Physical Therapist Assistant Job Description

Physical Therapist Assistant Job Description, Skills and Salary

Are you searching for a physical therapist assistant job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a physical therapist assistant. Feel free to use our physical therapist assistant job description template to produce your own physical therapist assistant job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a physical therapist assistant.


Who is a Physical Therapist Assistant?

A Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), also known as a Physical Therapy Aide, assists Physical Therapists in assisting injured patients in managing pain and regaining mobility. Preparing treatment equipment for appointments, massaging and stretching patients’ muscles, and sterilizing therapy areas are among their key responsibilities.

Under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist, physical therapist assistants perform physical therapist services. PTA helps patients by implementing aspects of their care, gathering data on the therapies they receive, and collaborating with PTs to adjust care as needed.


PTA helps physical therapists treat people of all ages, from newborns to those nearing the end of their lives. Many of the patients have injuries, impairments, or other health problems that require attention. PTAs, on the other hand, are concerned about people who just wish to improve their health and avoid future difficulties.

The PTA services are under the supervision of the physical therapist. A physical therapist will examine each person and devise a treatment plan to help them move better, minimize or manage discomfort, regain function, and avoid disability.

PTAs have a significant impact on people’s lives. They assist people in achieving fitness goals, regaining or maintaining independence, and maintaining an active lifestyle.

Physical therapy assistants (PTA) aid people in regaining or maintaining body motion, reducing discomfort, and living life to the fullest under the direction of a physical therapist. The field is rapidly expanding, and PTA is needed in a wide range of clinical settings.


Physical therapists treat a variety of conditions.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, physical therapists and their assistants treat a variety of illnesses to provide corrective therapy, pain management, and high-quality care. Post-myocardial infarction, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff rupture, TMJ dysfunction, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and tennis elbow are some of these disorders.

  1. Carpal tunnel: A pinched nerve in the wrist causes numbness and tingling in the hand and arm, which is known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by repetitive hand movements, but it can also be caused by hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes, which necessitates physical treatment and/or surgery.
  2. Rotator Cuff Tear: A tear in the rotator cuff can weaken the shoulder, making daily tasks difficult and uncomfortable. The rotator cuff tendon no patients entirely connect to the head of the humerus when it is torn. To repair the rotator cuff, physical therapy services may be required both before and after surgery.
  3. TMJ disorders: Are a collection of ailments that affect the jaw joint and the muscles that regulate jaw movement, causing discomfort and dysfunction. Ultrasound, moist heat, and cold are used as treatments, as well as physical therapy exercises to stretch and strengthen the jaw muscle.
  4. Spinal cord injury: Damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal is known as a spinal cord injury. After a spinal cord injury, physical therapy can help prevent more inpatients alleviate discomfort, and encourage nerve cell regeneration to improve the function of the remaining nerves.
  5. Multiple Sclerosis (MS): in s a chronic illness in which nerve cell sheaths in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. Physical therapy will be used to help patients with multiple sclerosis improve their numbness, muscular coordination, and weariness.
  6. Cerebral Palsy: This is a condition in which a person’s muscle coordination is compromised due to brain injury that occurs before or during birth. Physical therapy is used to help with blood flow and pain caused by a loss of muscle control.
  7. Muscular Dystrophy: This is a genetic illness characterized by increasing muscular weakness and atrophy. Muscular dystrophy is caused by faulty genes that prevent the generation of proteins that are necessary for the formation of healthy muscles. Physical therapy can help with the symptoms of muscular dystrophy as well as the prevention of joint and spine problems. To keep limbs from becoming set in place and joints flexible, some therapies involve range-of-motion and stretching exercises.
  8. Tennis Elbow: This is a type of elbow pain that affects the outside of the arm, where the forearm joins the elbow. Tennis is only involved in about 5% of cases. Tennis elbow is caused by overuse or repetitive stress injury. Tennis elbow can be relieved by physical therapy, which helps to lessen pain and tendon inflammation.


Physical Therapist Assistant Job Description

What is a physical therapist assistant job description? A physical therapist assistant job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a physical therapist assistant in an organization. Below are the physical therapist assistant job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a physical therapist assistant job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

A physical therapy (or therapist) assistant, commonly known as a PTA, is a healthcare practitioner who provides patient treatment while working under the supervision of a physical therapist. They work in a variety of places, including outpatient clinics, private residences, sports clinics, assisted living facilities, and hospitals. The following are some of the most typical roles of a physical therapy assistant:

  • Enlighten patients about their injuries and how to care for them.
  • Exercise with patients and demonstrate to them
  • Keep detailed and accurate records of patient treatment sessions
  • Provide insurance companies with treatment plans and notes
  • Create treatment objectives and goals
  • Observe and evaluate patients to see how they are progressing
  • Keep in touch with the physical therapist about the patient’s therapy
  • Ensure and correct the effective execution of home exercises and therapies
  • Use various modalities, such as traction, muscle stimulation, ice, heat, or ultrasound, to effectively treat patients.
  • Advise patients and their families on what to do after therapy.
  • Observe and take notes on the patients they are working with before, during, and after therapy.
  • Assign particular exercises to the patient and assist them in doing them.
  • Assist patients in regaining mobility and reducing discomfort, use gadgets such as walkers and other equipment.
  • Use a variety of treatments, such as stretching exercises and massage during patient treatment.
  • Assist patients in getting into and out of the therapy room.
  • Discuss and evaluate patient information with physical therapy personnel and others to plan, adjust, and coordinate treatment. Communicates with caregivers and family members about patient therapeutic activities and treatment plans, and instructs them.
  • Transport patients to and from treatment sites, and also lift and transfer them according to positional needs. Ensures that patients are securely seated in or on therapy equipment.
  • Determine the effects of treatments on patients. measure the range of motion of patients’ joints, body parts, and vital signs.
  • Monitor the operation of the equipment and keeps track of its use and therapy administration.
  • Fit patients with orthotics, prosthetics, and supportive equipment like crutches.



