Research Summary. Here are some key facts to know if you're looking to hire a staff physical therapy assistants in the United States:

  • The median cost to hire a staff physical therapy assistant is $1,633.
  • It takes between 36 and 42 days to fill the average role in the US.
  • HR departments typically allocate 15% of their budget towards recruitment efforts.
  • Small businesses spend $1,105 per staff physical therapy assistant on training each year, while large companies spend $658.
  • It takes approximately 12 weeks for a new employee to reach full productivity levels.
  • There are a total of 87,350 staff physical therapy assistants in the US, and there are currently 127,104 job openings in this field.
  • Boston, MA, has the highest demand for staff physical therapy assistants, with 18 job openings.

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How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Staff Physical Therapy Assistant

Recruiting staff physical therapy assistants involves both the one-time costs of hiring and the ongoing costs of adding a new employee to your team. Your spending during the hiring process will mostly be on things like promoting the job on job boards, reviewing and interviewing candidates, and onboarding the new hire. Ongoing costs will obviously involve the employee's salary, but also may include things like benefits.

You can expect to pay around $51,881 per year for a staff physical therapy assistant, as this is the median yearly salary nationally. This can vary depending on what state or city you're hiring in. If you're hiring for contract work or on a per-project basis, hourly rates for staff physical therapy assistants in the US typically range between $17 and $34 an hour.

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How to hire a Staff Physical Therapy Assistant, step by step

To hire a staff physical therapy assistant, you need to identify the specific skills and experience you want in a candidate, allocate a budget for the position, and advertise the job opening to attract potential candidates. To hire a staff physical therapy assistant, you should follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Identify your needs
  • Step 2: Create an ideal candidate profile
  • Step 3: Make a budget
  • Step 4: Writing a staff physical therapy assistant job description
  • Step 5: Post the job
  • Step 6: Interview process
  • Step 7: Send a job offer and onboard your new staff physical therapy assistant
  • Step 8: Go through the checklist for the hiring process

Identify Your Needs

Before you post your staff physical therapy assistant job, you should take the time to determine what type of worker your business need. While certain jobs definitely require a full-time employee, it's sometimes better to find a staff physical therapy assistant for hire on a part-time basis or as a contractor.

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A staff physical therapy assistant's background is also an important factor in determining whether they'll be a good fit for the position. For example, staff physical therapy assistants from different industries or fields will have radically different experiences and will bring different viewpoints to the role. You also need to consider the candidate's previous level of experience to make sure they'll be comfortable with the job's level of seniority.

This list provides information on the salaries of different staff physical therapy assistant roles.

Type Of Staff Physical Therapy AssistantDescriptionHourly Rate
Staff Physical Therapy AssistantPhysical 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.$17-34
Rehabilitation AideA rehabilitation aide is responsible for assisting patients with injuries, mental disorders, and illnesses in their treatment plans and medications. Rehabilitation aides monitor the patients' progress and update attending physicians regarding their conditions... Show More$10-16
Rehab TechnicianA rehab technician's role is to assist physical therapists and patients in a hospital or similar facility. Typically, their responsibilities revolve around gathering a patient's personal information and medical history, escorting them to corresponding rooms, and conducting initial tests and assessments... Show More$10-17

Create An Ideal Candidate Profile

Before you draft a staff physical therapy assistant job description, imagine the ideal employee for the role and begin creating a profile. What are they proficient in and what sort of background do they have?

Staff physical therapy assistants typically have the following skills:

Common Skills:
  • Patients
  • Rehabilitation
  • CPR
  • Home Health
  • Customer Service
  • Acute Care
  • Physical Therapy
  • Treatment Programs
  • Walkers
  • Restore Function
  • Compassion
  • Traction
  • Pathogens
  • Direct Patient Care
Check All Skills

Here are the most common staff physical therapy assistant responsibilities:

  • Perform ultrasound massage on patients and effectively manage pain level of patient using heat therapy.
  • Train patients on the use of braces, canes, crutches, walkers and prosthetic/orthotic devices.
  • Provide outpatient physical therapy rehabilitation services to patients with orthopedic, post-surgical problems, chronic pain issues.
  • Teach patients how to use and care for wheelchairs, walkers, braces and artificial limbs.
  • Fit patients for orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices, such as crutches or wheelchairs.
  • Provide treatments such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and hot/cold packs, infrare, UVR, tens and traction.
Check all Duties

Cultural fit is also an essential factor that you shouldn't overlook. Consider how your perfect staff physical therapy assistant will contribute to the team dynamic and help grow the team's culture in a positive way. If you can include a clear vision of this in your staff physical therapy assistant job description, it'll help attract candidates who are better suited for the position.

