%

Psychology

4.1%

Nursing Assistants

3.8%

Biology

3.3%

General Studies

3.0%

Health Sciences And Services

2.6%

Medical Technician

2.2%

Social Work

1.8%

Education

1.7%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Liberal Arts

1.5%

Management

1.5%

Health Education

1.4%

Exercise Physiology

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

31.2%

Other

27.7%

Associate

18.2%

Masters

9.8%

Certificate

6.6%

Diploma

3.2%

Doctorate

2.4%

License

1.0%
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Top Skills for A Rehab Technician

  1. Physical Therapy
  2. Patient Care
  3. Occupational Therapy
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Aided both outpatient physical therapist and inpatient physical therapy assistants with treatment of their patients.
  • Supervised technicians and equipped them with information necessary to provide quality patient care.
  • Help physical therapy and occupational therapy with patients.
  • Managed long-term ventilator patients in rehab setting Performed all respiratory therapeutic procedures including weaning parameters, tracheal down-sizing and PMV trials
  • Transported residents/ patients into treatment areas

How Would You Rate Working As a Rehab Technician?

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Top Rehab Technician Employers

Jobs From Top Rehab Technician Employers

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