What is a Typical Physical Therapy Aide Salary?

If you’re interested in becoming a physical therapy aide, then you should know what type of salary to expect for your future. In this article, we’re discussing what you’ll be doing to earn that money and what a typical physical therapy aide salary is.

In 2010, there was a recorded number of 63,800 certified physical therapist aide employed in the United States. Each of this therapist had a typical salary of $27,680. There is a projection that employment rate will bring an increase of 85,000 in 2020 with the physical therapy aide salary also rising.

This implies that there are big opportunities in this area of expertise. So, if you’re interested in becoming a physical therapy aide, you should know what type of salary to expect for your future.

And that is exactly what you’re going to learn in this piece. Furthermore, you’ll get to know what you’ll be doing to earn that salary.

So read on.

Guideline to Becoming a Typical Physical Aide

For you to become a physical therapist aide, it is important you apply to an accredited program for an associate degree.

The reason why getting a degree is very important is that you have to be certified or have a license before you can start working.

You don’t have to worry about getting a job after your associate degree. This is because a large number of physical therapist aides who have a high school diploma receive jobs on the training.

Training and Getting a Degree

In 2017, about 350 associate’s degree programs were approved by the Commission on Approval in Physical Therapy Education. This means not all associate’s degrees are accredited.

Accredited programs run for 2 years and the courses include anatomy, physiology, psychology, algebra, and English.

During the clinical work, you gain experience under supervision. Physical therapy assistants also get qualifications in other first aid skills. The skills are basic life support and cardiopulmonary resuscitation also known as CPR.

Despite the fact that you have a big chance of being hired, it is important you know that employers prefer applicants that have computer skills.

Registration, Certification, and Licenses

For you to get a license, you have to graduate from an accredited physical therapist aide program. You must have a pass in the National Physical Therapy Exams for physical therapy assistants. This exam is overseen by the State Boards of the Federation of Physical Therapy.

Some states may need the applicants to pass the exams based on the state laws governing the practice of physical therapy. This means doing a background check to ensure you don’t have a criminal record and not below 18 years of age.

For you to keep your license as an aide, it is pertinent that you take education courses non-stop. Ensure you check with state board requirements for acquiring a license.

Are there other qualities that you should have?

Becoming a physical therapy aide is a job that involves caring for humanity. So, you can as well ensure to have the following important qualities.


Oh yes! This is very important because you are helping patients that are in pain. Having the heart to help people, means you must have empathy and enjoy helping patients.

Attention to Details

Organization and attention to detail are key qualities of a physical therapist aide. Why?

This character will enable you to keep accurate records. Also, it will help you track verbal and written instructions in precision.

Social Skills

Physical therapy aides have to be friendly and courteous. This is because they spend most of their time interacting with patients and health staff.


Most of the time, physical therapy aides have direct contact with the patients. This is so especially when they are providing therapeutic exercise or manual therapy. Thus, it is important to be comfortable while at it.


Physical therapy aides are usually on their feet. They kneel, bend, stoop and stand for a long time. Thus, it is important that they have physical stamina when carrying out activities to help patients.

What Exactly Will You Be Doing?

Physical therapy aides help patients recuperating from illnesses and injuries manage pain. They help to clean treatment areas and set up therapy equipment. They also take care of the patients.

In addition, they perform clerical duties as well as scheduling patients and setting up a treatment area. They also move patients from therapy area and wash their linens.

Under the supervision of a physical therapist, physical therapy aides treat patients. They massage, balance training, gait, and exercise patients. They also give a report on the result of each treatment and hand it over to a physical therapist.

Where Do They Work?

Physical therapy aides work in offices of physical, speech, occupational therapists and audiologists. They also work in the state, local and private hospitals. You can find them in offices of physicians, government, skilled nursing facilities.

Work Schedule

Most physical therapy aides work full time. Sometimes they may be required to do weekend and night because a lot of physical therapy offices have extended hours to take patients schedule.

The Differences and Similarities Between an Aide and Physical Therapy Assistant

The difference between an aide and an assistant is that the former does not require previous experience while the latter requires previous experience.

Physical therapy aide requires a high school diploma while physical therapy assistants require high school diploma and certifications in basic life support, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other first-aid skills.

Physical therapy assistants have no limitations in education hence, they are not completely restricted to their jobs. On the other hand, physical therapy aides have limitations in education and are restricted to their jobs.

The similarity of a physical therapy aide and physical therapy assistant is that they carry out their duties in the same environment. This allows for an overlap in terms of traits and responsibilities needed to be successful in either position.

Both jobs have an enthusiastic outlook of 41% for assistants and 40% for aides. This helps build availability and appeal to transit from the role of a physical therapy aide to a physical therapy assistant.

Important traits in both professions are similar. These include things such as compassion, as a result of patients need.

An ability to pay attention to details helps both professionals ensure that patients have access to all they need in a conducive environment.

Having a refined sense of selflessness is very important in both professions and shows patients how much attention you focus on them to ensure that they feel better.

What is the Physical Therapy Aide Salary?

When a comparison was done with other best-paid professions in 2016, it was observed that a physical therapy aide had a median salary of $25,680. The best paid in the profession had a median salary of $38340 while the lowest paid made $19,370.

There are cities that pay very high for the services of a physical therapy aide. These are the metropolitan areas of Alabama, Boulder, Colorado, Illinois, Springfield and the Lake County.

States and districts that pay physical therapy aides the highest mean salary include Alaska, the District of Columbia, Minnesota, Colorado, and Illinois.

Average Physical Therapist Aide Pay vs. Physical Therapy Assistant

A physical therapy assistant is often desired more when compared to the physical therapy aide. This is because their responsibilities are more and the pay is also more.

How much?

Well, the mean annual wage of physical therapy assistants is about $52,160 and this makes it rank as one of the most lucrative wages based on positions gotten with associate degrees.

Despite the figures, employment of physical therapist assistant is expected to grow 31% from 2016 to 2026 which is fast compared to the average for other occupations.

The reason for this is due to an increase in the demand for physical therapy in response to the health needs of a population undergoing aging. Heart attacks, movement-related injuries are also contributing factors in this surge.

Some serious conditions such as obesity and diabetes have also become more prevalent in our world today and this is also increasing the demand for aides and assistants.

Thus, don’t get discouraged with the figures. There is very high possibility that there would be an increase in the near future in both wage and demand.

How You Can Get a Leading Edge

If you are starting off as a physical therapy aide, having an extra education will be a big plus for you. This might attract higher salaries plus more lucrative working places.

But getting a lead in this profession will require you also applying for work in the right places.

It’s vital that you explore areas that have a large area of active people who engage in exercises regularly. You can get good employment from a wide range of places which are nowhere around large metropolitan cities.

Some places are most preferred due to their average size, approachability, and widespread of their lively populace. These places are great to apply for physical therapy aide jobs and to grow your career.

Wrapping Up

Now seems to be a good time to launch into the physical therapy industry. This is true especially if you are interested in becoming a physical therapy aide.

One thing is certain over the next 10 years – there will be geometric growth and improved constancy. This will also lead to the simultaneous increase of the physical therapy aide salary.

If you have questions or want to get more information, contact us today.

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