A physical therapy assistant(PTA) is a medical professional who works under the direct supervision of a physical therapist. It may be noted here that there is a significant difference between a PTA and aide. An assistant can perform intervention and treatment under the supervision of the therapists; however, an aide cannot perform medical treatment. According to BLS, 30% (Much faster than average) job outlook 2016-26.

An aide can set up equipment and assist in a few procedures, they are not licensed to perform the treatment. Average assistant is making around $45,000 to $55,000 annually, even $57,430 in some states in the US like California, Mississippi. In many states, you may find top accredited school for PTA, check some.

A physical therapy assistant (PTA), on the other hand, has an education of an associate degree at least and can assist a therapist in treatment. It is licensed by the state government to assist therapists. This license is only obtained once the assistants have completed their associate degree and have taken the certification exam.

Other than treatment, it can take care of other administrative tasks along with tasks that require medicinal qualification. They normally work in hospitals, clinics, and other physical therapy settings. Although they usually work for a fixed number of hours, they may be required to complete overtime on some occasions. In this case, they are compensated for the extra time.


Quick Facts:

We get data from Official Physical Therapist sites, APTA relates to PTA, you can review for further details also.

  1. More than 300 Accredited schools offering PTA programs in the US
  2. All states have own criteria regarding licensing and examination for Assistant
  3. In some survey, the demand for the physician assistant is more than the therapist
  4. MEDIAN SALARY ($57,430) with 27,400 NUMBER OF JOBS in 2017 stats
  5.  31.0 percent of employment growth, Top list job in the health care field
  6. Admission criteria in schools are so competitive due to no of students
  7. Rank #3  job (Check)
  8. $67,770 is the highest level of earning, only 10% Physical assistant reaches this level after having 15+ years of experience
  9. Associate degree required to become after GDA and getting the diploma in high school
  10. Ask more about this field

The average salary of a physical therapy assistant is roughly $57,000 per year. However, this salary is subject to fairly large deviations depending on a number of factors. These factors include location, education, and a number of years in experience in a particular field.

BLS Stats About PTA Salary

Here are some facts and figure about PTA Salary, however it may vary according to experience and state GOVT. Depts.

Nursing care facilities Lowest $19,620
Nursing care facilities Highest $38,490
Government Average Annual $58,720
The median annual wage for physical therapist assistants $57,430
Number of Jobs in 2016 (US) 140,300

Note: All these figures are related to the year 2016-17.

The basic job purpose of Physical therapy Assistant is to provide professional assistance to DPT for the purpose of examining the & treatment of patients. Although, the first communication with the patient that includes treatment form filling, FAQs are also part of PTA job.

Some of these factors have been discussed below.

Average Physical Therapist Assistant Salaries in the United States

If you just enter this PTA profession, then you have to wait for getting a handsome salary. The lowest entry-level salary of a PTA is between $18,500 USD to $20,000 USD.

These salary figures may vary by state by state, location, working environment and hospital!

Salary by Experience

A professional who has been in the field for 5 years or less is considered to be an entry-level professional. They earn what is called a starting level salary. The average starting salary of a PTA with an experience of fewer than 5 years is $39,900 at the rate of $19.5 per hour.

On the other hand, the salary of a professional who has spent more than 15-20 years in the field is what is known as the salary of an experienced professional. The salary of an experienced assistant is roughly $70,000 per year at the rate of $33.5 per hour.

Salary by Location

The salary of assistants can vary with change in states. The general trend here is that those professionals who work in metropolitan areas make a higher wage as compared to those who work in suburban and rural areas.

Moreover, demand has a huge role to play when determining salary differences over different places. In the case of physical therapy assistants, old age and retired population make up for the larger demand that is present in most places.

Cost of living is also an important determinant. This is because a state that has a higher tax percentage will have a more expensive living inevitably. So although the real salary is not unusually higher, the nominal wage is seen to be higher.

Highest Paying state in the US for the Physical Therapist Assistant 

The highest paying state for physical therapy assistants is Texas where the average salary is around $70,000 per year. This should also, however, account for the higher tax rates in Texas.


  1. Next is the state of New Jersey where there are a higher amount of retired population and old aged people. The average salary is roughly $67,900 per year.
  2. Nevada is the third highest paying state of the US for physical therapy assistants. They make an average wage of $63,200. Nevada also has a high retired population but also a more expensive living in general.

Florida is the fourth highest paying state for PTA in the US with an average salary of $62,710 annually. Next comes Massachusetts with its high retired population where the average salary is $62,400. This was an overview of all the highest paying states in the US for physical therapy assistants.

Extra Allowance with Salary

Beside of salary assistants can also get bonuses and allowances like medical allowance, transportation, and entertainments, etc. An average bonus a PTA can get is between $500 to $2,000 USD.  And it may vary accordingly workplace and experiences.

Career Outlook for Physical Therapist Assistants (PTA)

The average growth of physician assistants is highly promising, and the field will continue to be lucrative for the next decade.

  1. Outpatient clinics or offices
  2. Hospitals
  3. Inpatient rehabilitation facilities
  4. Skilled nursing, extended care, or subacute facilities
  5. Homes
  6. Education or research centers
  7. Schools
  8. Hospices
  9. Industrial, workplace, or other occupational environments

The average growth is expected to be 29% which is a figure much higher than the average growth of careers in the US. Furthermore, with added old age and newborn population, the demand continues to go up.

Similar Occupations

There is many nursing, and therapist field is similar to a physical therapist, after associate degree you can join also these occupations after some diploma in it.

  1. Occupational Therapy AIDE: $27,000
  2. Medical Assistant: $28,000
  3. Physical Therapy AIDE: $34,000

Is there a demand for PTA career?

As I mentioned above, 34% job growth rate is expected till the 2016 year. Many students are shifting their current programs towards that degree after seeing the demand in this field.

Note: in addition, If you have more information about PTA career and salary stats in the US, inform us.