What Is a Physical Therapist Aide?

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You might consider getting a new job or you might need one, to begin with.

The healthcare industry is always trying to hire more personnel.

One of the available positions is that of a physical therapist aide.

However, you can’t just jump into being employed without knowing everything about the position.

Read this article to learn what a physical therapist aide is!

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Get information on Physical Therapy Aide programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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Physical Therapist Aide Job Description and Responsibilities

So now it’s time we learned what exactly physical therapist aides are expected to do.

These professionals are supposed to help physical therapists, their assistants, patients, their families, and more.

Their role is to offer assistance to those recovering from either some illness or injury.

These aides complete these tasks:

  • 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

Depending on where you’ll be working, you’ll complete additional or other tasks.

Additionally, each state has different regulations regarding what a physical therapist aide is allowed to do or not.

Later in this presentation, we’ll talk about where you can find a job as a physical therapist aide as well.

You may not be aware, but several other healthcare occupations have very similar job descriptions and duties to physical therapist aides.

Here are some of the other similar jobs:

  • Medical assistants
  • Occupational therapy assistants and aides
  • Pharmacy technicians
  • Psychiatric technicians and aides

This means you have easy access to a variety of careers only by becoming a physical therapist aide.

Physical Therapist Aide Job Requirements

Perhaps you wonder what does it take to become a physical therapist aide.

It’s time to find out if you’re someone who can work as a PT aide or not.

Ideally, you’d have these attributes:

  • Passion for helping people
  • Detail-oriented
  • Good communication skills
  • Patience
  • Self-motivation
  • Stamina
  • 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

Every employer might change the prerequisites of the ideal candidate for this position.

This can happen due to the place where you’ll be working at or for.

What Is a Physical Therapist Aide?

Physical Therapist Aide Training

The training of a physical therapist aide happens mostly on the job.

The duration of the training period is at least a week long.

Sometimes, this training can last up to a month.

However, it’s best to undergo more training than the minimum expected.

This way, you will have a chance at a career, not just a job.

The best training you can attend is the one for physical therapist assistants.

You can get the education of a physical therapist assistant while you work as a physical therapist aide.

Physical Therapist Aide Education and Certification

Those who want to become physical therapist assistants need to earn the Physical Therapist Assistant Associate’s degree diploma.

Individuals can earn this diploma after about 2 years of study in a college or university.

Some colleges might award this diploma after 18 months of study.

Obtaining a Bachelors’ degree diploma is another option for those interested in this job.

Students have the possibility of enrolling in other medical programs while also earning some experience as physical therapist aides.

The majority of the schools will have some prerequisites to meet upon enrolling in such a program.

Many schools offer the possibility of online learning, allowing the person to study at their own pace.

Practice hours are also included in the majority of the courses.

Here are some of the topics you’ll be studying:

  • Medical terms
  • PTA Fundamentals
  • Principles of musculoskeletal physical therapy
  • Principles of neuromuscular physical therapy
  • Physical therapy practice for special populations
  • Kinesiology,
  • Biology

PT aides don’t need any certification for their jobs, but PT assistants need to be licensed.

This is true for all the states.

Physical therapist aides will need to earn certifications for at least one of the following:

  • CPR
  • Basic life support
  • Other methods of first aid

Those who wish to become licensed must pass the National Physical Therapy Exam.

This exam is offered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

You’ll have to sign up for this exam separately, and the process also involves meeting some requirements as well as paying a fee.

Like most licenses, you’ll have to attend some classes of continuing education to maintain it current.

Physical Therapist Aide Employment and Salary

As promised earlier, let’s see where can you find employment as a physical therapist aide.

This will help you better understand what a PT aide is.

You should also know this is not just a job or an occupation, it can often be the start of a medical career.

Due to the recent events, demand for all sorts of healthcare personnel is increasing.

Once you’re sure and ready you can take on the job’s duties, you can start looking for a job.

As the job’s title might suggest, you’ll work in any place where physical therapy sessions are offered.

Such settings include:

  • Hospitals
  • Offices of physicians
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Nursing care facilities

The majority of these professionals are seen in:

  • The offices of physical, occupational, and speech therapists,
  • The offices of audiologists.

While it’s rarer for this to happen, the government also hires physical therapist aides.

The majority of these professionals work full-time schedules.

However, working part-time is also encountered at times.

One should keep in mind that the type of employment and worked hours will affect their earnings.

Of course, other factors also come into play when trying to estimate one’s salary.

These are some of the factors:

  • Experience
  • Location – state, city,
  • Workplace – the ones mentioned a bit earlier
  • Job title
  • Other duties you might have to complete
  • Education
  • Certifications

Becoming a licensed physical therapist assistant means you can even start a business in this specialty.

You’ll need a special license to run a business.

Generally, for this, you’ll have to pass a jurisprudence test as well.

It’s normal to also want to know some actual numbers, so let’s have a look at some.

Those who just start working can look at a salary of about $27,000 per year.

Individuals who already have some experience can earn around $33,000 annually.

The more experienced physical therapy aides have a salary of around $41,000 per year.

The aides that consider advancing their careers and will do so, will also earn a higher salary.


You may not realize why such a long article was needed to explain what a physical therapist aide is.

Just defining any occupation is sometimes not enough to properly understand the job itself.

Giving more details regarding the duties of the occupation,

Many people need to know these details that are often overlooked when considering any career.

This is a rather serious mistake because one can find themselves stuck in a job or field they discover they don’t like.

Working in the healthcare industry requires more than knowledge and skills.

The majority of those who choose to operate in this field do so out of passion and are aware of its stressful conditions.

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