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A physical therapist aide works under the direct supervision or direction of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant to support physical therapy treatment. Physical therapy treatment entails helping patients that may be accident victims or persons with disabling conditions. Physical therapist aides perform a variety of functions that may include:

  • Keeping physical therapy areas clean and organized
  • Preparing physical therapy areas for incoming patients
  • Preparing for each patients therapy
  • Assisting patients, who are mobility challenged, to or from treatment areas
  • Performing minor clerical tasks such as ordering supplies, answering the phone, and filling out paperwork

Job Characteristics

Physical therapist aides are entry level positions that do not require formal training. Most physical therapist aides receive on-the-job training and clinical training. During job training the physical therapist aide will work with experienced employees from three months to a year. Basic requirements are typically a high school diploma and a desire to work with people. Other skills that are helpful in pursuing a physical therapist aide position include good organizational skills, keen listening skills, reading and writing skills, strong interpersonal skills, the ability to communicate effectively, a detailed orientation as well as a service orientation. While physical therapist assistants may require licensure, it is not required for physical therapist aides.

Approximately 72% of physical therapy aides and assistants work in physical therapy facilities or within hospitals according to The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. The remainder work in other areas such as nursing facilities, physicians offices, home health care services or outpatient care centers. Approximately 28% of physical therapist aides and assistants work part time and often physical therapy facilities offer weekend and evening hours to accomodate the needs of their patients.

The physical therapist aide position requires some strength due to the responsibilities of the job. The need to assist and sometimes even lift patients requires the physical therapist aide to have moderate strength. In addition, the physical therapist job is a physical one where the majority of the time is spent standing, stooping, bending, and kneeling.

Job Outlook

Employment opportunities in the physical therapy field are growing and at a faster rate than that of many other occupations. However, given the large pool of qualified applicants for physical therapy aide positions, persons pursuing this career may have greater competition for the jobs available. Forecasted growth for 2008-2018 decade, in physical therapy, is 35%. This growth is projected based on a number of factors. First, the elderly population is growing and will continue to do so as baby boomers age and are more likely to experience ailments that require physical therapy. Moreover, as technology advances and better medical treatments become available more trauma patients will survive increasing the need for physical therapy services.

The income for physical therapist aides averaged between $19,910 and $28,670 annually in 2008 and the median annual income for this group was approximately $23,760. In addition, the highest 10 percent earned more than $33,540, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,270. Nursing care facilities provided the highest incomes for physical therapy aides in May of 2008. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of physical therapy aides in May 2008 were as follows:

  1. $26,530 - Nursing care facilities
  2. $24,780 - General medical and surgical hospitals
  3. $24,590 - Specialty (except psychiatric and substance abuse) hospitals
  4. $23,730 - Offices of physicians
  5. $22,550 - Offices of other health practitioners

The projected need for physical therapist aides in the 2008-2018 timeframe is expected to grow by an additional 16,700 employees.

Job advancement for physical therapist aides is often to become a physical therapist assistant. This may be achieved by gaining experience within an organization as well as by seeking further education.


Typical Physical Therapy Aides Programs May Include Courses in:

  • Body Mechanics
  • Common Physical Disorders
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Human Anatomy
  • Introduction to Medical Terminology
  • Introduction to Physical Therapy
  • Medical Ethics
  • Medical Records and Terminology
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Patient Care
  • Patient Communication
  • Patient Positioning
  • Pediatric Physical Therapy
  • Physical Therapy Exercises
  • Physical Therapy Treatments
  • Wheelchairs and Assistive Devices


Job Tools

  • Clinical hydraulic ifts or accessories
  • Electronic Blood pressure units
  • Mercury Blood pressure units
  • Theraputic heating or cooling pads or compresses or packs
  • Vascular compression apparel or supports
  • Wheelchairs


Job Technologies

  • Calendar and scheduling software
  • Medical software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Word processing software


Resources for Physical Therapy Aides

Schools for Physical Therapist Aides are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Physical Therapist Aides

