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Physical Therapist Aide

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What is a Physical Therapist Aide?

Position Description Under close supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, perform only delegated, selected, or routine tasks in specific situations. These duties include preparing the patient and the treatment area.

Daily Life Of a Physical Therapist Aide

  • Perform clerical duties, such as taking inventory, ordering supplies, answering telephone, taking messages, or filling out forms.
  • Measure patient’s range-of-joint motion, body parts, or vital signs to determine effects of treatments or for patient evaluations.
  • Maintain equipment or furniture to keep it in good working condition, including performing the assembly or disassembly of equipment or accessories.
  • Change linens, such as bed sheets and pillow cases.
  • Confer with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, or coordinating treatment.
  • Clean and organize work area and disinfect equipment after treatment.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Physical Therapist Aide?

Physical Therapist Aides state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Types of Physical Therapist Aide

  • Physical Therapist Aide (PTA)
  • Outpatient Therapy Aide
  • Clinical Rehabilitation Aide
  • Physical Therapy Attendant
  • Physical Therapist Technician (Physical Therapy Tech)

Physical Therapist Aide Employment Estimates

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 52,000 jobs in the United States for Physical Therapist Aide. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 29.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 15,200 new jobs for Physical Therapist Aide by 2026. The BLS estimates 8,500 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Physical Therapist Aide are Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Maine, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Physical Therapist Aide

The typical yearly salary for Physical Therapist Aides is somewhere between $20,040 and $39,230.


Physical Therapist Aides who work in Alaska, Minnesota, or Vermont, make the highest salaries.

How much do Physical Therapist Aides make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $26,190
Alaska $46,230
Arizona $28,360
Arkansas $25,650
California $31,090
Colorado $32,240
Connecticut $30,980
Delaware $26,050
District of Columbia $30,520
Florida $27,160
Georgia $27,270
Hawaii $30,050
Idaho $39,120
Illinois $31,100
Indiana $29,450
Iowa $27,580
Kansas $27,490
Kentucky $26,320
Louisiana $27,620
Maine $30,690
Maryland $25,980
Massachusetts $33,740
Michigan $27,810
Minnesota $37,230
Mississippi $22,870
Missouri $28,940
Montana $28,320
Nebraska $28,000
Nevada $26,000
New Hampshire $32,820
New Jersey $27,480
New Mexico $28,210
New York $30,230
North Carolina $27,780
North Dakota $33,350
Ohio $28,210
Oklahoma $21,610
Oregon $30,200
Pennsylvania $29,450
Rhode Island $33,960
South Carolina $30,440
South Dakota $28,810
Tennessee $25,740
Texas $26,810
Utah $22,860
Vermont $33,900
Virginia $28,110
Washington $29,870
West Virginia $25,620
Wisconsin $30,460
Wyoming $26,080

Tools & Technologies Used by Physical Therapist Aides

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Physical Therapist Aides may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Word processing software
  • MEDITECH software
  • Scheduling software
  • Medical procedure coding software
  • Epic Systems
  • Patient record maintenance software

Becoming a Physical Therapist Aide

Education needed to be a Physical Therapist Aide:


What work experience do I need to become a Physical Therapist Aide?


Physical Therapist Aides Sector


The table below shows the approximate number of Physical Therapist Aides employed by various industries.


You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming a Physical Therapist Aide might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as a Physical Therapist Aide sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Sgt. Courtney Richardson, 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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