Explore Career Options, Jobs, Schooling, and Salary for an in Demand Career in Physical Therapy

An Overview of Physical Therapy Assistant Jobs

Physical therapy assistant jobs can take place in numerous different work environments, which gives those that are employed in this career great flexibility. The majority  of jobs in in physical therapy though do require a moderate level of strength. Lifting and aiding patients is something that is a requirement for working as a physical therapist assistant, as it is a fact that patients can come in all different shapes and sizes. All physical therapy assistant jobs will include long periods of standing, as well as bending, and kneeling. Obviously some physical therapy assistant jobs are more physically demanding than others.

The hours and the times of day that physical therapy assistants work can vary depending on the facility. Income can also drastically change depending on whether you decide to work in a skilled nursing facility, or in a hospital. The job description although it may change from facility to facility, this therapy job will always involve interacting with patients

Let’s look at some of the common places where we can find physical therapy assistant jobs,

Physical therapy Assistant Jobs: Home Health Care


Physical therapist assistant jobs in home health care involve travel to and from the homes of the patients that you are scheduled to have treatment sessions with. For some this position offers incredible flexibility and freedom. This also happens to be the highest paying physical therapy assistant job that is available, with an average median salary of around $52 000, those with experience can make much more in this profession often over $60 000 a year. How much you can earn visiting directly with patients can also depend upon the state in which you work, a state like California has a higher median wage for this profession than say Oklahoma.


Physical Therapy Assistant Jobs: Nursing Care Facilities


Working with the elderly in a health care facility is an option for a physical therapy assistant. With an aging population sweeping across much of the United States, we will see an increased growth for this sector of physical therapy. Much of the work that is done here will involve prescribing exercises of daily living, and ensuring that patients stay active, mobile and as pain free as possible. For some working with those that have less capability to help themselves is really rewarding. For others in this profession the intrigue of sports medicine and injury rehabilitation will lead them to other facilities. As far as wages go, nursing care facilities pay quite well, with an average median of over $51 000 across the nation.


Physical Therapy Assistant Jobs: General Medical and Surgical Hospitals


Working in either an outpatient clinic, or working directly in hospital physical therapy you will be exposed to many conditions, situations, and experience many different learning situations. You may work with those that are recovering from automobile accidents, recovering from heart disease or stroke related illness, as well as those that are recovering from surgery. Many say that the best place to really learn the scope of physical therapy is to work in a hospital setting. Although the hospital setting on average has lower salaries than some of the other jobs in this profession at a median average of just over $45 000, there is usually a much more extensive benefits packaged offered. This is due to most hospitals having a large number of employees, which allows them to offer their better bundled health coverage.


Physical Therapy Assistant Jobs: Offices, Clinics


This type of career may in general give a PTA, the most flexibility of any of the physical therapy assistant jobs. This truly is working in a private practice type setting seeing patients on an individual basis. You may be using electric devices such as an ultrasound, as well exercise and rehabilitation equipment. PTA jobs in a clinical setting often deal with sports medicine related injuries, as well as dealing with those with chronic back conditions, and those who are looking to make the return to work, after receiving a surgery. In a hospital you will see patients directly after surgery, in a clinical or office setting you will see the patients once they are dismissed from the hospital. Your job will be return them as close to 100% health as possible. For those with an athletic background, this is often one of the most rewarding physical therapy assistant jobs. The median average salary for this type of work place setting is $43 000 to $45 000, but it does offer one a much more flexible schedule.


Final Word: Physical Therapy Assistant Jobs


There are numerous different settings for physical therapy assistant jobs, speaking with those in the profession is an excellent way to decide which area you may wish to work in. Depending on your personality, and even to a degree your financial needs, will help determine which PTA job is the right fit for you. You may not have a specific “right fit” and may wish to experience different work place settings throughout your career. There is always a clinical placement component of any physical therapy assistant program this is a requirement. This helps students get familiar with many facets, as well as the opportunity to internship at many different physical therapy assistant jobs.

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