Up and coming careers in the medical field: Physical Therapy Assistant


Whether you are fresh out of high school or are interested in upgrading your education, it’s difficult to pin point exactly which field you should pursue.  4 year University educations are out of reach for those with families or individuals who don’t wish to be saddled with huge student loans.  Taking a course to learn a trade has become the hot thing to do when upgrading your education.  Trades allow you to learn the skills to perform a specific job.  When narrowing down your choices, consider the many job vacancies for a certain position and choose from there.   Currently, one of the most popular careers paths is that of a Physical Therapy Assistant.    

Physical Therapy Assistants perform their jobs under the supervision of a Physical Therapist.   Physical Therapy is a popular option to assist in the recovery of chronic injuries, motor vehicle accidents, or other pain and injury issues.  The therapy involves exercises, ultrasound therapy, and in some cases, massage.   The assistant to a Physical Therapist evaluates and assists patients by performing exercises, refilling supplies, and helping where needed.   

As the US undergoes Health Care Reform, the industry is booming.   The baby boomers in the USA are aging, and there are bigger requirement for services such as Physical therapy.  As well, our belief systems are more open to alternative approaches to healing, whereas 20 years ago the idea of Physical Therapy would have been scoffed at.  The demand for Physical Therapy Assistants is growing to the point that the jobs available outnumber the qualified applicants graduating.  

Although some Physical Therapy assistants are trained on the job, the majority is required to have an associate’s degree.  To obtain an associate degree, you are required to complete 4 semesters at an accredited institution.  In some states, a license is required to work as Physical Therapist Assistant.   There are specific areas of specializing that an assistant can focus on, including geriatrics or pediatrics.   

The outlook for employment upon completion of the program is extremely good, as the supply of assistants far outweighs the demand.  The number of positions has increased exponentially over the past 3 years, and is predicted to grow from 107,000 positions currently across the US to 137,000 positions by 2016.   The average salary earned by a professional in this field starts at approximately $23 per hour and goes up from there.

Although the need for Physical Therapy assistants is high, the educational institutions that offer the course are smaller in number than needed.  Programs across the USA reach maximum capacity each intake, and there is a need to increase the intake in order to fill job vacancies.  

As our population ages, the need for health care will increase exponentially rather than level off.    Careers in the health care field are recession proof in most cases, as there is always going to be people who get sick and end up in hospitals or care facilities.  A career path such as Psychical Therapy Assistant is the beginning of a long and fruitful career.


Source by Kristin Royce