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Healthcare Physical Therapy Assistant
Salary Range Jobs Available
$42,400 - $82,300 16,500+

What Does a Physical Therapy Assistant Do?

If you get satisfaction out of helping others reach their goals, here’s a job to consider.

Physical therapy assistants, also called PTAs, work one-on-one with patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses to regain movement and manage pain. They help people live healthy, active lives.

Physical therapy assistants work under the direct supervision of a physical therapist. Assistants’ tasks vary by state, but they often take a holistic approach that includes exercise, massage, balance training, stretching and resistance training.

PTAs are in demand. They provide patient care in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports facilities, work settings and nursing homes. They work with patients of all ages to recover or to simply prevent future problems.

If you’re ready to learn more about this satisfying career, keep reading.

A physical therapy assistant helps a woman keep her balance as she tries to walk in the hospital
Physical therapy assistants possess the compassion and skills to help patients get back to normal daily activities. (Credit: Tyler Olson/Shutterstock)


  • Observe patients before, during and after therapy
  • Communicate information to a physical therapist
  • Treat patients using massage and other techniques that include specific equipment
  • Teach patients how to do specific exercises and and stretches 
  • Educate patients about how to care for themselves after treatment, or work with family members to do this
  • Document treatment and patient’s progress
  • Set up and maintain room and equipment used for treatment

How To Become a Physical Therapy Assistant: FAQs

The bottom line:

This rewarding career is a great fit for someone who wants to help others improve or preserve their quality of life by reducing pain and improving mobility. These skilled professionals are in-demand at hospitals and private clinics. If this sounds like a satisfying profession to you, check out SkillPointe’s selection of training opportunities near you. 

Physical therapy assistants like Brandon Shreve help people who are recovering from injuries and illnesses to regain movement.

Day in the life of a physical therapy assistant

Brandon Shreve always wanted to work in a helping profession. The tricky part was finding the right one. 

Through his work as a case manager, he saw the tangible benefits of physical therapy and decided to switch careers. 

Now he works at Mountain State Physical Therapy in West Virginia, where he can see how patients directly benefit from his help.

"Every patient and every day is different," he says. Those are just some of the reasons why he says being a physical therapy assistant is so satisfying.

Local Certifications and Requirements

You may need a state license or certificate before you can work in a specific career in your state. Different states may also have different education and experience requirements, fees and application forms. The good news - we make it super easy to find what you need to begin your new career. Just enter your zip code to get started.

Find Physical Therapy Assistant Training In Your Area

Salt Lake City

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.A.S.

Being a Physical Therapist Assistant is a challenging but extremely rewarding job. It requires patience, empathy and the ability to analyze and...
Salt Lake City

Certified Physical Therapy Aide (Online-Voucher Included) Certificate of Completion

There's a growing need for physical therapy aides. In fact, PT aide jobs will grow over 29 percent through 2029. This online course will help you...
Coeur d'Alene

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.A.S.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Consortium Program prepares students for employment as physical therapist assistants (PTA). The PTA functions through...

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.A.S.

Invest your time and talents in a career that makes a difference. Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) play an important role in helping people regain...
Fort Lauderdale

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Science program is a limited access program which is delivered to students at Broward College (BC) and...
Daytona Beach

Physical Therapist Assistant (Limited Access Program), A.S.

The program prepares graduates to work in physical therapy. Physical Therapy is a health and rehabilitation profession that provides services to...

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S.

Interested in how to become a physical therapist assistant? The Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Science (A.S) degree is a combination of...
Fort Pierce

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S.

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) work under the direction of a physical therapist to assist patients in improving their mobility, restoring...

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Miami Dade College prepares students for employment in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes...
Winter Haven

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S.

The PTA Program prepares students for careers as members of the health care team who provide direct patient care under the supervision of a licensed...

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S.

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program provides students with entry-level skills and knowledge to work under the direction and supervision of...

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S.

After an injury, a patient needs a skilled set of hands to help them recover. This is where you come in. Become trained in physical therapy, and learn...

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S.

Graduates of the program will become physical therapist assistants (PTAs), who are skilled health care providers working under the supervision of a...

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.A.S.

If you like to help people and enjoy working with body movement, Physical Therapist Assisting (PTA) may be a rewarding career for you. As a Physical...

Physical Therapy Assistant, A.A.S.

Physical therapy intervention can also prevent further injury. When a patient seeks physical therapy services, the physical therapist performs an...
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