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Occupation Spotlight

Physical Therapist AssistantsPhysical Therapist Assistants

Key Points

  • Employment is projected to grow much faster than average.
  • Physical therapist assistants should have very good job prospects.
  • Most have an associate's degree.
  • Most states require licensing.
  • Most jobs are in offices of other health practitioners and in hospitals.

What They Do

Physical therapist assistants help physical therapists to provide treatment that improves patient mobility, relieves pain, and prevents or lessens physical disabilities of patients. For example, a physical therapist might ask a physical therapist assistant to help patients exercise, learn to use crutches, or operate therapy equipment. Patients include accident victims and individuals with disabling conditions such as lower-back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, head injuries, and cerebral palsy.

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Why We Selected This Occupation

  • Pretty good pay (median annual salary of $51,040) for the educational investment (associate's degree);
  • Because of our aging population, demand should remain high;
  • Impossible to offshore;
  • Normal work hours;
  • Positive outcomes in the vast majority of cases - rarely does anyone die or get worse; and
  • You get to help people!

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