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PTA Career Facts

What does a Physical Therapist Assistant do?

The Physical Therapist Assistant works under the direction of a licensed Physical Therapist. They provide services to improve strength, flexibility, relieve pain, promote fitness, and quality of life of people suffering from injuries or disease. Physical Therapist Assistants perform a wide variety of tasks involving exercise, massage, electrical stimulation, heat/cold treatment, ultrasound, traction, and hydrotherapy. They provide training to improve ambulation, body mechanics, posture, and athletic performance.

Individuals who are licensed Physical Therapist Assistants are eligible to work in hospitals, schools, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, sports facilities, or home health agencies. Physical therapy clinics operate primarily in the day hours, but evening and weekend hours are available in some settings. There are opportunities for full and part time work.

What is the average salary range for a Physical Therapist Assistant?

Salary ranges for Physical Therapist Assistants will vary according to experience and the type of employment setting. A new graduate Physical Therapist Assistant will make approximately $42,000 per year. Experienced Physical Therapist Assistants will make up to $60,000 per year.

What type of training is required to become a Physical Therapist Assistant?

Physical Therapist Assistants are required to graduate from an accredited 2 year program to be able to apply for licensure. The individual who successfully completes these courses at CCRI receives an Associate in Applied Science (A. A. S.) degree and is eligible to take the licensure examination for Physical Therapist Assistants in Rhode Island. State licensure requirements may vary state to state.