How to Become a Physical Therapy Aide in Pennsylvania

therapist helps client in the gym

Those who enjoy helping others may be able to find a great career as a physical therapy aide.

Education and Training

Before individuals can begin, however, they need to receive the proper training and education as well as any special state requirements necessary to get a job.

Trade Schools in PA with Physical Therapy Programs

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    Blackstone Career Institute

    • Allentown

    PennWest California
    2 year PTA associate degree program that preps you for entry level jobs and the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and PTA license.

    • California

    South College
    Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant or Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

    • Pittsburgh

Educational Requirements

To become a physical therapy aide in Pennsylvania you must have at least a high school diploma or GED to be considered for the position, though you can receive on-the-job training once you begin.

However, some roles require that you obtain additional education before you can start your role as a physical therapy aide.

How Much Does It Cost?

Cost can vary depending on which school or program you take, though you can potentially enroll in a physical therapy aide program for under $1,000. Financial aid may be available for those who qualify.

Physical Therapy Aide Licensing

While you need a license to become a physical therapist assistant, the role of a physical therapist aide in Pennsylvania does not require a license.

How Long Does It Take?

Those interested can typically finish the program in as little as a few weeks or up to two months.

Physical therapy aide/technician certifications are also available for physical therapist aides who want to continue their education.


Below are some average salaries and hourly wages for areas of the state.

Area Hourly Annual
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ $16.28 $33,860.00
Erie $14.58 $30,330.00
Harrisburg-Carlisle $17.26 $35,900.00
Northern PA $15.06 $31,330.00
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD $16.92 $35,200.00
Pittsburgh $16.37 $34,060.00
Reading $16.86 $35,080.00
Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton $13.37 $27,810.00
Southern PA $15.11 $31,420.00
Western PA $16.00 $33,270.00
York-Hanover $15.57 $32,390.00

Occupation:Physical Therapist Aides (SOC Code312022)

Job Description

Physical therapy aides have a variety of tasks they perform under the supervision of a physical therapist.

During their workday, these trained professionals prepare patients for physical therapy treatment by both emotionally comforting them as well as helping the patient into their physical therapy attire.

General Responsibilities

Workers in these entry-level jobs have responsibilities such as preparing the treatment area, equipment, and materials.

They can also perform different procedures while under the guidance and supervision of a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant.

Physical therapy aides help treat patients by applying items like heating packs or paraffin drips and assisting patients onto exercise equipment.

Where Can They Work?

These professionals may end up working at hospitals, doctors offices, physical therapy offices, nursing homes, sports and fitness offices, and even outpatient clinics.

Career Outlook

The job outlook for a physical therapy aide is higher than in many fields. Experts predict that from 2021-2031, there will be a 24-percent growth in the need for physical therapy aides.

This will result in approximately 25,000 job openings for physical therapy aides and physical therapy assistants across the country.

Demand and Job Growth

The demand for physical therapy is like to rise because of the health needs of more Americans entering older age groups. These patients will need help with maintaining mobility and dealing with the effects of issues like obesity and diabetes.

The need for more physical therapy aides will also continue to grow because of employees leaving the work force for other fields or retiring.

Search Physical Therapy Aide Programs

Get information on Physical Therapy Aide programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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