Physical Therapy Assistant

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Physical therapist assistants work under the direction of physical therapists. They help patients who are recovering from injuries, illnesses, and surgery regain movement and manage pain. Physical therapist assistants are involved in the direct care of patients.Physical therapist assistants typically do the following:

  • Observe patients before and during therapy, noting their status and reporting to a physical therapist
  • Help patients do specific exercises
  • Use a variety of techniques, such as massage and stretching, to treat patients
  • Use devices and equipment, such as walkers, to help patients
  • Educate a patient and family members about what to do after treatment

Physical therapist assistants help physical therapists provide care to patients. Under the direction and supervision of physical therapists, they give therapy through exercise; therapeutic methods, such as electrical stimulation, mechanical traction, and ultrasound; massage; and gait and balance training. Physical therapist assistants record patients’ responses to treatment and report the results of each treatment to the physical therapist.

Career Outlook: 
Career Outlook data is specific to New Hampshire State.
Number of Jobs 2010: 
398
Number of Projected Jobs 2020: 
533
Jobs Percentage Change: 
33.9%
Total Annual Openings: 
19
Growth Outlook: 
Very Favorable
June 2013 Entry Level Wage: 
$18.78
June 2013 Mean Wage: 
$23.84
June 2013 Experienced Wage: 
$26.38
Salary Range: 
$40,000 - $60,000
Education Requirements: 
Programs: 
Time to Complete: 
2 years

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
License and Certification Requirements: 
Coding Certification Required: 
No
Coding License Required: 
Yes
License Required: 
Yes
License Requirements: 
To be licensed you must; graduate from a professional physical therapy education program accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) or by another Board-approved accrediting organization and pass the national proficiency examination.
Career Categories: 

Types of Work:

Workplace Environment: 
Private Medical Practice or Private Company
Types of Interaction: 
Direct Patient Interaction
Integrated Team Member
Support Role