Physical Therapist Assistant Job Description

Physical therapist assistants work under a physical therapist to provide care for patients. They collect data about the treatments they provide and can change them if needed.

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Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) help physical therapists provide patient care and contribute to a therapeutic environment through exposure to advanced clinical roles, including performing initial evaluation of the patient, assisting with treatment techniques and reinforcing patient education, thereby contributing to the cost effectiveness of treatment. These duties are non-clinical.


PTAs are non-licensed professionals who assist a physical therapist in the delivery of treatment. This presents an opportunity for PTAs to enhance their roles as non clinical members of the interdisciplinary health care team.


Physical therapist assistants are employed by hospitals, private practice facilities, public school systems and home health agencies in all fifty states and Puerto Rico; the Bureau of Labor statistics reports that the demand for PTAs is expected to increase by 33% between 2006 and 2016.


The Association of Physical Therapist assistants explains on their website why they believe PTA's should be recognized as a regulated profession, 'Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) provide quality care under the supervision and direction of physical therapists. Therefore, PTAs should be regulated and held to the same standards as physical therapists. Regulation will raise the public’s awareness of what a PTA does and ensure that all PTAs are competent and qualified to provide quality patient care.'


PTAs practice in hospitals, private practice facilities, home health agencies, schools (kindergarten through college), and in athletic training programs.

Statistics on Physical Therapist Assistants

From and

  • The vast majority of PTAs, approximately 72%, work in hospitals or privately-owned physical therapy practices.
  • Approximately 28% of PTAs work part-time. 
  • Approximately 75% of the PTA curriculum is classroom (didactic) and lab study and the remaining 25% is dedicated to clinical education. 
  • Overall employment of physical therapist assistants and aides is projected to grow 29 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The largest employers of physical therapist assistants were as follows: Offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists 46% Hospitals; state, local, and private 23 Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities)
  • The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,500, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $40,580. 
  • Total, all occupations Employment of physical therapist assistants is projected to grow 33 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. 

Articles On Physical Therapist Assistants


Becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapist assistants team with physical therapists to help people live healthy and active lives. Are you ready to be a PTA? (


Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Physical therapist assistants and aides work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. (


How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant (and Why You Shouldn't Hesitate)

If you have a passion for being active and a heart for helping others, then it’s no surprise you’re considering becoming a physical therapist assistant - and there's no better time! Get a closer look at what they do and how to become one. (


Physical Therapist Assistants (


Physical Therapist Assistant - Career Rankings, Salary, Reviews ...

It's the job of the physical therapist assistant to carry out that plan. Their work can include manually maneuvering a patient's body for different massages or... (


Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapist assistants provide physical therapy services to patients under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. (


What Does a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Do?

PTAs works under the supervision of a physical therapist (PT) to implement treatment plans that will help patients regain their mobility and strength. (


How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant

If you have a passion for helping those in need and an interest in healthcare, a career as a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) could be the right fit for you. (


Physical Therapist Assistant - Associate Degree

This program prepares you for jobs such as Physical Therapist Assistant and more! (

Additional Resources on Physical Therapist Assistants

There are more information on physical therapist assistants than ever before, yet little is written on the use of physical therapist assistants.


These articles examine physical therapist assistants from a variety of perspectives.

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