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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 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 160 $21,460
Hoover 160 $21,460
Tuscaloosa 50 $21,530
Gadsden 40 $23,840
Mobile N/A $18,770
Montgomery N/A $23,150
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Phoenix 430 $27,290
Scottsdale 430 $27,290
Mesa 430 $27,290
Tucson 80 $26,900
Prescott 40 $26,810
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 110 $26,500
North Little Rock 110 $26,500
Little Rock 110 $26,500
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 2380 $27,250
Long Beach 2380 $27,250
Los Angeles 2380 $27,250
San Francisco 710 $28,470
Hayward 710 $28,470
Oakland 710 $28,470
Carlsbad 560 $26,140
San Diego 560 $26,140
San Bernardino 440 $27,240
Riverside 440 $27,240
Ontario 440 $27,240
San Jose 370 $29,920
Santa Clara 370 $29,920
Sunnyvale 370 $29,920
Ventura 290 $29,040
Thousand Oaks 290 $29,040
Oxnard 290 $29,040
Arcade 200 $29,820
Roseville 200 $29,820
Arden 200 $29,820
Sacramento 200 $29,820
Bakersfield 150 $24,020
Fresno 150 $29,900
Santa Barbara 140 $28,240
Santa Maria 140 $28,240
San Luis Obispo 100 $23,930
Paso Robles 100 $23,930
Arroyo Grande 100 $23,930
Salinas 100 $24,820
Stockton 90 $30,120
Lodi 90 $30,120
Modesto 80 $23,730
Visalia 80 $23,920
Porterville 80 $23,920
Redding 60 $27,940
Santa Cruz 60 $28,300
Watsonville 60 $28,300
Merced 50 $22,950
Santa Rosa 50 $29,580
Chico 40 $22,890
Vallejo 40 $36,470
Fairfield 40 $36,470
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 100 $30,210
Aurora 100 $30,210
Denver 100 $30,210
Boulder 50 $31,310
Colorado Springs 50 $32,670
Fort Collins N/A $27,220
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 250 $30,840
West Hartford 250 $30,840
Hartford 250 $30,840
New Haven 150 $26,860
Norwalk 140 $30,370
Stamford 140 $30,370
Bridgeport 140 $30,370
Waterbury 60 $29,080
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 30 $25,630
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 660 $24,090
Fort Lauderdale 660 $24,090
West Palm Beach 660 $24,090
Tampa 410 $25,350
Clearwater 410 $25,350
St. Petersburg 410 $25,350
Orlando 290 $25,870
Sanford 290 $25,870
Kissimmee 290 $25,870
Jacksonville 180 $25,160
Gainesville 130 $24,600
Sarasota 80 $27,730
Bradenton 80 $27,730
North Port 80 $27,730
Titusville 60 $24,330
Palm Bay 60 $24,330
Melbourne 60 $24,330
Cape Coral 50 $26,430
Fort Myers 50 $26,430
Lakeland 40 $22,710
Winter Haven 40 $22,710
Homosassa Springs 40 $26,010
Ormond Beach 30 $22,760
Daytona Beach 30 $22,760
Deltona 30 $22,760
Ocala 30 $25,420
Port St. Lucie 30 $26,770
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Atlanta 420 $22,860
Roswell 420 $22,860
Sandy Springs 420 $22,860
Savannah 60 $20,000
Macon 40 $23,240
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 130 $23,030
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 190 $24,490
Coeur d'Alene 50 $21,560
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria 70 $31,020
Bloomington 30 $18,810
Rockford N/A $36,190
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 210 $24,490
Carmel 210 $24,490
Indianapolis 210 $24,490
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Topeka 40 $28,930
Wichita N/A $18,090
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 130 $19,590
Lexington 130 $19,590
Owensboro N/A $18,530
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baton Rouge 320 $22,260
Metairie 210 $23,120
New Orleans 210 $23,120
Lafayette 130 $21,140
Bossier City 130 $23,460
Shreveport 130 $23,460
Monroe 80 $19,360
Houma 80 $25,440
Thibodaux 80 $25,440
Lake Charles 70 $20,630
Alexandria 40 $19,250
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 750 $22,500
Columbia 750 $22,500
Baltimore 750 $22,500
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 40 $29,210
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Warren 620 $22,910
Dearborn 620 $22,910
Detroit 620 $22,910
Wyoming 150 $27,530
Grand Rapids 150 $27,530
Flint 80 $18,760
Ann Arbor 40 $39,420
Saginaw N/A $20,890
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 130 N/A
Pascagoula 60 $22,500
