Since 2010 and slightly beyond, the medical profession has seen a steady, positive increase in jobs and salaries as medical staff becomes more in demand.
With various professions in the industry expected to reach salary increases that are well above that of the median overall job force, many of those positions being in the field of physical therapy and physical therapy assisting.
The median physical therapy assistant salary continues to improve at a faster pace than other medical profession, making it an excellent career choice today.
Anyone wishing to get into a good profession that offers challenge and great compensation in a medical environment should look at the opportunities that are available to PTAs who complete the required education and clinical training.
Current Physical Therapy Assistant Salary Information
Known as one of the best resources on current, factual job information, US News and World Report’s annual Best Jobs report finds physical therapist assistants as the #11 Best Health Care Jobs based on job growth, salary and employee satisfaction.
As of 2012, the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics quotes a median income of $52,160 annually, which is almost 20 percent higher than the average median wage for all jobs combined, that being $34,750.
Low-end salary range was $32,420 annually and high-end range was $72,720. According to job postings in major metropolitan areas, salaries average around $65-70,000 annually.
Best Paying Areas for PTAs
Although healthcare is everywhere, the best salaries are usually found in major metropolitan areas with a higher population and higher demand for these professionals.
This does not say that less populated areas, or those with slower economies, do not also pay well.
It seems as though some assisting positions such as the PTA exist with a base average in most locations since it is, at times, more possible for practices to hire more assistants to help the existing PT staff than it is to hire more PTs, and pay exceptionally more. Likewise, slower areas may not hire assistants at all, or the ones they do might not get top-scale salaries.
- Generally speaking, the state of Texas is the highest paying market.
- Average salaries in state are $69,870. annually, followed second by Nevada at $65,430,
- California at $63,840
- New Jersey at $63,880
- Connecticut at $61,870
- Florida at $61,590
- Alaska $60,000
- Delaware at $60,000
- Kansas also report averages above $60,000 annually.
Lowest averages by state
- S. Dakota at $37,500
- New Mexico at $44,390
- Montana at $44,720
- Arizona at $46,170
- Utah at 47,840
- Idaho at $50,000
- Louisiana at $50,000
- Mississippi at $50,000
- Pennsylvania at $50,000
- West Virginia $50,000, annually.
Lakeland, Florida has the highest salary with an average salary of $77,230 annually.
Texas has good representation on the city level as well as the state level, with multiple major cities like San Antonio, McAllen and Victoria showing up at the top, with salaries in the $72-75,000. range, annually. Modesto, California also scores high with salaries averaging $72,310 annually.
If the above has not already proven a trend, various Texas and Gulf regions average as the highest paying job markets for PTAs with Eastern TX leading the list at $76,870 annually, followed by NW Texas at $69,902, S.
Central Tennessee at $68,000, Gulf Coast TX at $67,760 and N. Central TX at $67,370 annually. Other regions paying well for PTAs include many coastal areas such as SW and W. Central California, Mid-Atlantic and the NJ/NY/CT tri-state region.
Other Effects on PTA Salary
Discounting region/metro area, years of experience played the biggest part in the salary of PTAs. Based on salary research from various sources, entry-level salary ranges in the $30-40,000 range annually, with significant increases by year 73 of having worked in the field.
Other things that affect PTA pay rates include type of patients seen, facility and specialties. Specialty can greatly affect salary as well, with salaries reaching to the higher range of the average scales, and beyond depending on the geographic region and the specialty.
Once Again The Baby Boomers
PTAs employed in some of the regions mentioned above may enjoy that benefit due to a large population of either elderly people or highly, physically active people, both populations which have increased demand for PT services overall.
Although there is discrepancy in which is actually higher overall, the three main types of employment for PTAs are outpatient facilities, hospitals (private, state and nursing) and Home Healthcare services.
Job and Salary Outlook for the PTA
According to the BLS, the field of physical therapy assisting expecting to continue increasing in demand and salary through 2022.
Beginning in 2012, the employment numbers should increase by 414 percent over the 10-year period, which is a substantial 30 percent more than growth estimated for the employment market overall (all jobs). These increases are due to an increasingly aging population that lives longer today.
Current information on outlook focuses on job availability and demand, but not salary rise.
Based on past performance however, over the past eight years (2004 – 2012)5, median salary has increased roughly 3.5 to 4 percent per year over that time span, which is higher than the average salary increases estimated at 1.5 to 2.5 percent depending on variables.
Rise of demand and rise of salary stayed parallel, so it is reasonable to think this trend could continue through the 2022 outlook period.
Average Salaries For Similar Healthcare PTA Jobs
- PTA Acute – $68,000
- “ Outpatient – $63,000
- ” Prn – $87,000
- “ Skilled – $62,500
- “ Licensed – $46,800