Physical Therapist Aides Career

physical-therapist-aide-500As a physical therapist aide, you work in a health care setting under the direct supervision of a physical therapist. Your job is indirectly related to patient care and includes preparing the patient and treatment area for the procedure.

A physical therapist aide’s job duties are typically routine. The tasks that physical therapist aides may perform vary and are regulated by each state.

Physical Therapist Aides Career Snapshot

A majority of physical therapist aides work full time in physical, speech or occupational therapists’ offices. Others work in physicians’ offices, hospitals or skilled nursing facilities or government settings. They may be required to work nights or weekends during extended hours at some clinics.

Further details on a career as a physical therapy aide are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average yearly salary for physical therapy aides.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a High School diploma while 22% have an Associate’s degree.

Physical Therapist Aides Outlook

The future job outlook for physical therapist aides is excellent and is expected to grow by 39 percent until the mid-2020s. This is because the aging population is steadily growing, and an increasing incidence of chronic conditions will require physical therapy to help patients remain mobile. In addition, advances in medical technology will allow more children with birth defects and trauma patients to survive and thus continue to need ongoing therapy.

Physical Therapist Aides Job Duties

A physical therapist aide’s primary duties include keeping the treatment area clean, setting up equipment, washing linens and assisting patients to and from the therapy area. They also perform a number of clerical jobs, including answering phones, scheduling appointments, ordering supplies and completing insurance forms.

Physical Therapist Aides Salaries

According to the, the median annual wage in May 2015 for a physical therapist aide was $25,120, which is the equivalent of $12.08 per hour. The bottom 10 percent made less than $18,720 annually, and the top 10 percent made over $38,000. If you work as a physical therapist aide at a skilled nursing facility, you can expect to earn over $4,700 more annually than if you’re employed at a physical, speech or occupational therapist’s or audiologist’s office.

Physical Therapist Aides Education

A physical therapist aide is required to have earned at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. On-the-job training usually takes from one week to one month. You will not need a license or certificate to become a physical therapist aide.

Physical Therapist Aides Skills & Traits

Physical Therapist Aide Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Physical Therapist Aides:Typical Work Activities:
• Active Listening
• Social Perceptiveness
• Coordination
• Monitoring
• Service Orientation
• Oral Comprehension
• Oral Expression
• Problem Sensitivity
• Speech Recognition
• Arm-Hand Steadiness
• Blood pressure cuff kits
• Canes or cane accessories
• Lower extremity prosthetic devices
• Therapeutic heating/cooling pads
• Wheelchairs
• Caring for others
• Communicating with supervisors
• Performing general physical activities
• Getting information
• Moving objects

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