Is Physical Therapist Assistant a Good Career?

Are you considering becoming a physical therapist assistant and wondering if it is a good career path to pursue? Let us help you. The U.S. News and World Report ranked physical therapist assistant as #3 in the “Best Healthcare Support Jobs” and #26 in the “100 Best Jobs.”[1] As per the report, the unemployment rate for this career path is 1.3% and the median salary in $58,040.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of PTAs is projected to grow 33 percent through the year 2029. It is projected that the demand for PTAs will increase due to the increasing needs of the aging population which includes the baby-boom generation. As they age and have health related concerns, their need for physical rehabilitation therapy will increase. Physical Therapist Assistants have one of the brightest career outlooks.

What do Physical Therapist Assistants do?

The primary role of physical therapist assistants is to help the physical therapists. They help carry out treatment plans so patients can regain their range of motion and manage pain. (Learn more what Physical Therapists do here- Link Physical Therapy vs. Occupational Therapy article). The need for therapy could be due to an illness or surgery. With the help of different exercises, techniques and massages, PTAs can help patients recover from their conditions. The physical therapist creates a health care plan specific to the needs of the patient. PTAs help with the treatment and keep data and records of the treatment plans. Since they work closely with the patient, they may also provide feedback to the physical therapist on what may or may not be helping the patient.

Physical Therapist Assistants can be employed in a different range of settings. This can include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals and more.

How to become a PTA?

In order to work as a physical therapist assistant, you have to graduate from a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education- accredited PTA program which is usually two years long. The course comprises of about 75% in-classroom education and 25% clinical education. After completion of the program, you have to pass a state administered national exam to obtain a license to practice.

As with most jobs, having certain skills can be of help if this is a career you want to pursue. This includes:

  1. Being a great listener
  2. Having good communication skills
  3. Good interpersonal skills

If you feel that being a physical therapist assistant is the right match, Cornerstone can help you. We are committed to providing high quality care to our patients. Learn how you can join our team here. https://www.cornerstonerehab.com/clinicians/

[1] https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/physical-therapist-assistant

[2] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapist-assistants-and-aides.htm#tab-6