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

Click here to view video.
Click here to view video.

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 32 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the BLS.

About 23,800 openings for physical therapist assistants and aides are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

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

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).

Please visit the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health website for more information.

Where can I get more information?

American Physical Therapy Association
3030 Potomac Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22305
(800) 999-APTA