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Physical Therapy Technician Major

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Physical Therapy Technician

7,189 Associates's Degrees Annually
54 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#3 in Popularity (Associate's)
$57,750 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Physical Therapy Technician Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many physical therapy assistant graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate Degree 5,595
Undergraduate Certificate 198
Basic Certificate 67
Bachelor’s Degree 42

What Physical Therapy Technician Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to physical therapy assistant were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Physical Therapy Assistant Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Skills for Physical Therapy Assistant Majors

A major in physical therapy assistant prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.

Abilities for Physical Therapy Assistant Majors

A major in physical therapy assistant will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Can You Do With a Physical Therapy Technician Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with physical therapy assistant:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Physical Therapist Assistants 31.1% $58,040

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Physical Therapy Technician?

5,595 Associate's Degrees Annually
63% Percent Women
29% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 63% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of physical therapy assistant majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 314
Black or African American 306
Hispanic or Latino 809
White 3,696
International Students 27
Other Races/Ethnicities 443

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Physical Therapy Assistant. About 0.5% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Physical Therapy Technician Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

The median salary for someone in a career related to physical therapy assistant is $57,750. This median refers to all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Physical Therapy Technician Major  57,750
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some careers associated with physical therapy assistant require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for physical therapy assistant careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 99.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 0.2%

Online Physical Therapy Technician Programs

In the 2019-2020 academic year, 383 schools offered some type of physical therapy assistant program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 13 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 365 2
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Physical Therapy Technician Worth It?

The median salary for a physical therapy assistant grad is $57,750 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 45% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $357,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to physical therapy assistant.

Major Number of Grads
Medical/Clinical Assistant 52,393
Pharmacy Technician/Assistant 6,922
Other Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services 3,622
Occupational Therapist Assistant 3,617
Emergency Care Attendant (EMT Ambulance) 3,114
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Assistant 787
Respiratory Therapy Technician/Assistant 427
Anesthesiologist Assistant 321
Speech-Language Pathology Assistant 179
Radiologist Assistant 142
Pathology/Pathologist Assistant 134
Lactation Consultant 33
Chiropractic Assistant/Technician 0

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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