Physical Therapy Assistants



Physical therapy assistants (PTAs) help to restore physical function in people with injury, birth defects, or disease. They assist physical therapists with a variety of techniques, such as exercise, massage, heat, and water therapy.

Physical therapy assistants work directly under the supervision of physical therapists. They teach and help patients improve functional activities required in their daily lives, such as walking, climbing, and moving from one place to another. The assistants observe patients during treatments, reco...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Associate's Degree



Clinical experience through an accredited program required



Coaching/Physical Training


Personality Traits

Hands On


Salaries for physical therapy assistants vary considerably depending on location, employer, and level of experience. Physical therapy assistants earned median annual salaries of $58,790 in May 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The lowest 10 percent earned $33,450 or less; the highest 10 percent earned $33,450 $80,840 or more. Benefits usually include paid holidays, sick days, and...

Work Environment

More than half of PTAs, approximately 66 percent, work in hospitals or privately owned physical therapy practices. Others work in home health, schools, and rehab units. Physical therapy is generally administered in pleasant, clean, well-lighted, and well-ventilated surroundings. The space devoted to physical therapy services is often large to accommodate activities such as gait training and exe...


Employment prospects are very good for physical therapy assistants. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment will grow much faster than the average for all careers through 2028. Many new positions for physical therapy assistants are expected to open up as hospital programs that aid the disabled expand and as long-term facilities seek to offer residents more adequate services. Physi...