About the Profession

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.  Salaries generally range from $34,000 to $42,000 throughout the country, but may be higher or lower in some areas.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program @ Gulf Coast State College has a 94% employment rate, for graduates within 6 months of licensure.

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