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Top 10 how to become physical therapy aide That Will Change Your Life

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come a Physical Therapy Aide (PTA)

How to Become a Physical Therapy Aide (PTA)

Sarah Jividen

Part One What is a Physical Therapy Aide?

Physical therapy aides are ancillary healthcare professionals who assist and work under the direct supervision of a physical therapist (PT). They prepare patients for physical therapy, set up treatment areas, gather necessary materials, and clean and organize materials after a physical therapy session.

If you are interested in entering into the healthcare field, enjoy helping others, and are fascinated by how the body moves, a career as a physical therapy aide (PTA) might be a great option for you!


We Found The Following Schools with Online Physical Therapy Aide Programs

Physical Therapy Aide Specialties

Physical therapy aides work with a variety of different patient types, but the most common specialties they work in include:

  • Geriatric
  • Orthopedic
  • Neurological
  • Pediatric
  • Cardiopulmonary

Physical Therapy Aide vs Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapy aides are often confused with physical therapist assistants. However, it is essential to understand the difference between the two job titles for clarity and to prevent confusion.

  1. Physical therapist assistants are healthcare professionals who directly assist patients with therapeutic exercises as a part of their medical care and recovery.  
  2. Physical therapy aides do not work directly with patients. They do ancillary tasks such as setting up treatment areas, cleaning up after patient treatments, transporting patients, and performing other various clerical duties.

Part Two What Do Physical Therapy Aides Do?

Physical therapy aides work under the supervision of physical therapists during patient treatments and ensure that areas are clean, stocked with necessary supplies, and safe for treatment. 

A physical therapy aide job description includes:

  1. Welcoming, comforting, assisting, and preparing patients for physical therapy
  2. Gathering needed supplies and preparing physical therapy treatment rooms 
  3. Helping patients with supplemental therapy treatments, including hot and cold packs, and paraffin dips
  4. Assisting patients onto exercise equipment and into treatment pools
  5. Helping the physical therapist by monitoring and recording data during treatment 
  6. Helping maintain the safety of patients by keeping treatment areas clean and complying with protocols
  7. Helping position patients for physical therapy treatments
  8. Performing preventative maintenance requirements for therapy equipment per manufacturer instructions
  9. Ensuring sufficient stock of supplies and reordering when needed
  10. Completing occasional clerical tasks
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Physical therapy aides work in a variety of patient care settings wherever physical therapy is needed and in a variety of locations, including:

  1. Hospitals
  2. Doctors offices
  3. Physical therapy offices
  4. Nursing homes
  5. Sports and fitness offices
  6. Outpatient clinics

Physical therapy aides must possess compassion, empathy, and a desire to work alongside other medical professionals with sick, injured, or disabled patients.

>> Related: How to Become a Physical Therapist

Part Three Physical Therapy Aide Salary 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that physical therapy aides earned a median salary of $28,450 in 2020. 

However, the BLS also states that as of May 2020, annual wages for physical therapist aides were also dependent on your work environment. From highest to lowest paying, these are the median salaries for physical therapy aides specific to work location:

  1. Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) – $34,800
  2. Hospitals – $30,620
  3. Doctors offices – $29,760
  4. Government agencies – $28,360
  5. Physical, occupational, and speech therapist offices – $27,080

Other salary factors include working full-time or part-time, the area you live in, and your experience level. In addition, many physical therapy aides have the option to work overtime hours if they choose to.

Highest Paying States for Physical Therapy Aides

According to the BLS, the highest paying states for physical therapy aides are:

  1. Rhode Island – $45,970
  2. Connecticut – $41,800
  3. Minnesota – $38,250
  4. Hawaii – $37,600
  5. Alaska – $37,260

If you want to become a physical therapy aide, these are the steps you’ll need to take:

1.) Obtain a High School Diploma or GED

The minimum requirement to work as a physical therapy aide is a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent. 

2.) Enroll in a Physical Therapy Aide Program

Some physical therapy aides receive no additional training before starting their careers. Instead, they receive on-the-job training while working in the field.

However, some jobs may require you to complete a physical therapy aide program. These are available at technical colleges, vocational schools, and in certificate programs. These programs usually take a few weeks to 2 months to complete.

3.) Earn Your Certification 

You can further your education by earning a Physical Therapy Aide/Technician Certification (PTTC). Your program may help prepare you for taking and passing this exam, but there are also online courses that can help you.


We Found The Following Schools with Online Physical Therapy Aide Programs

Part Five What is the Career Outlook For a Physical Therapy Aide?

The job outlook for physical therapy aides is excellent, and the BLS projects 29% growth in the profession between 2019-2029. The expected growth is due to the anticipated needs of an increasing elderly population and increased comorbidities, such as obesity and diabetes.

Part Six What are the Continuing Education Requirements for Physical Therapy Aides?

Currently, there are no mandatory continuing education (CE) requirements for physical therapy aides. There are only CE requirements for physical therapists and physical therapy assistants.

