A physical therapist assistant (PTA) is a health care provider who works under the supervision of a physical therapist (PT). They do hands-on care for people who need to recover from injuries to the bones and joints, brain and nerves, problems with pain, developmental complications, and other movement problems. Their main purpose is to assist people with reaching their maximum level of health and function. They help people to recover their ability to walk, to heal from wounds, and to learn to work and live with the effects of injuries and other health problems.

Physical therapists are responsible for evaluating and treating people who need physical therapy care. They identify problems that physical therapy can address, create goals, and decide what treatment the person will receive. PTs supervise all care given by the PTA.

A career as a physical therapist assistant can be one of the most rewarding career options a person can pursue. It should be of little surprise as to why this career has one of the highest rates of satisfaction. When people are severely injured they must undergo therapy to allow their damaged muscles and joints to heal properly. For people interested in helping others and providing direct care this may be one of the best career paths to pursue.

Visit the American Physical Therapy Association website to learn more about a career as a physical therapist assistant. 


  • Acute Care Hospital Setting
  • Rehabilitation Center
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Out Patient Clinics/Sports Medicine
  • Pediatric Facilities/School Settings
  • Aquatics
  • Home Health Agency
  • Traveling Therapy Companies