Becoming a physical therapy aide may be closer to obtaining than you might imagine. It can also be more lucrative than you may have thought. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2013 report, working under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist as an aide can earn you median pay upwards of over $24,000 a year. The median hourly rate earning is closing in on $13.00 an hour. For even part-time physical therapy aide work, that’s pretty good hourly wage for supplemental income in a position that does not require at least a two-year college degree.
In 2012, there were over 121,400 physical therapy aide or assistant jobs available. And the numbers are on the rise heading into 2015. Some estimates project that physical therapy aide and assistant change in employment (or average growth rate) from 2012 through 2022 is around 41%. Compare that number to the average growth rate for all occupations! That number is steady at about 11% nationally. What’s the conclusion? Physical Therapy Aide job growth rate is increasing faster than the average occupational field you’ll find in the U.S. The same can be said about the growth for Physical Therapy Assistants as well.
Over the long-term, job security looks strong! Chronic ailments like obesity, arthritis, and diabetes are on the rise. Couple that fact with a growing aging population that is expected to put increasing strains on health care in general. Together, you have a vast opportunity for career growth and job security. In other words, supply and demand is on the rise!
Most states require Physical Therapy Assistants to hold at least an associate degree from an accredited physical therapy assistant program. Granted, the pay is better (median around $40,000), But the educational effort and up-front cost is also more taxing. And that’s before you get to work. In contrast, to work as a physical therapy aide, you only need to have at least a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training. From there, the foundation can be set to launch you deeper into the field. Maybe down the road you decide to pursue becoming an assistant or going on to becoming an occupational therapy aide where earning power only goes up!
The challenge that faces anyone desiring to enter the world of physical therapy is the need for knowledge. Lots of it! One of the simplest steps to gaining this knowledge can be found by securing a place as a physical therapy aide in one capacity or another. Becoming a Physical Therapy Aide can be a great way to lay the foundation to a great future. Becoming a certified physical or occupational therapist could easily become a long-term goal.
Considering the affordability to get started, ed2go can be a great way to go! And if you’re of the mindset of looking for a profession where you could be your own boss (owning your own business) creates job security. Establishing yourself as an independent physical therapy aide for hire could be just the ticket!
In March of 2013, a University of Central Florida student at the time wrote: “I really enjoyed this course! I feel that I’m ready to start a career as a physical therapy aide. I’m very happy I took this course and I’m excited about my future.”