However, many states and employers may require that you earn your Basic Life Support (BLS) certification. BLS certification is usually a two or three-hour hands-on class. Recertification takes place every two years.

You must research your state’s requirements for more information.

Part Seven Where Can I Learn More About Physical Therapy Aides?

  • American Physical Therapy Association


We Found The Following Schools with Online Physical Therapy Aide Programs

Part Eight Physical Therapy Aide FAQs

  • How long does it take to become a physical therapy aide?

    • Physical therapy aide programs usually take a few weeks to 2 months to complete.
  • Is a physical therapy aide a good career?

    • A career as a physical therapy aide is an excellent career for those interested in entering into an entry-level healthcare career and have a desire to work alongside other medical professionals with sick, injured, or disabled patients. The BLS projects 30% increased growth in the profession over the next ten years, so there will be many opportunities for those interested in entering the profession.
  • Is it hard to get into a PTA program?

    • PTA programs require that you have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent for program candidacy.

Extra Information About how to become physical therapy aide That You May Find Interested

If the information we provide above is not enough, you may find more below here.

How to Become a Physical Therapy Aide (PTA) - Nurse.org

How to Become a Physical Therapy Aide (PTA) – Nurse.org

  • Author: nurse.org

  • Rating: 5⭐ (136254 rating)

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  • Sumary: Everything you need to know about becoming a physical therapy aide including school/certification requirements, compensation and tasks.

  • Matching Result: 1.) Obtain a High School Diploma or GED · 2.) Enroll in a Physical Therapy Aide Program · 3.) Earn Your Certification · We Found The Following …

  • Intro: How to Become a Physical Therapy Aide (PTA) Part One What is a Physical Therapy Aide? Physical therapy aides are ancillary healthcare professionals who assist and work under the direct supervision of a physical therapist (PT). They prepare patients for physical therapy, set up treatment areas, gather necessary materials, and…
  • Source: https://nurse.org/healthcare/physical-therapy-aide/

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Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides

Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides

  • Author: bls.gov

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  • Sumary: Physical therapist assistants and aides work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists.

  • Matching Result: Physical therapist aides typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. They also usually need on-the-job training that can last from about …

  • Intro: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides Summary What They Do Work Environment How to Become One Pay Job Outlook State & Area Data Similar Occupations More Info Summary Please enable javascript to play this video. Video transcript available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbpS0uBh7b0. Quick Facts: Physical Therapist Assistants and…
  • Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapist-assistants-and-aides.htm

Physical Therapy Aide | New York State Education Department

Physical Therapy Aide | New York State Education Department

  • Author: nysed.gov

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  • Lowest Rate: 3⭐

  • Sumary: Physical therapy aides are members of physical therapy support teams. Working under the direct supervision of licensed physical therapists and licensed physical therapy assistants, physical therapy aides perform nonmedical tasks, such as clerical and administrative responsibilities, maintaining supplies and treatment rooms, and transporting…

  • Matching Result: Physical therapy assistants are licensed healthcare professionals with increased responsibilities and patient contact. The education for a physical therapy …

  • Intro: Physical Therapy AidePhysical therapy aides are members of physical therapy support teams. Working under the direct supervision of licensed physical therapists and licensed physical therapy assistants, physical therapy aides perform nonmedical tasks, such as clerical and administrative responsibilities, maintaining supplies and treatment rooms, and transporting patients. It’s important to note the distinction between physical therapy aides and physical therapy assistants: Physical therapy aides are…
  • Source: http://www.nysed.gov/career-technical-education/physical-therapy-aide

What does a Physical Therapy Aide do? - Your Free Career Test

What does a Physical Therapy Aide do? – Your Free Career Test

  • Author: yourfreecareertest.com

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  • Sumary: What does a Physical Therapy Aide do? How to become a Physical Therapy Aide and Description. Physical Therapy Aide Training. Physical Therapy Aide Salary.

  • Matching Result: Physical therapist assistants need an associate’s degree from an accredited program, along with a state license or certification. Aides usually need a high …

  • Intro: What does a Physical Therapy Aide do? A physical therapy aide works under the direct supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant. They do tasks that are indirectly related to patient care like cleaning equipment, setting up treatment areas, doing clerical duties, and moving patients who require assistance…
  • Source: https://www.yourfreecareertest.com/physical-therapy-aide/

Becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant - APTA

Becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant – APTA

  • Author: apta.org

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

  • Matching Result: To work as a physical therapist assistant in the United States, you must graduate from a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education-accredited …

  • Intro: Becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant What Physical Therapist Assistants Do Physical therapist assistants provide physical therapist services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs implement components of patient care, obtain data related to the treatments provided, and collaborate with the PT to modify care as necessary. PTAs…
  • Source: https://www.apta.org/your-career/careers-in-physical-therapy/becoming-a-pta

Become a Physical Therapist Aide | sochi.edu

Become a Physical Therapist Aide | sochi.edu

  • Author: sochi.edu

  • Rating: 5⭐ (136254 rating)

  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

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  • Sumary: If you are interested in a career in physical therapy or sports rehab, becoming a physical therapy aide may be the right path for you.