Biloxi 60 $22,500
Gulfport 60 $22,500
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 60 $21,460
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Grand Island 80 $19,880
Lincoln 70 $22,520
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 240 $29,300
Henderson 240 $29,300
Las Vegas 240 $29,300
Reno N/A $18,660
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 120 $23,400
Hammonton 70 $28,620
Atlantic City 70 $28,620
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Las Cruces 50 $26,190
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Niagara Falls 120 $29,670
Buffalo 120 $29,670
Cheektowaga 120 $29,670
Rochester 100 $29,370
Syracuse 70 $33,450
Kingston 40 $19,730
Schenectady 30 $27,480
Albany 30 $27,480
Troy 30 $27,480
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 120 $26,050
Asheville 90 $24,370
Salem 70 $24,690
Winston 70 $24,690
Chapel Hill 70 $26,010
Durham 70 $26,010
High Point 60 $25,360
Greensboro 60 $25,360
Wilmington 40 $24,010
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 40 $23,850
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elyria 180 $24,420
Cleveland 180 $24,420
Columbus 180 $25,830
Toledo 70 $26,150
Canton 40 $19,940
Massillon 40 $19,940
Akron 30 $27,160
Dayton N/A $25,290
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 280 $21,780
Tulsa 100 $26,130
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Medford 70 $21,490
Salem 70 $27,350
Redmond 50 $24,480
Bend 50 $24,480
Eugene 30 $25,910
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 750 $31,650
Barre 140 $23,010
Hazleton 140 $23,010
Wilkes 140 $23,010
Scranton 140 $23,010
Lancaster 110 $23,680
Erie 70 $20,360
Hanover 60 $27,000
York 60 $27,000
Carlisle N/A $24,360
Harrisburg N/A $24,360
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 50 $24,590
Carolina 50 $24,590
San Juan 50 $24,590
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 150 $25,800
North Charleston 150 $25,800
Columbia 100 $19,150
Mauldin 80 $19,670
Greenville 80 $19,670
Anderson 80 $19,670
Florence 50 $20,580
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 50 $27,810
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Knoxville 150 $19,780
Johnson City 40 $21,030
Jackson 40 $22,620
Franklin N/A $22,530
Murfreesboro N/A $22,530
Nashville N/A $22,530
Davidson N/A $22,530
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arlington 1580 $24,130
Dallas 1580 $24,130
Fort Worth 1580 $24,130
Sugar Land 690 $24,140
The Woodlands 690 $24,140
Houston 690 $24,140
San Antonio 510 $23,670
New Braunfels 510 $23,670
Austin 280 $27,320
Round Rock 280 $27,320
Mission 230 $20,340
Edinburg 230 $20,340
McAllen 230 $20,340
El Paso 230 $21,310
Wichita Falls 170 $23,910
Brownsville 150 $19,600
Harlingen 150 $19,600
Corpus Christi 140 $25,750
Abilene 100 $22,710
Lubbock 90 $22,420
San Angelo 70 $26,760
Laredo 60 $20,760
Port Arthur 50 $24,470
Beaumont 50 $24,470
Longview 40 $21,450
Waco 40 $23,610
Amarillo N/A $19,070
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 240 $21,890
Clearfield 230 $21,430
Ogden 230 $21,430
Provo 130 $21,830
Orem 130 $21,830
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 130 $22,710
Charlottesville 50 $24,060
Roanoke 40 $23,160
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 280 $28,470
Seattle 280 $28,470
Tacoma 280 $28,470
Spokane Valley 180 $23,430
Spokane 180 $23,430
Olympia 50 $25,340
Tumwater 50 $25,340
Bellingham 40 $23,720
Wenatchee 40 $29,810
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Morgantown 50 $20,520
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Madison 40 $28,040
West Allis N/A $27,800
Milwaukee N/A $27,800
Waukesha N/A $27,800

Most Popular Industries for :
Physical Therapist Aides

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

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

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
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
Results:  10
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

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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