Physiotherapist assistants will enjoy very good job opportunities in the coming years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The government projects a 33 per cent increase in jobs from 2008 to 2018 for physiotherapist assistants, also called physical therapist assistants and physiotherapy assistants. The growth in the elderly population will propel the need for more physiotherapy assistants, especially in hospitals and nursing homes. Their average pay as of May 2010 came to nearly £32,500 per year.
Average and Range of Wages
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average physiotherapist assistant earned an hourly wage of £15.50 as of May 2010. For a year of 40-hour weeks, this came to an annual income of £32,376. Those at the 10th percentile in earnings received £9.70 per hour or £20,195 annually, and those at the 90th percentile got £21.5 per hour, or £44,733 annually.
The largest employer of physiotherapist assistants in the 2010 government study was offices of other health practitioners, which excluded physicians' offices but included physical and occupational therapy offices. This industry employed 26,800 physiotherapist assistants at an average pay of £31,414 per year. Hospitals, the second largest employer, had 16,030 assistants at an average of £31,135 per year. Nursing facilities came third, employing 7,440 assistants with average pay of £34,879.
Home health care had the highest pay of all in the 2010 government report. It employed 5,200 physiotherapist assistants at an average annual salary of £38,688. The second highest pay came from management of companies, which had only 200 physiotherapist assistants, but paid an average of £37,999 per year. Employment services also had 770 assistants earning an average of £37,017 per year.
Pay by State
Career One Stop gives the wages of physiotherapy assistants by state. As of 2009, the median wage for an assistant in Oregon came to £31,720 per year, while an assistant in California earned a median wage of £37,375. The median wage in Indiana came to £32,760, and in Texas, it came to £36,855. In New York, assistants received a median salary of £28,990, and in Florida, they received £35,230.
Education and Licensing
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, the District of Columbia and all but two states require physical therapist assistants to meet licensing or certification requirements. A prospective candidate must complete an associate degree from an accredited physical therapist assistant program at a college, two-year college or technical school. These programs usually require five semesters, after which prospective assistants need to pass a national examination to qualify for registration or licensing in most states.