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Become A Staff Physical Therapy Assistant

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Working As A Staff Physical Therapy Assistant

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Deal with People

  • $69,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Staff Physical Therapy Assistant 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 Staff Physical Therapy Assistant

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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Staff Physical Therapy Assistant Career Paths

Staff Physical Therapy Assistant
Physical Therapist Outpatient Physical Therapist Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapist Therapist Case Manager
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapist Therapist Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapy Aide Massage Therapist Therapist
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapy Aide Massage Therapist Consultant
Partner
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Staff Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Assistant Director Of Nursing
7 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapy Aide Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Personal Trainer Instructor Administrator
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Personal Trainer Account Executive Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Personal Trainer Account Executive General Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Massage Therapist Team Leader General Manager
Regional Director Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
PRN Senior Technician Specialist Nursing Director
Director Of Clinical Operations
12 Yearsyrs
PRN Staff Physical Therapist Clinical Manager
Patient Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
PRN Speech Language Pathologist
Therapy Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Consultant Nurse Regional Director
Director Of Rehabilitation
7 Yearsyrs
Staff Physical Therapist Rehabilitation Center Manager Director Of Rehabilitation
Rehab Director
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Physical Therapist Clinical Manager Director Of Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation Services Director
8 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Ambulatory Care Coordinator Social Work Case Manager
Geriatric Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Staff Physical Therapy Assistant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Therapy Aide 2.8 years
Rehab Aide 2.4 years
Therapy Technician 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Staff Physical Therapy Assistant
Internship 5.4%
Cashier 4.8%
Volunteer 4.4%
PRN 2.5%
Assistant 2.1%
Top Careers After Staff Physical Therapy Assistant
Internship 4.6%
Volunteer 3.2%
PRN 3.1%
Cashier 3.1%
Owner 2.4%
Manager 2.4%
Server 2.1%

Do you work as a Staff Physical Therapy Assistant?

Average Yearly Salary
$69,000
Show Salaries
$31,000
Min 10%
$69,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Median 50%
$151,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Ascension Health
Highest Paying City
Saint Paul, MN
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
3.6 years
How much does a Staff Physical Therapy Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Staff Physical Therapy Assistant in the United States is $69,502 per year or $33 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $31,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $151,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Staff Physical Therapy Assistant?

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Top Skills for A Staff Physical Therapy Assistant

  1. Physical Therapy
  2. Patient Care
  3. Treatment Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Implemented administrative guidelines within the physical therapy department to meet legal and clinical standards for State and Federal funded programs.
  • Supervised technicians and equipped them with information necessary to provide quality patient care.
  • Communicate with or instruct caregivers or family members on patient therapeutic activities or treatment plans.
  • Worked in inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation department implementing, reviewing, revising and progressing individual PT treatment programs.
  • Performed ultrasounds and therapeutic massages, assisted with patient exercises and responsible for documentation of their progress.

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Top 10 Best States for Staff Physical Therapy Assistants

  1. Maine
  2. New Hampshire
  3. South Dakota
  4. Oregon
  5. North Dakota
  6. Vermont
  7. Wyoming
  8. Iowa
  9. West Virginia
  10. Minnesota
  • (48 jobs)
  • (76 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (156 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (127 jobs)
  • (46 jobs)
  • (119 jobs)

Staff Physical Therapy Assistant Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 4,357 Staff Physical Therapy Assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Staff Physical Therapy Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Staff Physical Therapy Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

59.0%

Male

31.3%

Unknown

9.7%
Ethnicity

White

59.4%

Hispanic or Latino

18.0%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

7.7%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.1%

French

6.3%

Russian

5.5%

Polish

3.9%

Hindi

3.1%

Portuguese

3.1%

German

3.1%

Italian

2.4%

Gujarati

1.6%

Mandarin

1.6%

Filipino

1.6%

Tagalog

1.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Turkish

0.8%

Hebrew

0.8%

Romanian

0.8%

Korean

0.8%

Bosnian

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Bengali

0.8%
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Staff Physical Therapy Assistant Education

Schools

South University

12.7%

Pennsylvania State University

7.5%

University of Phoenix

6.7%

Kent State University

6.0%

Keiser University

5.6%

Cerritos College

5.2%

Newbury College-Brookline

4.9%

Central Piedmont Community College

4.5%

Harcum College

4.5%

Union County College

4.5%

Nassau Community College

4.1%

North Shore Community College

4.1%

New York University

3.7%

Macomb Community College

3.7%

Herzing University

3.7%

Professional Skills Institute

3.7%

Miami Dade College

3.7%

Cuyahoga Community College

3.7%

Loma Linda University

3.7%

Oakton Community College

3.7%
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Majors

Physical Therapy

29.8%

Medical Assisting Services

24.3%

Kinesiology

9.6%

Nursing

6.1%

Business

5.5%

Biology

3.5%

Health Care Administration

3.4%

Psychology

2.8%

Health Sciences And Services

2.6%

Health Education

1.5%

Criminal Justice

1.3%

Medical Technician

1.3%

Medicine

1.2%

Education

1.1%

Exercise Physiology

1.1%

Athletic Training

1.0%

General Studies

1.0%

Liberal Arts

1.0%

Public Health

1.0%

Management

0.8%
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Degrees

Associate

32.5%

Bachelors

30.2%

Other

17.6%

Masters

9.5%

Certificate

3.8%

Doctorate

3.8%

Diploma

1.6%

License

0.9%
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