Almost everyone and their mother knows that the healthcare industry is in need of personnel.
In fact, this field is understaffed, and one of the positions with a high demand of professionals is that of physical therapist aide.
One of the reasons for this is that the position is an entry-level one.
Despite this, the job does offer many opportunities for career advancement.
Usually, some training or education is needed for any occupation, including entry-level ones.
Let’s find out the school costs for becoming a physical therapist aide!
Physical Therapist Aide Job Duties
The job duties are not directly connected to schooling, but they can indicate whether you need to learn new things or not.
Despite being an entry-level position, the job of a physical therapist aide has many duties to complete.
Their nature is both medical and administrative.
Some aides are asked to mostly perform administrative tasks and other aides will work more with patients.
This is an important distinction as for the former the individual doesn’t need special training.
For the latter, the aides need to possess some skills for this training and education are needed.
Here are the main tasks of this job:
- Helping patients eat
- Cleaning and sanitizing treatment areas and equipment
- Washing linens
- Helping patients dress on and off
- Documenting patients’ responses and progress
- Liaise with physicians’ offices and hospital personnel
- Performing clerical duties
- Moving patients to and from treatment areas
- Helping with pain management
- Helping patients shower
Additional chores could be assigned to these aides by their superiors.
Speaking of superiors, these are physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, both of which also supervise the work of the aides.
Physical Therapist Aide Job Requirements
By now you know you may or may not need to get some education.
There are a few things you can be sure that you’ll need when seeking employment as a physical therapist aide.
Let’s see the physical therapist aide job requirements:
- Having a high school diploma or GED
- Having on-the-job training
- Being at least 18 years old
- Being calm
- Able to handle stressful situations
- Passion for helping people
- Good communication skills
- Having a clean criminal record
- Having patience
- Having physical stamina
- Able to work as part of a team
Perhaps the training on the job sounds a bit odd and you may wonder how would you obtain it.
This is easy, for you could have previous experience working as:
- Medical assistants
- Occupational therapy assistants and aides
- Pharmacy technicians
- Psychiatric technicians and aides
There are a few other positions that have similar duties as PT aides, and the experience gathered there can be useful.
PT aides work in the healthcare industry with people suffering from chronic or traumatic conditions.
These situations may suddenly become critical, and as such the aides might have to prevent the person from dying.
CPR, basic life support, and other first-aid procedures require a certificate.
Individuals need to undergo some training if they want to obtain the certificates.
School Costs for Becoming a Physical Therapist Aide
It become apparent that you’ll have to seriously consider enrolling in a training program.
This means you’ll have to start thinking about how much money you’ll have to spend on this.
In this regard, there are more aspects to consider as they can definitely influence the tuition you’ll have to pay.
The aspects are:
- Program duration
- A few months
- A year
- 2 years
- 4 years
- In or out of state
- In-person or online
- Where is it made available
- Adult training center
- Community college
- Private technical college
- What the tuition covers or not
- Lab access
For instance, shorter, online, and in-state programs, are more affordable than any other option.
Community colleges can charge tuition of about $2,500 a year whereas private colleges can cost 4 times as much.
Colleges can charge out-of-state students close to 4 times as much as students from within the state.
This is the case of St. Petersburg College in Florida for their programs with a duration of 2 years.
Some schools charge a fee per credit and to graduate you’ll need to complete some 60 credits.
Individuals need to consider additional costs related to training.
As mentioned, these could be the books, uniforms, or lab access.
However, there’s a sign-up fee as well.
This fee cannot be refunded, whereas other fees are eligible for a refund if needed.
You might think that the tuition for your course is a bit too high.
The majority of institutions accept a variety of payment options.
Monthly installments are a rather popular payment method.
This option makes paying the tuition a rather easier process.
It’s a good idea to enroll in such a program because you’ll earn more from the start.
Furthermore, you’ll be more helpful right from the start, as you won’t need to learn anything new.
First Aid Certifications and Licensing Costs
For the CPR and other first-aid certifications, you can contact Red Cross or American Heart Association chapters across the country.
Such a class would cost around $100.
Individuals also have to pay for their licensing process.
The license itself costs $115.
The licensing exam will make your wallet short of $350.
Providing a clean criminal record is not free of charge either.
For this process, you’ll pay based on the information you must provide.
Expect to pay between $10 and $500 for this.
While the books could be covered by the tuition, your uniform usually is not.
Physical therapist aides will need to buy a uniform even for the training program, for the clinical practice classes.
You could need accommodation as well if you don’t live in the area where the university is.
Commuting to class and back home is another cost you must consider.
You might have to pay other fees if you don’t pass your exams on the first try.
Additionally, once you obtain your license as a physical therapist aide, you’ll need to keep it up-to-date.
Renewing the license involves paying a renewal fee.
Additionally, taking some continuing education classes is also needed.
These classes are not free of charge either.
Such classes are available at the same schools where you completed your initial training.
Physical Therapist Aide Salary
After putting in the time, effort, and money to get the credentials to become a physical therapist aide, you might be interested in how much you’ll learn.
Normally, salaries are influenced by these factors:
- Experience in the field
- Place of employment
On average, the lowest income of a physical therapist aide is $26,000 per year.
The majority of these aides earn around $33,000 a year.
And the ones with the most experience, worked hours, and credentials can look at an income of around $41,000 per year.
The credentials are useful for those who hope to get promoted and thus will learn more.
Through this article, we hope you learned more about the job of a physical therapist aide.
You additionally discovered how much such a professional can expect getting paid.
Finally, but not least, you also know about how much you can expect to spend should you decide to get the training needed for this job.
Luckily, the classes are decently available and won’t break the bank.
Even the pricier options accept various paying plans that make the program more affordable.