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About the Profession

The physical therapist assistant (PTA) is a licensed and skilled, technical healthcare worker who delivers physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist (PT). 

These services may include:

  • instructing patients in therapeutic exercises for strengthening, flexibility, balance/coordination, mobility, and function

  • applying physical agents such as heat, cold, electricity, and traction

  • communicating with the PT as the patient’s medical condition changes

  • monitoring/documenting/reporting patient response to treatment

PTAs are employed in a variety of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, schools, and outpatient physical therapy clinics. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for physical therapist assistants working in the United States was estimated to be between $37,000 - $80,000, with the mean at $60,000.  In our geographical area, new graduates typically start at the lower end of this range.

The PTA Program’s average two-year employment rate is over 90% for graduates licensed within a year of graduation. Statistics on the program’s graduation rate, licensure exam pass rate, and employment rate can be found below.

For more general information about the profession, you may want to visit the American Physical Therapy Association website.

Gulf Coast State College does not discriminate against any person in its programs, activities, policies or procedures on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, marital status, religion, age, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. All questions or inquiries regarding compliance with laws relating to non-discrimination and all complaints regarding sexual misconduct or discrimination, may be directed to Lee Wood, Executive Director, Human Resources/Title II/504/Title IX Coordinator and Employment Equity Officer, Gulf Coast State College, 5230 W. US Highway 98, Panama City, FL 32401.