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Physical Therapist Aides jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover 170 $22,510
Birmingham 170 $22,510
Mobile 60 N/A
Montgomery 60 $23,210
Tuscaloosa 50 $24,270
Gadsden 30 $26,720
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Phoenix 490 $26,610
Scottsdale 490 $26,610
Mesa 490 $26,610
Tucson 120 $26,670
Prescott 50 $24,040
Yuma 40 $23,330
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 160 $28,180
North Little Rock 160 $28,180
Little Rock 160 $28,180
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Los Angeles 2380 $26,950
Long Beach 2380 $26,950
Anaheim 2380 $26,950
Oakland 660 $29,270
Hayward 660 $29,270
San Francisco 660 $29,270
Carlsbad 550 $24,840
San Diego 550 $24,840
San Bernardino 510 $27,070
Riverside 510 $27,070
Ontario 510 $27,070
San Jose 350 $29,730
Santa Clara 350 $29,730
Sunnyvale 350 $29,730
Ventura 280 $27,440
Thousand Oaks 280 $27,440
Oxnard 280 $27,440
Fresno 220 $31,980
Sacramento 190 $34,950
Arden 190 $34,950
Roseville 190 $34,950
Arcade 190 $34,950
Santa Maria 130 $28,090
Santa Barbara 130 $28,090
Bakersfield 120 $24,540
Modesto 90 $24,520
Paso Robles 90 $26,570
San Luis Obispo 90 $26,570
Arroyo Grande 90 $26,570
Redding 90 $27,190
Salinas 70 $28,590
Stockton 70 $30,150
Lodi 70 $30,150
Chico 60 $25,640
Watsonville 50 $28,630
Santa Cruz 50 $28,630
Santa Rosa 50 $29,880
Merced 40 $23,670
Visalia 40 $25,270
Porterville 40 $25,270
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 160 $31,960
Aurora 160 $31,960
Denver 160 $31,960
Boulder 30 $39,260
Fort Collins N/A $30,690
Colorado Springs N/A $30,710
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 130 $33,700
West Hartford 130 $33,700
Hartford 130 $33,700
New Haven 100 $26,330
Stamford N/A $28,440
Norwalk N/A $28,440
Bridgeport N/A $28,440
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 50 $23,060
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 640 $24,050
Miami 640 $24,050
Fort Lauderdale 640 $24,050
St. Petersburg 410 $26,010
Tampa 410 $26,010
Clearwater 410 $26,010
Orlando 290 $26,270
Sanford 290 $26,270
Kissimmee 290 $26,270
Jacksonville 180 $24,830
Cape Coral 120 $25,550
Fort Myers 120 $25,550
Gainesville 100 $27,750
Titusville 70 $25,310
Palm Bay 70 $25,310
Melbourne 70 $25,310
Homosassa Springs 70 $26,300
Bradenton 70 $27,030
North Port 70 $27,030
Sarasota 70 $27,030
Ormond Beach 50 $24,010
Daytona Beach 50 $24,010
Deltona 50 $24,010
Port St. Lucie 50 $28,120
Panama City 40 $23,620
Ocala 40 $26,210
Immokalee 40 $26,660
Marco Island 40 $26,660
Naples 40 $26,660
Winter Haven N/A $23,420
Lakeland N/A $23,420
Brent N/A $23,970
Pensacola N/A $23,970
Ferry Pass N/A $23,970
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 310 $22,660
Atlanta 310 $22,660
Sandy Springs 310 $22,660
Savannah 60 $21,450
Clarke County 40 $19,970
Athens 40 $19,970
Rome 40 $23,490
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 150 $25,170
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 140 $27,290
Coeur d'Alene 50 $24,250
Pocatello 30 $19,840
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria 50 $28,760
Rockford 40 $29,490
Champaign N/A $25,990
Urbana N/A $25,990
Springfield N/A $57,880
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Wayne 30 $19,500
Kokomo N/A $23,690
Anderson N/A $25,190
Carmel N/A $25,190
Indianapolis N/A $25,190
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines N/A $17,760
Des Moines N/A $17,760
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Topeka 30 $29,080
Wichita N/A $19,670
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lexington 190 $20,500
Fayette 190 $20,500
Owensboro N/A $18,520
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baton Rouge 390 $22,100
New Orleans 230 $23,500
Metairie 230 $23,500
Thibodaux 90 $22,420
Houma 90 $22,420
Bossier City 80 $22,410
Shreveport 80 $22,410
Lafayette 70 $24,040
Lake Charles 50 $21,300
Alexandria 40 $20,380
Monroe N/A $19,080
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 900 $24,490
Columbia 900 $24,490
Baltimore 900 $24,490
