What Physical Therapy Assistants Do

Physical therapy assistants work under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist to implement a patient's treatment. They teach patients or clients exercises to increase their mobility, strength, and coordination. They also train patients to use crutches, canes, and walkers. Some physical therapy assistants are also trained in massage to help patients heal and relax.

Types of Work Environments

  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Nursing or extended care facilities
  • Research centers
  • Schools
  • Hospices
  • Industrial and workplace environments
  • Fitness and sports centers

Education and Training Requirements

Physical therapy assistants complete a two-year, five-semester associate degree. They are also licensed according to national and state-level regulations by taking a nationally administered examination.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary is $65,860 per year.

Professional Organization

The American Physical Therapy Association

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