  • An associate’s degree or certification from a physical therapy school that included anatomy and physiology courses as well as clinical practice is required.
  • Obtain certification as a physical therapist assistant.
  • Physical therapist assistant licensure in good standing.
  • It is necessary to have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Interpersonal skills are exceptional.
  • Skills in computer literacy.


Essential Skills

  • Communication: PTA communicates with patients frequently. They must give specific instructions to patients, such as how to carry out specific tasks. They must also discuss what to do after treatment with the patients and their families. PTAs must have excellent oral communication skills to do this effectively.

Because he or she works under the supervision of a physical therapist, a PTA must be able to communicate effectively with them. She must pay close attention to instructions and communicate facts about patients clearly and concisely.

  • Compassion: PTA must be able to sympathize with patients who are suffering, both physically and emotionally, in addition to being able to communicate effectively. They must understand the patient’s situation and use that information to identify the best way to motivate the patient and, in many circumstances, the patient’s family.
  • Detail-oriented: PTA that is detail-oriented must keep meticulous records of their patients’ ailments, injuries, and exercise regimens. They must keep meticulous records of the patient’s progress and report them to the physical therapist. PTA must be organized and detail-oriented to keep track of everything. Plan to spend some time each day on recordkeeping, even if your PTA role is mainly hands-on.
  • Multitasking: PTA is frequently required to accomplish many jobs at the same time. They usually provide care to numerous patients at the same time and must be able to prioritize their tasks. As a result, PTA must be excellent multitaskers.
  • Physical endurance: PTAs are in charge of a wide range of jobs that need physical strength and competence. They must stand for extended periods, bend and kneel, and move patients. They must also use their hands to massage patients and put up equipment. To succeed in this role, you must be both strong and stamina.
  • Computer abilities: Physical therapists are increasingly relying on computers and technology to keep track of treatment plans and patient records. A physical therapy assistant must know how to use word processing software, access and modify patient records, and construct online workout regimens for their patients.
  • Skills in time management:

A PTP Ability to manage their time is critical. Being late to work, for example, can have a snowball effect on your entire day and cause delays in patient visits.

  • Team player: PTA will collaborate with a group of medical professionals. You must be able to carry out the treatment plan and orders of your supervising physical therapist while also being able to direct aids.
  • Possessing the ability to operate machinery: Therapist assistants should be able to operate and monitor a variety of electrical and mechanical therapeutic equipment and devices, including adjusting gauges, dials, small nuts and bolts, settings, tape measures, small tools, and more, in a safe, effective, and dependable manner.
  • Analysis and Evaluation of Systems: Physical therapist assistants must know how systems work and how circumstances, operations, and the environment affect outcomes. They should specify system performance measures as well as the activities required to repair or improve performance by the system’s objectives.
  • Sensory Perception: Therapist assistants must have sensory abilities to observe clients’ conditions and use equipment to provide patients with safe and effective treatment.
  • Mobility: Physical therapist assistants should be able to help clients travel from room to room, ensuring that patients receive safe and effective care promptly When patients have moved around, they have less discomfort and appreciate the feeling of the environment.
  • Dexterity: Physical therapist assistants should be able to offer manual therapy and therapeutic exercises with ease, as well as set up equipment and prepare treatment areas with their hands.


How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant

  • Obtain a diploma from a high school: Before applying to a physical therapy assistant program you must have a high school diploma or the global equivalent.
  • Get an associate’s degree: Seek out and enroll in an authorized physical therapy program at a community college or a technical school. Most schools require students to complete many internships in a variety of settings over two years. The following are some of the most common subjects covered.
    • Massage therapy Anatomy
    • Physiology
    • Kinesiology
  • Take and pass the licensure exam: You must pass the National Physical Therapy Exam, generally known as the NPTE, to work as a physical therapy assistant. Before taking the exam, you must be completely prepared. Candidates are only permitted to take the exam three times per year, for a total of six times.

You will be a licensed physical therapy assistant after passing the NPTE. The prerequisites for additional licensing differ by state. To keep your license, several states require you to take additional courses.

  • Obtain and keep basic certificates up to date: You’ll need to get First Aid and CPR certifications, as well as renew them every couple of years.
  • Update your resume, do a background check, and begin looking for jobs: You can update your resume with your new abilities, degrees, experience, and certifications now that you are a licensed PTA. Before you can work in this field, you’ll have to pass a background check.

Some businesses may need candidates to work as physical therapist aides first, even though they are formally licensed as physical therapy assistants. This is done to ensure that applicants are familiar with the clinic and the field in which they are applying.

Physical therapy assistants can specialize in a variety of areas, which includes:

  1. Women’s well-being
  2. Orthopedics
  3. Pediatrics
  4. Neurology
  5. Geriatrics

Physical therapy assistants that specialize in a certain field might expect to earn more money.


Where to work as a Physical Therapist Assistant

  1. Health care facilities
  2. Hospitals
  3. Nursing homes, and
  4. Home health organizations
  5. Government provinces
  6. Individual homes


Physical Therapist Assistant Salary  Scale

In the United States, the average compensation for a physical therapist assistant is $59,176 per year or $30.35 per hour. Starting salaries for entry-level employment start at $53,624 per year, with the most experienced professionals earning up to $78,000 per year.

The average gross salary for a physical therapist assistant in the United Kingdom is £39,131, or £19.50 per hour. They also receive a £0 bonus on average. The average income for a physical therapist assistant with 1-3 years of experience is £28,583. A senior-level physical therapist assistant (8+ years of experience), on the other hand, makes an average pay of £47,930.

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