When considering getting a new job, one is usually interested in how much they’ll earn.
So you probably wonder how much does a physical therapist aide job pays an hour.
This article will answer this question and more!
The job of a physical therapist aide is considered an entry-level one.
However, if you want to work in the healthcare field, this is a good position to consider.
Read on, if you’re curious!
Physical Therapist Aide Job Description and Responsibilities
Knowing the salary for any occupation is irrelevant without knowing what the job entails.
You can’t know if the monetary reward, so to speak, is worth the effort or not.
Physical therapist aides usually help:
- Physical therapists,
- Their assistants,
- The families of the patients
To be able to help all these people, a series of tasks must be completed.
The most common of them are:
- Cleaning and sanitizing treatment areas and equipment
- Washing linens
- Performing clerical tasks
- Moving patients to and from treatment areas
- Observing patients before, during, and after therapy
- Helping with pain management
- Helping patients shower
- Helping patients eat
- Using various devices and equipment
- Helping patients dress on and off
- Documenting patients’ responses and progress
- Educating both patients and their families
- Liaise with physicians’ offices and hospital personnel
There are some things you should be aware of though.
Some of these tasks can change from one work setting to another one.
These duties might also depend on the patient and his actual needs concerning the tasks of the aide.
You might realize there are quite a few other positions in the healthcare industry that share the tasks we just mentioned.
Here are a few of these other positions:
- Medical assistants
- Occupational therapy assistants and aides
- Pharmacy technicians
- Psychiatric technicians and aides
Should you work on any of these positions before considering becoming a physical therapist aide, your salary could be higher.
Requirements to Become a Physical Therapist Aide
So now you know what you need to do once you get hired,
However, that’s not enough to weigh the salary you’ll get after getting the job.
A person’s qualification for any type of job will affect their income.
So, what are employers seeking in any physical therapist aide?
This is easy to find out, as we already have a list of their requirements.
Here is the list:
- Passion for helping people
- Good communication skills
- Able to work as part of a team
- Having a high school diploma or GED
- Having on-the-job training
- Being at least 18 years old
- Having a clean criminal record
- Being calm
- Able to handle stressful situations
Just like with the duties of the job, the prerequisites could also change depending on the work environment and the patients involved.
Physical therapist aides are expected to have CPR certification at the very least.
Having other first-aid credentials is welcomed and recommended in the hiring process.
Physical Therapist Aide Education and Licensing
Physical therapist aides hold entry-level positions, and this means they don’t need specific education or licensing.
As mentioned in the requirements for the job, these professionals do need to have a high school diploma or its equivalent at the very least.
Usually, their training takes place after getting hired and lasts for up to a month.
The majority, however, choose to get both higher education and a license.
Some aides even opt to earn a degree.
By doing so, their chances of developing a career are higher.
Their salary will also be higher compared to those that meet the basic requirements.
One of the most popular courses these aides choose is the one that awards the Physical Therapist Assistant Associate’s degree diploma.
This degree takes 2 years to earn.
Higher degrees are also available for these aides.
These higher degrees will last for at least 4 years to complete.
You should keep in mind that students might have the option to transfer the credits of an Associate’s degree towards a Bachelor’s degree is often possible.
Upon enrolling in any course, you’ll have to meet some requirements.
These usually include getting some vaccines, obtaining a minimum grade of “C” in specific subjects.
If you get accepted, you might study:
- Medical terms
- PTA Fundamentals
- Principles of musculoskeletal physical therapy
- Principles of neuromuscular physical therapy
- Physical therapy practice for special populations
The classes are available both full-time and part-time, as well as in-person and online.
Practice hours should be included in all the programs, especially in the longer ones.
If you join a shorter program, these hours may not be included.
In such a case, the students will have to figure this aspect on their own.
Once you graduate, you can sign up for the licensing exam.
This involves paying a fee if you meet the requirements for taking it.
Those who obtained the license will need to continue their education to be able to renew their credential.
Physical Therapist Aide Employment and Salary
After all the above presentation, it’s the time we looked at the actual salary you can earn.
It’s already been established a few of the factors that will decide how much you will earn.
However, there are a few more such factors.
Here they are:
- Experience in the field
- Place of employment
If you wonder how can you have more experience in the field while you work an entry-level job, the answer is simple!
You start with another occupation with similar job duties, that we have mentioned earlier.
The facility you work for will have these aspects to affect your income:
- Operating hours
- Type of shifts you’ll work
- The number of shifts you’ll take on
- Whether you’ll work overtime or not
For instance, in some facilities, the personnel might be needed around the clock.
Night and weekend shifts are usually paid more, as are the extra hours you might work in some settings.
In other centers, the staff may only work from Monday through Friday.
Such a schedule will only decrease your income.
With everything said, let’s finally have a look at some numbers!
The physical therapist aides that just start or don’t have many credentials, can expect an average salary of around $26,000 per year.
This annual income translates to an hourly wage of about $13.
That number may not sound like much, but as you gain more experience or earn some credentials, you can expect around $33,000 annually.
If you do the calculations, you’ll see that at this level, the hourly pay is about $16.
The most experienced or the ones with the most certificates receive about $41,000 per year.
Calculations show this annual salary means earning about $19 per hour.
No two physical therapist aides will earn the same amount of money.
Even if they did, other factors will influence how high they perceive their income.
Starting a career in the medical field as a physical therapist aide for the money it pays, is a wrong motive.
The motive for anyone wanting such a position should be the desire to see others recovering and knowing you’re part of the reason for their recovery.
You’re also not expected to spend your whole life working the same job.
The job as a PT aide should be just the first step towards a fulfilling and successful medical career.