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 40 $29,560
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Warren 810 $23,600
Dearborn 810 $23,600
Detroit 810 $23,600
Wyoming 180 $29,280
Grand Rapids 180 $29,280
Flint 50 $19,400
Ann Arbor 50 $29,250
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 100 $21,320
Pascagoula N/A $22,100
Gulfport N/A $22,100
Biloxi N/A $22,100
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 80 $22,600
Grand Island 30 $23,560
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 200 $30,230
Henderson 200 $30,230
Las Vegas 200 $30,230
Reno 110 $19,920
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 110 $24,470
Hammonton 90 $27,410
Atlantic City 90 $27,410
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 40 $29,250
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheektowaga 150 $31,130
Buffalo 150 $31,130
Niagara Falls 150 $31,130
Rochester 100 $30,310
Syracuse 70 $28,890
Troy 60 $25,100
Albany 60 $25,100
Schenectady 60 $25,100
Kingston 40 $29,250
Rome N/A $27,150
Utica N/A $27,150
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Asheville 100 $24,830
Raleigh 100 $27,450
High Point 80 $25,290
Greensboro 80 $25,290
Salem 60 $25,600
Winston 60 $25,600
Durham 60 $32,320
Chapel Hill 60 $32,320
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 40 $26,190
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 230 $27,020
Elyria 180 $25,490
Cleveland 180 $25,490
Akron 60 $27,140
Toledo 50 $29,810
Massillon 30 $25,390
Canton 30 $25,390
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 310 $19,770
Tulsa 90 $23,990
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Medford 60 $24,010
Salem 60 $27,900
Redmond N/A $26,580
Bend N/A $26,580
Eugene N/A $27,450
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 820 $26,570
Wilkes 150 $24,690
Hazleton 150 $24,690
Barre 150 $24,690
Scranton 150 $24,690
Lancaster 90 $23,870
Hanover 60 $27,040
York 60 $27,040
Johnstown 50 $22,380
Harrisburg 40 $24,590
Carlisle 40 $24,590
State College 30 $17,820
East Stroudsburg N/A $25,460
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas N/A $34,440
Carolina N/A $34,440
San Juan N/A $34,440
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
North Charleston 180 $26,560
Charleston 180 $26,560
Columbia 110 $21,350
Anderson 100 $21,670
Greenville 100 $21,670
Mauldin 100 $21,670
Florence 60 $21,530
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 70 $28,750
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 830 $23,230
Murfreesboro 830 $23,230
Davidson 830 $23,230
Nashville 830 $23,230
Knoxville 180 $21,520
Johnson City 40 $21,470
Jackson 40 $23,520
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dallas 1720 $25,800
Fort Worth 1720 $25,800
Arlington 1720 $25,800
Houston 790 $25,330
Sugar Land 790 $25,330
The Woodlands 790 $25,330
New Braunfels 420 $24,450
San Antonio 420 $24,450
Round Rock 230 $27,610
Austin 230 $27,610
Mission 220 $21,920
McAllen 220 $21,920
Edinburg 220 $21,920
Wichita Falls 160 $25,010
Abilene 130 $23,380
El Paso 120 $24,750
Corpus Christi 120 $26,610
Harlingen 100 $19,280
Brownsville 100 $19,280
Lubbock 90 $22,790
Odessa 90 $23,260
Amarillo 60 $19,900
San Angelo 60 $27,880
Waco 50 $26,040
Temple 50 $28,230
Killeen 50 $28,230
Bryan 40 $22,020
College Station 40 $22,020
Laredo N/A $19,780
Tyler N/A $29,470
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 250 $22,510
Orem 180 $20,590
Provo 180 $20,590
Ogden 180 $21,700
Clearfield 180 $21,700
St. George 40 $22,340
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 210 $22,890
Charlottesville 70 $26,560
Roanoke 50 $23,940
Harrisonburg 40 $25,240
Lynchburg N/A $24,600
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 280 $29,430
Tacoma 280 $29,430
Seattle 280 $29,430
Spokane Valley 140 $24,190
Spokane 140 $24,190
Tumwater 70 $24,770
Olympia 70 $24,770
Wenatchee 30 $30,110
Richland N/A $25,710
Kennewick N/A $25,710
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Morgantown 50 $21,990
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 80 $22,430
Waukesha 80 $22,430
Milwaukee 80 $22,430
Madison 40 $32,310

