Individuals interested in becoming a physical therapy assistant are happy to know that this career offers a wide range of benefits and unique advantages. Different people may want to embark on this career path for any number of different reasons, and there’s enough to entice nearly anyone who isn’t convinced of whether or not it’s a good match for them. Here, you’ll find some of the best things about a physical therapy assistant career.
Right at the top of the list has to be the intrinsic rewards of life as a PTA. In other words, you are helping people each and every day of your career, and having a direct role in their recovery, or an improved quality of life, increased functionality, and more. Being able to help patients like this firsthand and directly is reward in and of itself for most individuals, and PTAs enjoy very high job satisfaction rates for this reason.
Another great aspect of becoming a physical therapist assistant is that there is a wide scope of different settings and work environments which you can find yourself in. There’s also a very wide scope of responsibilities and duties, making for a dynamic and exciting atmosphere. In terms of settings and different workplaces, PTAs can work in hospitals, private clinics and privately owned health care practitioner offices, schools, wellness centers, home health care services, long term rehabilitation facilities, nursing care centers, community care facilities, research organizations, and more.
Of course, the fact that physical therapy assistants are one of the quickest growing fields in the country is a huge boost as well. Upon graduation and successful completion of your licensure exam, you’ll enter a workforce which is currently in the midst of a projected 33% growth from 2008 to 2018. That means that even in this rough economic climate, jobs are on the rise, and you should be able to not only find one, but find one which is perfectly suited to your own strengths or desires in terms of setting and focus, as mentioned above.
Salary levels are also very healthy as a PTA, which is an important consideration too. After all, intrinsic rewards are great, but they certainly don’t pay the bills or contribute to your savings. According to the latest day from May 2010 provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, physical therapy assistants earn a mean annual wage of almost $50,000; $49,810 to be exact, and the upper 10% of the field earns more than $68,820!
Another great benefit of being a PTA is that you’ll be in a great position to pursue continued education as a full physical therapist down the line. If you love the field, are good at it, and are ready to learn more and spend more time in school in order to advance your career, then you’ll find ample opportunities with bridging programs to move from PTA to full PT.
As you can see, there are many great reasons to become a physical therapy assistant. Some of the best reasons, including intrinsic rewards and job satisfaction, employment opportunities and wages, a wide variety of job settings and responsibilities and more, have been discussed above. Whatever might appeal to you individually, you’ll see that being a PTA is exciting and rewarding in every way, and there’s no downside to getting started towards pursuing this line of work today.