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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 technician/assistant graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 7,220
Undergraduate Certificate 235
Basic Certificate 141
Bachelor’s Degree 54

What Physical Therapy Technician Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, physical therapy technician/assistant majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Physical Therapy Technician/Assistant Majors

Physical Therapy Technician/Assistant majors often go into careers in which the following 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 Technician/Assistant Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to physical therapy technician/assistant:

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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 Technician/Assistant Majors

As a physical therapy technician/assistant major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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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 technician/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?

7,220 Associate's Degrees Annually
65% Percent Women
28% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 65% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Physical Therapy Technician/Assistant Students with Associate's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 422
Black or African American 375
Hispanic or Latino 996
White 4,909
International Students 33
Other Races/Ethnicities 485

Geographic Diversity

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

How Much Do Physical Therapy Technician Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Physical Therapy Technician/Assistant majors often go into careers with median salaries of $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 technician/assistant require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for physical therapy technician/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 2018-2019, 398 schools offered a physical therapy technician/assistant program of some type. 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) 14 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 13 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 376 12
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 14 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 technician/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 technician/assistant.

Major Number of Grads
Medical/Clinical Assistant 60,320
Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant 9,273
Pharmacy Technician/Assistant 8,341
Occupational Therapist Assistant 4,954
Emergency Care Attendant (EMT Ambulance) 3,515
Other Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services 3,499
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Assistant 803
Respiratory Therapy Technician/Assistant 392
Speech-Language Pathology Assistant 175
Radiologist Assistant 126
Anesthesiologist Assistant 82
Lactation Consultant 20
Pathology/Pathologist Assistant 12
Chiropractic Assistant/Technician 4

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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