Physical Therapy Assistant Salary and Employment Data

PTA SalaryData updated March 2018 to allow for the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics salary data released on March 30th, 2018.

How much does a Physical Therapist Assistant make?

If you are interested in becoming a Physical Therapy Assistant (also referred to as PTA or Physical Therapist Assistant) then you will no doubt be interested to find out how much you could expect to earn. In this section we break down average salaries in detail.

Average Physical Therapy Assistant Salary

Average salary $57,620
Average hourly wage $27.70
Top 10% of Earners$79,380
Bottom 10% of Earners $35,930
Highest Paying State: Texas $70,450
Bottom Paying State: South Dakota$41,080

According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics Salary data (May 2017), Physical Therapy Assistants earn an average salary of $57,620 per annum – up from $56,850 in 2016. The highest paid PTA’s earn average salaries of $79,380 whilst the average salary for an entry level PTA is $35,930.

  • Average range across all States: From a low of $41,080 in South Dakota to a high of $70,450 in Texas. This represents a variance of almost $30,000 in earnings, even taking into consideration cost of living adjustments.
  • Average range across Metro Areas: From a low of $xx,xxx in the , to a high of $xx,xxx in .
  • Top earners to bottom earners: Overall the bottom 10% of those working Physical Therapy Assistants earned an average of $32,640, whilst the top 10% earned more than double that at an average of $76,940.
  • The highest earners overall in the industry are those in Border Regions, Texas (non metropolitan area), where the top 10% of PTA’s working there earn an average salary of $167,870 – 190% more than the national average.
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How much does a PTA make an hour?

According to the most recent BLS Studies (2017) the average hourly wage of a Physical Therapist Assistant in the US is $27.70 per hour.

The top 10% of earners in the profession receive and average hourly wage of $38.17 whilst those in the lower 10% earn just $17.27 per hour.

PTA’s working in home health care services earned the highest hourly wage across all industries at $31.56 per hour.

Average PTA Salaries by State

How much do Physical Therapist Assistants make in your area? Browse through the map below to view salary and employment data by State;

Top paying States for Physical Therapy Assistants

The table below illustrates the States in which Physical Therapist Assistants earn the most – taking into consideration cost of living adjustments for each State.

StateSalaryAbove Average# Employed
New Jersey$67,99018.00%1,430

Top paying Metro Areas for Physical Therapy Assistants

The table below illustrates the local areas in the USA in which Physical Therapist Assistants earn the most – taking into consideration cost of living adjustments for each area. As is evident from the data metro and non metro areas in Texas dominate the list.

AreaAnnual SalaryAbove National Average# Employed
Big Thicket Region, TX$105,73083.50%110
Border Region, TX$104,23080.89%40
Tyler, TX$83,47044.86%-
Killeen-Temple, TX$79,55038.06%110
Coastal Plains Region, TX$79,23037.50%50
North Texas Region, TX$79,13037.33%240
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$77,18033.95%100
Victoria, TX$76,72033.15%210
Texarkana, TX-AR$75,96031.83%40
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX$75,34030.75%620
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX$75,22030.54%70
Morristown, TN$75,17030.46%70
Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX$75,04030.23%1,740
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX$73,21027.06%2,100
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX$72,83026.40%230
Sebring, FL$72,38025.62%40
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA$72,11025.15%80
Laredo, TX$71,26023.67%80
Wichita Falls, TX$70,77022.82%80
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA$70,59022.51%-

Physical Therapist Salary and Physical Therapist Aides Salary

How much do Physical Therapy Assistants make by comparison to a Physical Therapist or a Physical Therapist Aide?

Many schools allow for continuation of study to become a fully qualified Physical Therapist – so how much more could you earn if you should pursue this path now or in the future? Additionally working as a Physical Therapist Aide could be a good path towards a career as a Physical Therapist Assistant if you do not have the resources or desire to attend an accredited school. But how will your earnings be impacted?

Career Average Salary Hourly Wage #’s Employed
Physical Therapist Assistant $56,610 $27.33 85,580
Physical Therapist $87,220 $41.93 216,920
Physical Therapist Aide $27,890 $13.41 50,030
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Average PTA’s salary compared with similar careers

How much do PTA’s make compared with other careers? In the diagram below we compare salary levels for PTA’s with salaries for similar careers in the healthcare industry. As is quite visible PTA’s enjoy much higher entry level and overall salary growth than most other careers.
PTA_Salary_V_Other_Careers (1)

PTA Employment Outlook

The news is good on the employment outlook also. The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) project that employment of PTA’s will grow by a massive 30% between 2016 and 2024.

There are currently approximately 83,000 persons employed as Physical Therapist Assistants in the USA. This represents an almost 100% increase in employment since 2000. It is projected that a further 25,000 will be employed in the sector by 2024.

Much of the growth in demand for Physical Therapy Assistant comes from both an aging population and efforts by the Government and health services to become more efficient. More Physical Therapist Assistants to carry out the recommendations and prescribed treatments of a Physiotherapist will result in easier access to care and cost savings across the board.

As all the evidence suggests, a career as a Physical Therapist Assistant offers great opportunity both in terms of employment growth and salary.