Physical Therapist AssistantsPhysical Therapist Assistants work under the direction of physical therapists to assist and administer treatment to patients.
Typical duties include giving heat, light, and ultrasound treatments.
Physical Therapist Assistants also give patients massages and exercises that help heal muscles, nerves, bones, and joints.
They teach and encourage patients to learn or improve necessary activities such as walking, climbing, and general mobility.
Patients are watched during treatment, and their reactions and progress are recorded and reported to therapists by the Assistants.
They fit patients for and teach them to use corrective equipment such as braces or artificial arms and legs or supportive devices such as wheelchairs.
They also observe the patients' progress, instruct, and motivate them during treatment.
- Completion of an associate degree in physical therapy assisting from an accredited school.
- Licensed by the Physical Therapy Board of California.
- Good written and oral communication skills.
- Interest in working with, teaching, and providing a service to others.
- Fingerprint clearance is required.
- Physical Therapist Assistants Median hourly wage: $22.15
- Average annual wage: $44,699
- Estimated number of Physical Therapist Assistants in 2000: 3,900
- Estimated number of Physical Therapist Assistants in 2010: 6,000
- Estimated annual job openings: 280
Possible Career Paths for Physical Therapist Assistants include becoming a:
- Department Supervisor
- Physical Therapist
- Physical Therapist Instructor