Physical Therapist Assistant Career Overview

Job Description

Southwestern Illinois College’s Physical Therapist Assistant program prepares students to work as skilled health care providers, who under the supervision and direction of a physical therapist, treat patients of all ages with medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.

Physical Therapist Assistants:
  • Monitor and report patient status
  • Provide selected interventions
  • Modify care within a therapist’s plan
  • Document treatment
  • Work with other health care professionals
  • Supervise physical therapy aides or technicians
  • Educate the patient, care giver, family and community in the management of health care problems and preventative measures
Career Resources

The American Physical Therapy Association website provides career and licensure information.

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook provides additional information regarding the PTA field.

Job Opportunities

Physical Therapist Assistants work in a variety of settings including:

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Home health environments
  • Nursing homes
  • Schools
  • Sports facilities
  • Fitness centers
  • Industrial/occupational settings
Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor 2014-24 Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment is expected to grow by 40 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations.


Median Income

The median income for PTAs with one to three years experience is between $37,000 and $42,000 annually, depending on the type and location of the health care facility.