The Average Physical Therapy Assistant Salary

The Average Physical Therapy Assistant Salary

Today, there are nearly seventy thousand physical therapy assistants (PTAs) working in the United States. The average salary was approximately $52,000 in 2012, and this figure is based on a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The bottom ten percent earned about $32,420 or less, and the top ten percent earned close to $72,720 or more. Salaries in this field will vary, depending on the actual position, practice setting, degree of education, years of experience, and location.

Starting Out

The average pay for new PTAs, just out of school with less than one year of experience is about $18 per hour. That is about $36,000 per year and this figure can vary depending on the kind of work setting. The average salary for an assistant who has stayed with the same job for up to four years can be around $24 per hour.

For physical therapy assistants that stay in the same job for as long as nine years, they can earn as much as $26 per hour. Over one year, the hourly wages will be nearly $50,000 and $55,000, respectively. These numbers are at the higher end of the average salaries for PTAs that have increased their salary over time and have more experience.

Job Outlook

There is a very high need for jobs in this field, in spite of of the downturn in the economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for physical therapy assistants are estimated to grow by thirty-five percent from 2008 to 2018.

This is considerably faster when compared to the average growth of many other careers. The necessity for PTAs is expected to expand in the near future as the United State’s population grows older because this increases the need for physical therapy sets.

Employment Opportunities

The most job opportunities for this career are chiefly based in larger cities such as New York City, San Francisco, Miami, Columbus (OH), and Chicago. The highest paying metropolitan area for physical therapy assistant jobs is in Texas.

Best Paying Cities Are In Texas

The highest paying cities in Texas for PTA jobs are Longview, McAllen, San Antonio, Sherman, and Victoria. The annual median salary for these cities is almost $80,760, which is about $29,700 more than the median pay for this profession.

5 Highest Annual Salaries By States

* Texas – $66,170

* New Jersey – $57,330

* California – 57,270

* Connecticut – $57,260

* Florida – $56,740

States with the Highest Employment Opportunities

* Texas

* Ohio

* California

* Florida

* Pennsylvania

Average Salaries for Different Kinds of PTA Jobs

* Assistant – $46,000

* Skilled – $62,000

* Outpatient – $62,000

* Acute – $67,000

* Prn – $87,000

* Travel – $96,000

Average Physical Therapy Assistant Pay Compared To Other Healthcare Jobs

The median salary of PTAs is more than double the salary of home health aides. Their pay is also higher than most dental assistants and pharmacy technicians. In fact, income for most physical therapy assistants is very comparable to radiologic technologists and respiratory therapists.

Work Settings

Most of the time, PTAs work a complete time schedule. Many also work nights and weekends. About twenty-eight percent of PTAs work part time. Over fifty percent of these jobs were in privately-owned physical therapy facilities. Nearly twenty-five percent of the jobs were in hospitals. The others were in schools, rehabilitation centers, and home healthcare.

How Physical Therapy Assistants Can Increase Their Salary

There is a way for an individual to increase their PTA salary without having to get a new job at another facility. When a physical therapy assistant continues their education after they have graduated from their physical therapy assistant school, they can nevertheless earn other healthcare certifications which might make them more valuable to their current employer and consequence in an increase in their salary.

As an example, getting a CPR certification will often increase their average wages from $18 to $22 per hour. Sometimes an athletic training certificate could possibly raise the wage to nearly $20 per hour. A Basic Life sustain certificate could help many PTAs to start earning almost $24 per hour.

There are a number of other certificates that PTAs could earn, such as one for massage therapy. Another way for an individual to increase their salary is to become a fully-registered PTA and it is a good idea for everyone in this career to do this. According to many statistics, the outlook is not only very positive for jobs, but also for an individual’s physical therapy assistant salary.

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