  • Matching Result: A high school diploma or GED is required to become a physical therapy aide, but college degrees in physical therapy or the like are not required …

  • Intro: Become a Physical Therapist Aide Physical therapy aides assist with therapies as well as doing office tasks. Physical Therapist Certification If you are interested in a career in physical therapy or sports rehab, becoming a physical therapy aide may be the right path for you. Physical therapy aide programs are…
  • Source: https://www.sochi.edu/blog/become-physical-therapist-aide/

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) & PT Aide - Certification ...

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) & PT Aide – Certification …

  • Author: healthcaredegree.com

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  • Sumary: Discover how to become a physical therapist assistant (PTA) or PT aide, including education and licensure requirements, as well as salary information.

  • Matching Result: Those interested in becoming a physical therapist assistant will need to obtain an associate’s degree from a CAPTE-accredited physical therapist assistant …

  • Intro: Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) & PT Aide – Certification & Salary It’s important to note that PTAs perform different duties and have greater education and licensing requirements than physical therapist aides. While both work in a physical therapy setting, PT aides typically have a high school diploma or GED or…
  • Source: https://www.healthcaredegree.com/physical/physical-therapist-assistant

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Online Physical Therapy Aide Certification Course - BMCC

Online Physical Therapy Aide Certification Course – BMCC

  • Author: bmcc.cuny.edu

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  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

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  • Sumary: Physical therapy aides work with physical therapists to provide a positive experience for patients undergoing physical therapy treatment. This 100% online course will teach you the concepts, skills and practices to become a certified physical therapy aide. Upon successful completion, students will be eligible to take the American Medical…

  • Matching Result: This 100% online course will teach you the concepts, skills and practices to become a certified physical therapy aide. Upon successful completion, students …

  • Intro: Online Physical Therapy Aide Certification Course – BMCC Become A Certified Physical Therapy Aide Physical therapy aides work with physical therapists to provide a positive experience for patients undergoing physical therapy treatment. This 100% online course will teach you the concepts, skills and practices to become a certified physical therapy…
  • Source: https://www.bmcc.cuny.edu/ce/online-courses/online-physical-therapy-aide-certification-course/

Frequently Asked Questions About how to become physical therapy aide

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic how to become physical therapy aide, then this section may help you solve it.

What distinguishes a physical therapy assistant from an aide?

Physical therapist aides frequently perform duties that are only loosely connected to patient care, such as cleaning and setting up the treatment area, moving patients, and performing administrative tasks.

Is a physical therapist assistant equivalent to a tech?

Physical therapy aides (PTAs), also known as rehabilitation technicians, have duties that are quite similar to those of PTAs; however, the term “rehab tech” is more of a catch-all term that can refer to positions working with speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, or any other therapy involved in patient rehabilitation.

What tasks does a physical therapy assistant perform?

Prepares patients for physical therapy treatment by welcoming, consoling, providing, and/or assisting patient into physical therapy attire or apertures. Informs patients by responding to inquiries and requests, assuaging fears, and providing information.

In NYC, how much money does a physical therapy assistant make?

Geographical distribution of physical therapy assistants:

State Employment (1) Annual mean wage (2)
California 5,830 $ 34,080
Texas 4,500 $ 27,150
New Jersey 4,170 $ 31,460
New York 2,780 $ 34,020

1 more row

Do assistants in physical therapy wear scrubs?

Physical therapy assistants can wear standard office attire like slacks and shirts or blouses, depending on the demands of the job, or they can opt to wear traditional medical scrubs.

Is helping patients in physical therapy stressful?

Being a physical therapist assistant can be emotionally taxing at times because many of your patients are in pain, uncertain about their health, and possibly even irritable.

Is it worthwhile to work as a physical therapy assistant?

The ability to make a pretty good living is one of the top benefits of being a physical therapist assistant. The average annual salary for PTAs is $9,440, and you may be able to increase that amount even further by working overtime at certain times of the year.

Which PTAs are the most profitable?

Highest-Paying PTA Positions: Nursing Care Facilities, 2,110 per year (9.86 per hour), Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals, 2,021 per year (9.82 per hour); Home Health Care Services, 5,300 per year (1.39 per hour); Employment Services, 3,740 per year (0.64 per hour);

Is being a PTA low stress?

The Best Jobs report by US News ranked being a PTA in the top 10 of all health care support jobs, noting its moderately low stress, good work/life balance, and average upward mobility. Working as a PTA can be a rewarding career choice with an optimistic future.

Is becoming a PTA before a PT preferable?

Being a physical therapist assistant is not a prerequisite for becoming a physical therapist, but about 10% of PTAs choose to work as PTs instead of continuing in their original field of physical therapy.

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