How Much Do Physical Therapist Assistants Make?

In Physical Therapist, Salary
July 6, 2017

How Much Do Physical Therapist Assistants Make?

If you’ve found yourself on a page about how much physical therapist assistants make, you may be entertaining the thought of becoming one in the future. This article takes an in-depth look at what job growth and salaries of PTAs will look like for the coming years.

Physical therapist assistants are fundamental to the quality of care patients undergoing physical therapy receive. They’re responsible primarily for assisting with treatments designed to improve mobility, relieve pain, prevent or minimize physical disabilities, and promote the overall health and wellbeing of patients.

Common types of patients they see include those involved in traffic accidents, those suffering lower back pain, victims of fractures, arthritis sufferers, those with cerebral palsy, and many others.

If you’re considering a career in healthcare, now is great time to consider becoming a PTA considering the current projected growth rate between now and 2024 is 40%, dramatically above the average for all jobs – 7%.

How Much Do Physical Therapist Assistants Make?

How much a physical therapist assistants can make via salary varies depending on the location of the job, experience of the individual, and the current demand for PTAs.

Use the table at the end of this article to find out whether your state, or the state you eventually want to work in, pays its physical therapist assistants above or below the national average.

As represented in the graph below, physical therapist assistants can expect to earn a median hourly wage of $26.16, or $54,510 per year:

Physical Therapy Assistant Salary

Return on Investment

In order to become a physical therapist assistant, you must complete a 2-year associate’s degree program and earn the required license by taking the National Physical Therapy Exam. You may then optionally (it is advisable) become a Certified Physical Therapist Assistant earning the Recognition of Advanced Proficiency for the PTA.

As far as healthcare positions are concerned, becoming a physical therapist assistant has a very low bar-of-entry, which means very low debt-levels than physician-level positions, which can come with a $200,000+ price tag! Considering the massive growth rate of 40%, you can be sure that you’ll have a position waiting for you upon completing your studies!

Best States for Optometrist Salaries

A major factor in determining what your salary may look like is the location in which you plan to work. However, this principle applies to nearly all occupations largely due to the varying cost-of-living rates across the country.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics collects salary and employment data for nearly all positions, nationwide. The following table includes all data compiled from the BLS from each state including total number of jobs and wages as of May 2016.

Search or sort the table to find out what you can expect to make if physical therapy assisting is in your future:

*Location quotients serve as a statistical representation of the concentration of a resource, like jobs, with a broader base area.

StateEmploymentEmployment per thousand jobsLocation quotientHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alabama1,9000.991.63$25.92$53,910
Alaska700.210.34$27.24$56,660
Arizona1,5400.580.94$23.21$48,290
Arkansas1,0300.861.41$27.60$57,410
California5,0400.320.52$30.61$63,680
Colorado1,1600.460.76$25.58$53,220
Connecticut7300.440.72$29.58$61,530
D.C.1500.210.34$22.41$46,610
Delaware2500.560.93$28.28$58,820
Florida5,3400.651.06$30.16$62,730
Georgia1,9300.460.75$27.07$56,310
Hawaii2900.450.74$20.39$42,400
Idaho3100.460.76$21.47$44,650
Illinois4,8600.821.35$27.03$56,220
Indiana2,2700.761.25$26.90$55,950
Iowa9600.621.02$22.45$46,690
Kansas1,1000.801.31$24.98$51,960
Kentucky1,7700.951.55$25.99$54,060
Louisiana1,4500.751.24$22.14$46,060
Maine2500.430.70$23.94$49,800
Maryland1,4800.520.92$27.73$57,670
Massachusetts2,4200.701.15$28.95$60,210
Michigan3,9600.941.54$24.35$50,640
Minnesota1,4500.520.85$25.31$52,640
Mississippi9200.821.35$22.91$47,650
Missouri1,9200.701.14$24.44$50,840
Montana1500.340.55$22.52$46,840
Nebraska6700.701.14$22.87$47,560
Nevada5100.400.66$27.98$58,210
New Hampshire5800.891.46$27.27$56,730
New Jersey1,2800.320.53$30.88$64,230
New Mexico3900.480.79$23.63$49,160
New York4,2000.460.76$25.71$53,470
North Carolina2,5500.600.99$28.31$58,880
North Dakota1400.340.56$22.86$47,560
Ohio6,2101.161.91$27.92$58,080
Oklahoma1,0900.691.13$27.40$57,000
Oregon6300.350.57$27.11$56,380
Pennsylvania4,5100.791.29$24.45$50,850
Rhode Island3400.721.19$26.47$55,050
South Carolina1,1400.580.95$28.88$60,080
South Dakota2200.510.84$18.64$38,770
Tennessee2,7300.941.55$27.34$56,870
Texas6,7800.580.95$34.51$71,780
Utah6400.460.76$24.18$50,300
Vermont1500.510.83$25.06$52,120
Virginia2,5500.681.11$26.44$54,990
Washington1,1700.380.62$28.26$58,770
West Virginia8001.141.87$24.23$50,390
Wisconsin1,4600.520.86$24.16$50,250
Wyoming1500.560.91$24.78$51,540

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