If you’re feeling directionless in terms of a career and are looking for a new job path, you should consider becoming a physical therapy assistant. In this job you’ll spend a lot of time caring for patients who have suffered injuries or have chronic conditions and need rehabilitation. You’ll also spend time on the administrative side of things, answering phones and working on insurance claims. When you’re in school you’ll learn a variety of techniques, exercises, and stretches that can help patients in their recovery time. You’ll also learn about how a medical office runs so you can deal with clerical issues. Once you graduate school, you might find yourself working in a hospital or nursing home, but more than likely will work alongside PT’s in a medical office. You’ll have patients of all different ages, from teenagers who have hurt themselves playing sports to elderly people who have arthritis and other degenerative diseases. If this career sounds like something you think you’d be good doing, you should consider attending physical therapy assistant school. There are numerous benefits to picking this career path!
You’ll have financial stability.
On average, physical therapy assistants make a little over $49,000 annually. That’s considerably more than physical therapy aides, who don’t need any type of postsecondary degree and usually rely on on-the-job training. It’s also substantially more than the average income across all occupations, which is $33,840. If you really make a career out of the position and dedicate yourself, you could end up making in the top 10% of the profession, which would mean you rake in almost $70,000 a year.
You’ll have a flexible schedule.
About 75% of physical therapy assistants work full time, which is good because it brings you stability and means that you don’t have to look for a second job. But the downside to some full time positions is that you have a rigid schedule, working from exactly 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. PT offices often have evening and weekend hours, so you’ll likely have some flexibility in your schedule. If you’re someone who really likes to sleep in, you might be able to work 11 am to 7 pm during the week. Or, if you would enjoy breaking up your work week by having a Wednesday off, you could make that time up with a few hours on Saturday or Sunday.
You’ll benefit from job growth and security.
The need for PT assistants isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, the position is expected to experience a whopping 46% in job growth from 2010 to 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s far higher than the 14% average across all occupations. The position is also growing faster than that of PT aides, since assistants can work directly with patients. The demand for services is greatly increasing due to an aging population that will need both physical therapy and other health-related rehabilitation services. The medical technologies and developments that are helping babies with birth defects and trauma victims to survive is also contributing to the need for PT services. Assistants specifically will be used to deliver direct care to cut the costs of using physical therapists.
You’ll graduate from school sooner.
This is an especially attractive proposition if you don’t really consider yourself the “school type.” Instead of sitting in a classroom for four years to get a bachelor’s degree, you can graduate in two (or sometimes less) and immediately get a job making more than some of your friends with traditional degrees. It also means that you can enter the job market sooner, which in turn means you’ll get promotions and raises sooner and start earning even more money.