The world of physical therapy is one of the most lucrative and rewarding out there for many people. Of course, becoming a full physical therapist takes years of study and practice. However, you can get started in the industry by becoming a physical therapy assistant. These help therapists and patients in numerous different ways, and can earn a considerable income.
In addition, the education requirements are not as significant. This makes a very good launch point into the industry. Of course, you will need to know more about physical therapist assistant salary and education requirements.
Physical Therapy Assistant Education Requirements
Interestingly, to become a physical therapy assistant, you generally only need to have an associate’s degree. Often, a high school diploma is sufficient to enter the field with the right employer willing to sponsor your further education. Of course, it helps if you have taken the right classes during high school. General health, applied health and anatomy courses are all good preparatory classes for the industry.
You will also find that many employers offer on-the-job training for these positions. This means that you can usually make the leap straight from school to employment without having to worry about taking time out for additional training or education.
Physical Therapy Assistant Salaries
Physical therapist assistant salary ranges differ depending on where you find employment. For instance, if you work within the home health industry, you can expect to earn in the neighborhood of $59,500 per year. However, if you work within a physician’s office, you’re more likely to earn about $46,400 per year. Hospital employment typically gives you a salary of about $48,000 per year.
Advanced Education Requirements
While there is usually not a requirement for entering the field, you will find that most states do require that you obtain an associate’s degree in short order. The training provided by your employer will go toward this. Some states do have a licensing requirement for physical therapist assistants, so make sure you check with your state’s requirements prior to entering the field.
Interestingly, from being a physical therapist assistant, you can often make the leap to being a full physical therapist. Doing this allows you to increase your earnings to the salary of physical therapists, which averages $30,000 more than the typical physical therapist assistant salary, depending on where you find employment.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers good information about physical therapist assistant salary potential.
The APTA is the national organization representing both physical therapists.