Most Popular Industries for :
Physical Therapist Aides

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Medical Office 25,770 59% $22,790
Hospital 12,430 28% $24,760
Nursing And Residential Care 4,220 9% $26,460
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Programs
  • Therapy Health Technician

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Salida
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Programs
  • Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab Program
  • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
  • Teaches in an environment that promotes learning and encourages empathetic and compassionate therapists.
  • Career service professionals work directly with students from the start of their program, and help them pursue employment in day spas, luxury hotels, cruise ships, and other locations.
  • Students can work in the SOCHI Massage Clinic to gain experience and build their career skills.
  • Financial aid representatives help students develop a personalized financial plan to finance their tuition.
Programs
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Programs
  • Massage Therapy/Therapist
  • One of the largest massage therapy schools in the nation teaching since 1979.
  • First massage school in California to be nationally accredited.
  • Has a successful job placement record— 86% of graduates get placed into work in massage therapy.
  • Provides massage therapist education with multiple methods to ensure every student learns the material.
  • Offers lifetime career placement assistance and holds partnerships with a variety of employers.
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San Jose
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Programs
  • Massage Therapy
  • Esthetician / Massage Therapy
Start your career with training from Blake Austin College - Beauty Academy. We offer programs in cosmetology, massage therapy, and holistic health, plus a combination esthetics/massage program.
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Vacaville
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Programs
  • Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC)
  • Ranked #4 among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as 2015 Military Friendly School by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Student to faculty ratio of 12:1, with an average class size of 21.
  • 85% of faculty holds a doctorate or terminal degree in their field.
  • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
Programs
  • M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy Specialization
  • Psy.D. Applied Clinical Psychology
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities. 
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
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Irvine
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Programs
  • Counseling Psychology (EdD)
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
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Ontario
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Programs
  • Cosmetology
  • Provides complete training and licensure preparation for aspiring cosmetologists.
  • Allows students to customize their schedule with day and night classes.
  • Offers advanced training classes in beauty and wellness.
  • Has top instructors with vast, real-world experience in the industry.
  • Teaches students important, innovative business and financial training.
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Alameda
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Programs
  • Esthetician
  • Students can obtain experience and expertise in the latest cosmetology procedures and techniques, plus the salon business skills needed to put their talents to use.  
  • Offers cosmetology training to prepare students for a career as a professional stylist, skin care specialist, image consultant, make up technician, and more.
  • Each campus features a public salon and spa for student practice.
  • The Milan Institute has successfully graduated over 25,000 students since 1985.
  • Part of the family-owned Milan Institute school group.
  • 8 campuses across California, Texas, Nevada, and Idaho, in addition to 11 Milan Institute campuses.
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La Quinta
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Physical Therapist Aides.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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