Health Occupations
& Technology

Physical Therapist Assistant

To be a successful Physical Therapist Assistant you should…

  • enjoy working closely with people, including those who are sick or disabled
  • communicate effectively, including educating patients and their families
  • be competent in the physical and biological sciences
  • enjoy solving complex problems
  • desire to improve your community by helping individuals achieve their full physical potential
  • desire a career that values life-long learning

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What will my job be like?

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) assist the physical therapist in implementing treatment programs, training patients in exercises and activities of daily living, conducting treatments, and reporting to the physical therapist on the patient’s responses.

Where could I work?

Physical Therapist Assistants’ work may occur in a hospital, in a school system, in an orthopedic or sports rehabilitation clinic, in the patient’s home through a home health agency, or in a hospital that specializes in rehabilitating patients after serious injury or disease.

The hours and days that physical therapist assistants work vary, depending on the facility and whether they are full or part-time employees.

Other workplace settings:
  • Physical Therapist’s Offices
  • Nursing and Personal Care Facilities
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation Centers
  • Offices and Clinics of Physicians
  • Sports Facilities

What is the average annual salary?


What is the future of this career?

Overall employment of physical therapist assistants and aides is projected to grow 30 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for physical therapy is expected to increase in response to the healthcare needs of an older population and individuals with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity.

What type of education and/or training do I need?

Physical therapist assistants must complete a 2-year education program, typically offered through a community or junior college. Candidates receive an associate degree upon graduation. The course of study includes usually one year of general education and one year of technical courses on physical therapy procedures and clinical experience. The majority of PTA programs have specialized PTA courses across two years of study. There is a heavy emphasis on science courses.

Where can I get the education and/or training?

  • Naugatuck Valley Community College, Waterbury
  • Norwalk Community College, Norwalk
  • Quinnipiac University, Hamden
  • Sacred Heart University, Fairfield
  • University of Connecticut, Storrs
  • University of Hartford, West Hartford

Do I need a license or certification for this career?

Licensure is required in the state of Connecticut. Prerequisites: An approved Physical Therapy Assistant program or graduation from an approved US Physical Therapy school; successful completion of the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination (NPTAE).

Where can I get more information?

American Physical Therapy Association
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(800) 999-APTA