With the current economy, it can be difficult to even imagine a job that can offer some stability, let alone a job that is experiencing growth. The health care field however is currently both for those training for a new career, with expected growth rates that will make any graduate confident with their post educational journey. Estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that a need for qualified physical therapy assistant’s is poised to grow by 35% by 2018, a tremendous point to consider for anyone interested in this career.
If you have recently lost a job, or are having a difficult time securing a career in your current industry, you may want to consider entering into a whole new line of work. Physical therapy assistants study 2 years, and with such a high demand it is a relatively quick and easy entrance to a career that stands up to the recession.
The average salary for a Physical Therapy Assistants (PTAs) ranges from $37,000 to $54,000 per year, but some PTAs can bring in a salary closer to $60 000. For all the courses out there that require 4 years or 6 years of school to obtain a position, PTAs study 2 years to complete an in demand associates degree that will leave them with stability, and many future options.
Is A PTA Career For Me?
While training for a career as a physical therapy assistant is a great fit for many individuals, like anything it is not for everyone. Ask your self the following questions if you are seriously considering going the route of a physical therapy assistant associates degree.
- Do you have an interest in working within the health care industry?
- Do you have a genuine passion for helping others
- Are you communication skills fundamentally strong?
- Are you comfortable working with people who may have been severely injured, or those that have gone through amputations?
- Are you able to work with elderly individuals with cognitive disorders of the brain (Dementia etc.)
A PTA is very involved in the patient care process of the rehabilitation team. You will likely spend your time with the patients following through with the instructions given to you by the staff physical therapists. A career where you help individuals everyday in the recovery process, or the maintenance of their physical health can be very rewarding, yet for many it can also be stressful. If you can answer these questions with a confident yes, then working as a PTA fits your personality, ability, and this career choice would be excellent for you.
Becoming a PTA
Becoming a PTA is less difficult than many would think. You need to have your high school diploma or equivalent. Most educational institutes will have a pre-test to determine and assess your skills for basics in biology, English, and other courses deemed to be required for the associates degree. Within 2 years you can be on your way to having an in demand career with great wages.
PTAs may find work in hospitals (rehabilitation hospitals, general, surgical, childrens), nursing and old age home, general rehabilitation clinics, sports medicine clinics, private in home rehabilitation companies, as well as other potential job place settings. Choosing the career path of a physical therapy assistant truly will offer career stability, an in demand profession, and excellent compensation.