Physical therapy assisting salary

  • PT assistant’s salary is around $50,000 in the United States. A physical therapist assistant, or PT assistant, is someone who works under the supervision and direction of a physical therapist. These assistants mainly help patients manage their pain and learn to move again while recovering from their injuries and illnesses. They mostly work in hospitals or in PT’s clinics. Most of their office hours are spent caring for patients and setting up equipment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median PT assistant’s salary in 2012 was $39,430, or $18.96 in hourly rate. The bureau has a projected 41% in the demand for PT assistants in the country from 2012 to 2022, mainly because of the increasing need for PT services by the growing elderly population and the number of people who are suffering from obesity and diabetes. Aside from the high job growth, the other advantages of this job include its low educational requirement and above-average salaries, although it can be physically demanding. Keep reading for more information about PT assistant salary and career requirements.

  • PT assistant job description

    PT assistants are directly responsible for the care of the patients, as well as the cleaning and setting up of the area for the therapy session, moving the patients, and performing other duties in the clinic. They monitor the patients before, during, and after each session, taking note of their condition and giving a feedback to the PT. They also help patients perform certain exercises according to the treatment plan. They implement different techniques, such as stretching and massaging, as part of the treatment. They may need to use equipment and devices, such as walkers, while assisting patients. It is also their job to help patients and their family members know what to do to move the treatment along.

    How much does a PT assistant make ?

    Average PT assistant salary

    PT assistants get an average salary of $53,320, or around $25.63 per hour, according to the BLS report as of May 2013.

    PT assistant salary in the USA

    According to, the average PT assistant’s salary is around $62,000. This is higher than the $53,320 salary reported by the BLS. showed that the median pay for licensed PT assistants is much lower at around $48,935 per year.

    PayScale surveys concluded that the basic PT assistant’s salary ranges between $30,707 and $61,909. This is boosted by a bonus that may amount to $1,532, profit shares of up to $7,563, and commission ranging from $700 to $4,000. Their median pay is about $44,317. PT assistants make around $17.19 to $32.29 per hour, with an overtime pay of $21.24 to $47.04.

    The starting PT assistant salary ranges from $29,814 to $53,906, but this increases to a range between 32,128 and $67,917 after years of experience to a mid-career position. Experienced career level salary ranges from $37,696 to $68.052, while late-career level pay is around $39,453 to $72,491.

    The PT assistant’s salary also depends on their skills. Those who have acute care skills and experience may earn between $31,562 and $61,347. Those who know how to handle geriatric cases may get between $33,739 and $68,978. PT assistants who have home and health home care skills usually make between $36,779 and $72,196, while those with rehabilitation skills may take home between $34,432 and $67,314 per year.

    The BLS data showed that the highest paying industry for PT assistants is the industry composed of other ambulatory health care services at $65,460. The other top paying industries are home health care services, which pay a PT assistant’s salary of $61,500; employment services, $59,400; nursing care facilities, $59,390; and continuing care retirement communities and assisting living facilities for the elderly, $56,980.

    PT assistant salary by city/state in the USA

    PT assistants are better off working in the state of Texas, where salaries are around $68,730, the highest in the country. There are also relatively high salaries in Alaska, where annual earnings for PT assistants are around $63,760; New Jersey, $61,690; California, $61,400; and Florida, $58,560.

    As for the best paying city, Lakeland, Florida wins hands down with a PT assistant’s salary of $77,230. San Antonio ranked second with a salary of $75,840. The other top paying cities include McAllen, Texas, where PT assistants earn around $75,490; Modesto, California, where they make around $72,310; and Victoria, Texas, where their annual earnings is around $71,700.

    PT assistant salary in Canada

    PT assistants who are working in Canada make a median salary of C$39,381 according to PayScale. Their basic salary ranges between C$20,608 and C$48,160. But aside from the base PT assistant’s salary, bonuses of up to C$1,039 may also be provided by some employers. Their hourly rate ranges from C$11.35 to C$20.63, with overtime pay being around C$11.98 to C$24.

    According to WowJobs Canada, a PT assistant’s salary is around C$39,262 on the average. The 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey cited that their wage is usually from C$20.23 to C$24.49.

    PT assistant salary in Australia

    According to PayScale, the typical PT assistant salary for those who are based in Australia ranges between AU$34,347 and AU$51,188. Aside from this, AU$993 may also be provided as a bonus. Their wage ranges from AU$17.50 to AU$24.40, with the median wage being AU$20.

    PT assistant salary in the UK

    Pay rates in the UK also vary depending on whether the PT assistants are working with a private practice, the NHS, or are self-employed. For those who are employed by the NHS, salaries are based on the NHS Agenda for Change scales, which assigned the PT assistant’s salary under Band 2. This means that they receive between £14,294 and £17,245. Trainee assistant practitioner PT assistants are paid under Band 3, which means they get between £16,271 and £19,268. Assistant practitioners are under Band 4, which means the PT assistant’s salary ranges between £18,388 and £22,016.

    PT assistant salary in South Africa

    PT assistants are somehow related to dental assistants, so their salaries are possibly comparable too. Based on the basic salary of dental assistants, which ranges from R36,365 to R121,078, the PT assistant salary in South Africa may likely be within this area too. Their job is also a bit related to that of a nursing assistant, who earns between R82,465 and R118,992 per year.

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    How to become a PT assistant in USA

    To become a PT assistant, one must at least have an associate’s degree from a university or college with an accredited PT assistant program. This program often lasts for two years and cover classroom instruction and clinical experience. It usually includes courses in anatomy, algebra, physiology, English, and psychology. PT assistant students broaden their hands-on experience by working in treatment centers. They are also qualified to get certifications in first aid skills. All states, except Hawaii, only allow licensed or certified PT assistants to work. To get a license, one must complete the associate degree and pass the National Physical Therapy Exam, which is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

    Conclusion about PT assisting salary

    A PT assistant helps PT do his work and receives around $53,320 per year in return. However, this would increase with experience and acquired skills, in addition to the fact that there is an ever growing demand for this profession with the burgeoning elderly population in the country. PT assistant salary is above average compared to other medical assistants.

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