Most Common States For Staff Physical Therapy Assistants In The US

Rank #State# Of Jobs% of PopulationAvg. Salary

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Make A Budget

Including a salary range in the job description is a good way to get more applicants. A staff physical therapy assistant salary can be affected by several factors, such as the location of the job, their level of experience, education and certifications, and the prestige of the employer. For example, the average salary for a staff physical therapy assistant in South Dakota may be lower than in Alaska, and an entry-level engineer typically earns less than a senior-level staff physical therapy assistant. Additionally, a staff physical therapy assistant with lots of experience in the field may command a higher salary as a result.

Updated March 16, 2023

Staff Physical Therapy Assistant Salary Estimate


$24.94 hourly

Entry level Salary
$37,000 yearly

Staff Physical Therapy Assistant Average Salary By Location

RankStateAvg. SalaryHourly RateJob Count

Staff Physical Therapy Assistant Average Salary By Company

Writing a Staff Physical Therapy Assistant Job Description

A staff physical therapy assistant job description should include a summary of the role, required skills, and a list of responsibilities. It's also good to include a salary range and the first name of the hiring manager. Below, you can find an example of a staff physical therapy assistant job description:

Example of Full Job Description

This job assumes responsibility for and provides routine treatment as assigned according to plan of are provided by a licensed Physical Therapist. Provides direct patient care after the patient has been evaluated by a licensed Physical Therapist and documents patient progress in daily progress notes and/or summaries to physicians.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties.

This job description is a summary of the primary duties and responsibilities of the job and position. It is not intended to be a comprehensive or all-inclusive listing of duties and responsibilities. Contents are subject to change at the company's discretion.
Education Required - Associate's degree from an accredited Physical Therapy Assistant Program
Work Experience Required -None.
Certifications Required - Current Physical Therapy Assistant license in the state of practice or eligibility for licensure by examination or reciprocity from another state
Basic Life Support (BLS) from the American Heart Association Knowledge Skills and Abilities (KSAs) Must have computer skills and dexterity required for data entry and retrieval of patient information. Must be proficient with Windows-style applications and keyboard. Effective verbal and written communication skills and the ability to present information clearly and professionally to varying levels of individuals throughout the patient care process. Must have computer skills and dexterity required for data entry and retrieval of information Must be proficient with Windows-style applications, various software packages specific to role and keyboard Strong organizational skills Good interpersonal skills
Job Duties Performs physical therapy treatments as prescribed by the physician under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Communicates and documents any changes in patient's status and informs therapist of patient's reassessment. Maintains patient records according to documentation standards, policies and procedures. Participates in staff and committee projects. Achieves established productivity levels set forth by administration. May be required to educate and train others within discipline. Adapts behavior to the specific patient population, including but not limited to: respect for privacy, method of introduction to the patient, adapting explanation of services or procedures to be performed, requesting permissions and communication style.
Other related duties as required. The above statements describe the general nature and level of work only. They are not an exhaustive list of all required responsibilities, duties, and skills. Other duties may be added, or this description amended at any time.

Remains knowledgeable on current federal, state and local laws, accreditation standards or regulatory agency requirements that apply to the assigned area of responsibility and ensures compliance with all such laws, regulations and standards.
This employer maintains and complies with its Compliance & Privacy Program and Standards of Conduct, including the immediate reporting of any known or suspected unethical or questionable behaviors or conduct; patient/employee safety, patient privacy, and/or other compliance-related concerns.

The employer is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability status.
Physical and Environmental Demands
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Very Heavy Work - Exerting in excess of 100 pounds of force occasionally, and/or in excess of 50 pounds of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds of force constantly to move objects. Physical Demand requirements are in excess of those for Heavy Work. (Constantly: activity or condition exists 2/3 or more of the time) to move objects. Physical demand requirements are in excess of those for Sedentary Work. Even though the weight lifted may be only a negligible amount, a job should be rated Light Work: (1) when it requires walking or standing to a significant degree; or (2) when it requires sitting most of the time but entails pushing and/or pulling of arm or leg controls; and/or (3) when the job requires working at a production rate pace entailing the constant pushing and/or pulling of materials even though the weight of those materials is negligible. NOTE: The constant stress and strain of maintaining a production rate pace, especially in an industrial setting, can be and is physically demanding of a worker even though the amount of force exerted is negligible. Mechanical lifting devices (e.g. carts, dollies, etc.) or team lifts should be utilized.
Must be able to stoop, bend, reach, squat, crawl and grab with arms and hands, manual dexterity.
Must be able to travel throughout and between facilities.

