Physical therapy assistants enjoy a profession which carries many different benefits and advantages. Professionals here get to help patients every day and make a difference in their lives, making the position very rewarding. It’s a hands-on job with a dynamic list of responsibilities, and many different potential focuses or specialties. Still, one factor which everyone wants to know about is how much physical therapy assistants get paid. Below, find the details for salaries and earnings for PTAs.
On the whole, median annual wages of physical therapy assistants was $49,810 according to the May 2010 figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and their Occupational Employment Survey. This shows an increase in annual wages from the May 2008 survey, which found a $46,140 median.
Therefore, an already healthy range is continuing to increase, and that’s due to several factors. Most notably, PTAs are in demand, and the field is currently experiencing a projected 33% rate of growth. In this competitive atmosphere, highly qualified individuals entering the field and gaining experience are highly sought after, and are commanding larger salaries than they were even just a few years ago. This is very important and exciting, particularly in an economic climate where many fields have been stagnant or even experiencing declining employment and salary levels.
Getting more specific with those numbers, the median or 50% range of PTAs earns $49,690, or just under $24 per hour; the 75% earns $59,050 or $28 per hour, and the 90% earns $68,820 or $33 per hour. The hourly figures are important because over a quarter of the field works part-time, and another chunk holds several part-time positions at once. This means that not all PTAs take in a full-time salary.
The earnings you receive will also depend on what area of physical therapy you’re working in, and what your job setting or industry is. The top paying industry and setting for PTAs is home health care services. Individuals here an annual mean wage of over $59,500. The next highest paying industries are management of companies and enterprises, employment services, nursing care facilities and community care facilities for the elderly.
The field with the most PTAs in it is individual or privately owned health practitioner offices and clinics, with over 26,000 PTAs in 2010. Here, the annual mean wage is $48,330. The next largest grouping of PTAs are found in hospital settings, and the annual mean wage there is similar, at $47,900.
Of course, there are many other factors which will have a role in determining how much you earn as a physical therapy assistant. These include of course the amount of experience you have, any specialties or additional training you may have received, and also where you are located. For example, the top paying state for PTAs is Texas, with a mean wage of over $62,000, significantly higher than even the second highest, California, at $57,750.
PTAs can bring in a very healthy salary, and the fact that individuals can begin earning those wages after just a two year associates program makes the profession all the more exciting.