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Physical Therapy Assistant

Career data updated last on 10/15/2014
Physical Therapy Assistant Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are skilled technical workers who help physical therapists carry out treatments for patients who have physical impairments from disease and injury. PTAs assist in many aspects of a physical therapy service, carrying out the treatment program which include exercises, massages, electrical stimulation, paraffin baths, hot and cold packs, traction, and ultrasound. Physical therapist assistants record the patient’s responses to treatment and report the outcome of each treatment to the physical therapist. Physical therapist aides perform the routine tasks in a physical therapy department and work under the direction of a physical therapist, sometimes helping with patient care.
Salary $22.67/hr- $47,160 annually
Significant Points Employment in the occupation is projected to increase much faster than the average, reflecting the growing number of individuals with disabilities or limited function and the increasing use of physical therapist assistants to reduce the cost of therapeutic services.
Work Environment Physical therapist assistants/aides are employed in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, public and private schools, and physical therapy clinics. The hours and days that physical therapist assistants and aides work vary with the facility and with whether they are full- or part-time employees. Many outpatient physical therapy offices and clinics have evening and weekend hours, to help coincide with patients’ personal schedules.
High School Prep A high school diploma or equivalent is required; courses in biology, algebra and chemistry are recommended.
Academic Requirements Training for physical therapist assistants is available at the community college level through Associate Degree programs. Training for physical therapist aides are generally certificate programs. Certificates are granted once the classroom and laboratory hours have been fulfilled. Colorado does not license PTA's. The PTA National Physical Therapy Examination is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Their website is In order to take the PTA examination, you have to attend a school accredited by the Commission on Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). To view a list of the accredited PT and PTA schools and schools who have applied for accreditation, visit the American Physical Therapy Association's website at, click on "Education" and then click on Accreditation [CAPTE].


Arapahoe Community College
Associate Degree Associate
Morgan Community College
Associate Degree Associate
Pima Medical Institute-Denver Campus
Associate Degree Associate
Pueblo Community College-Pueblo Campus
Associate Degree Associate

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