Duties performed routinely require exposure to blood, body fluid and tissue.

The incumbent works in a patient care area; works in an area where patients enter; works directly with patients; and/or works with specimens that could contain diseases. There may be an occupational risk for exposure to all communicable diseases.

Because the incumbent works within a healthcare setting, there may be occupational risk for exposure to hazardous medications or hazardous waste within the environment through receipt, transport, storage, preparation, dispensing, administration, cleaning and/or disposal of contaminated waste. The risk level of exposure may increase depending on the essential job duties of the role.

Post A Job

There are various strategies that you can use to find the right staff physical therapy assistant for your business:

  • Consider promoting from within or recruiting from your existing workforce.
  • Ask for referrals from friends, family members, and current employees.
  • Attend job fairs at local colleges to find candidates who meet your education requirements.
  • Use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to reach potential job candidates.

Post your job online:

  • Post your staff physical therapy assistant job on Zippia to find and recruit staff physical therapy assistant candidates who meet your exact specifications.
  • Use field-specific websites such as healthcarejobsite, health jobs nationwide, hospitalcareers,
  • Post a job on free websites.

Interview Process

To successfully recruit staff physical therapy assistants, your first interview needs to be all about engaging with candidates to learn about their interest in the role and experience in the field. You can go into more detail about the company, the role, and the responsibilities during follow-up interviews.

Don't forget to include a few questions that give a candidate chance to expand on their strengths in their own words. Asking about their special skills might reveal things you'd miss otherwise. At this point, candidates who are good enough can move on to the technical interview.

The right interview questions can help you assess a candidate's hard skills, behavioral intelligence, and soft skills.

Send A Job Offer And Onboard Your New Staff Physical Therapy Assistant

Once you've decided on a perfect staff physical therapy assistant candidate, it's time to write an offer letter. In addition to salary, it should also include details such as benefits and perks available to the employee. Qualified candidates may be considered for other positions, so make sure your offer is competitive. Candidates may wish to negotiate. Once you've settled on the details, formalize your agreement with a contract.

It's also good etiquette to follow up with applicants who don't get the job by sending them an email letting them know that the position has been filled.

To prepare for the new staff physical therapy assistant first day, you should share an onboarding schedule with them that covers their first period on the job. You should also quickly complete any necessary paperwork, such as employee action forms and onboarding documents like I-9 forms, benefits enrollment, and federal and state tax forms. Finally, Human Resources needs to make sure that a new employee file is created for internal recordkeeping.

Go Through The Checklist For The Hiring Process

  • Determine employee type (full-time, part-time, contractor, etc.)
  • Submit a job requisition form to the HR department
  • Define job responsibilities and requirements
  • Establish budget and timeline
  • Determine hiring decision makers for the role
  • Write job description
  • Post job on job boards, company website, etc.
  • Promote the job internally
  • Process applications through applicant tracking system
  • Review resumes and cover letters
  • Shortlist candidates for screening
  • Hold phone/virtual interview screening with first round of candidates
  • Conduct in-person interviews with top candidates from first round
  • Score candidates based on weighted criteria (e.g., experience, education, background, cultural fit, skill set, etc.)
  • Conduct background checks on top candidates
  • Check references of top candidates
  • Consult with HR and hiring decision makers on job offer specifics
  • Extend offer to top candidate(s)
  • Receive formal job offer acceptance and signed employment contract
  • Inform other candidates that the position has been filled
  • Set and communicate onboarding schedule to new hire(s)
  • Complete new hire paperwork (i9, benefits enrollment, tax forms, etc.)
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Hiring Staff Physical Therapy Assistants FAQs

How Much Does A Good Staff Physical Therapy Assistant Cost?

A good staff physical therapy assistant costs $24.94 an hour in the US. However, it can vary based on factors such as the staff physical therapy assistant experience, abilities, industry, and the specific requirements of your business.

What Are The Duties Of A Staff Physical Therapy Assistant?

The duties of a staff physical therapy assistant are:
  • Perform ultrasound massage on patients and effectively manage pain level of patient using heat therapy.
  • Train patients on the use of braces, canes, crutches, walkers and prosthetic/orthotic devices.
  • Provide outpatient physical therapy rehabilitation services to patients with orthopedic, post-surgical problems, chronic pain issues.

Should I Hire A Staff Physical Therapy Assistant With No Experience?

Yes, you should hire a staff physical therapy assistant with no experience. Hiring an entry-level staff physical therapy assistant with no experience offers versatility for your team. They may lack some qualifications, but are adaptable and have not yet formed problematic habits. However, more training may be required compared to experienced.

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