Physical Therapist Assistant

Many people seek a well-paid job in the medical field that doesn’t require too much effort and through which they can enjoy providing assistance and making life better for patients who truly need that. If you are someone who may consider pursuing any of those goals, becoming a certified physical therapist assistant may be one of the best career choices you can make.

Job Overview

Physical therapy is an extensive practice that has gained a widespread reputation within the United States in recent years. The job of a physical therapist assistant is to provide aid in a variety of different ways and improve his or her skills and knowledge while working in an accredited physical therapy clinic.

To make a long story short, as a physical therapist assistant, you will get to:

  • Work closely together with skilled physical therapists and learn the “tricks of the trade” in a hands on fashion – literally;
  • Provide patients with additional support and equipment such as crutches in order to assist with their rehabilitation and exercise sessions;
  • Answer phones, communicate with patients and their families and build a better doctor-patient relationship.


One of the best things about becoming a physical therapist assistant is that you get the chance to earn a good salary early on in your career. The beginning annual pay for new assistants usually range between $30,000 and $40,000 with an hourly wage of about $20.

Also, if you’re serious about your training and you end up gaining a decent amount of experience, you can even end up doubling that amount. After 2010, some of the best paid physical therapist assistants have managed to earn up to $75,000 per year, and as the demand continues to grow, so does the opportunity for getting a great salary.


Getting a proper training is still important even if you only want to be an assistant and not a fully qualified physical therapist. In order to get the best results with your studies and training, you can follow the steps below:

  • First of all, you need to graduate from high school and focus intently on doing well in subjects such as biology, physics and anatomy.
  • Also, you could consider doing a summer internship or becoming a volunteer in a role that’s focused on health sciences.
  • In the US, a 2-year associate’s degree will be required. Make sure the school you choose has an accredited program for obtaining a physical therapist assistant degree.
  • You’ll need about 16 weeks of practical training under the tuition of a licensed physical therapist. After that, you can get your own license as a therapist assistant in the state you want and – as an optional benefit – you can also get a national certificate from APTA (the American Physical Therapy Association).

Reviews & Advice

Reviews point to the fact that, while the training period required for becoming a certified physical therapist assistant is not too long, the actual disciplines you will be learning can be a little demanding. Apart from assistance techniques and advanced anatomy, you will also need to learn a lot about practices like kinesiology, practical physical therapy exercises and pathology.

Also, it may pay off to learn a thing or two about the licensing requirements of the job. For instance, if you live in Colorado or Hawaii, you won’t actually need a license to become an assistant.

Many physical therapists have said that this is an excellent job if you want to start a lengthy career in this field and that the experience you will learn during your practical training as an assistant will prove to be invaluable later on.

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