How Much Do Physical Therapy Assistants Make: An In-Depth Look at Salaries

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Are you considering a career as a physical therapy assistant and wondering how much you can expect to earn? Physical therapy assistants play a crucial role in the healthcare industry, working alongside physical therapists to help patients recover from injuries and improve their mobility. In this article, we will delve into the topic of physical therapy assistant salaries and explore the factors that affect their earning potential.

Understanding the Role of Physical Therapy Assistants

Physical therapy assistants are skilled professionals who provide hands-on assistance to patients undergoing physical therapy. They work under the guidance of physical therapists, implementing treatment plans, conducting exercises, and monitoring patients’ progress. To become a physical therapy assistant, one typically needs to complete an accredited physical therapy assistant program and obtain a license or certification.

Factors Affecting Physical Therapy Assistant Salaries

Several factors come into play when determining the salary range for physical therapy assistants. Location is a significant factor, as salaries can vary depending on the region or state. For instance, urban areas may offer higher salaries compared to rural locations. Experience also plays a crucial role, with more experienced physical therapy assistants often earning higher wages. Additionally, the industry in which they work can impact their salaries. Physical therapy assistants employed in hospitals or outpatient care centers may earn more than those working in educational services or nursing care facilities. Obtaining additional certifications or specializing in certain areas of physical therapy can also lead to increased earning potential.

Average Physical Therapy Assistant Salaries

Let’s take a closer look at the average salaries of physical therapy assistants. According to recent statistics, the median annual wage for physical therapy assistants in the United States is around $58,040. However, it’s important to note that salaries can vary significantly depending on factors like location and experience. For instance, physical therapy assistants in high-demand areas or metropolitan cities may earn substantially more than the national average. It’s also worth mentioning that physical therapy assistants’ salaries compare favorably to other healthcare professions, making it an attractive career option.

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FAQ: Common Questions about Physical Therapy Assistant Salaries

What is the starting salary for physical therapy assistants?

The starting salary for physical therapy assistants can vary depending on factors such as location, industry, and experience. On average, entry-level physical therapy assistants can expect to earn around $45,000 to $50,000 per year. However, it’s important to note that this figure can vary and may be higher or lower depending on individual circumstances.

Do physical therapy assistants receive benefits?

Yes, physical therapy assistants typically receive a comprehensive benefits package, which may include health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and professional development opportunities. The specific benefits offered can vary depending on the employer and the region.

Can physical therapy assistants earn more through additional certifications?

Yes, obtaining additional certifications or specializing in specific areas of physical therapy can have a positive impact on a physical therapy assistant’s earning potential. Specializations such as pediatric or geriatric physical therapy, neurorehabilitation, or sports therapy can open doors to higher-paying positions and increased job opportunities.

How does the salary of a physical therapy assistant compare to that of a physical therapist?

While physical therapy assistants and physical therapists work closely together, there is a notable difference in their salaries. Physical therapists, who require advanced degrees and have more responsibilities, tend to earn higher salaries compared to physical therapy assistants. However, physical therapy assistants still enjoy competitive wages and the opportunity to make a meaningful impact in patients’ lives.


In conclusion, physical therapy assistants play a vital role in the healthcare industry, assisting physical therapists and helping patients on their road to recovery. While the average salary for physical therapy assistants is around $58,040 per year, it’s important to consider various factors such as location, experience, industry, and additional certifications that can influence earning potential. Despite the differences in salaries between physical therapy assistants and physical therapists, a career as a physical therapy assistant offers stability, growth opportunities, and the chance to make a positive impact on patients’ lives. So, if you have a passion for helping others and a keen interest in physical therapy, pursuing a career as a physical therapy assistant can be a rewarding choice.

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