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Salary of a Physical Therapy Aide in Pennsylvania
- In a 2009 survey on wages across the nation, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) identified the median national salary for physical therapy aides as $23,890 per year. Physical therapy aides in Pennsylvania earned slightly more than their cross-country colleagues, with annual median wages of $25,910, a difference of $2,020 per year.
- Not all of Pennsylvania's 1,930 physical therapy aides (as of May 2009) earned salaries higher than their counterparts in other states. Pennsylvania's lowest bracket of 10th percentile earners averaged salaries of $17,500 per year. At the high end of the scale, the state's 90th percentile of physical therapist aide salaries averaged $36,500 per year.
- The BLS distinguishes three level of service in the physical therapy field. While Pennsylvanians interested in earning salaries as physical therapists and physical therapy assistants must seek post-secondary training from a college accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association, there are no educational or experience requirements for physical therapy aides, who usually receive on-the-job training. Prospective aides interested in learning more about the physical therapy field will find 10 in-state accredited colleges offering physical therapy assistant programs, including California University of Pennsylvania, Harcum College, The Pennsylvania State University (multiple locations), Central Pennsylvania College, Butler County Community College and Lehigh Carbon Community College. Unlike physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, licensing is not required for physical therapy aides.
- The BLS predicts a very positive outlook for employment in the overall physical therapy field. Employment of physical therapy aides is expected to grow by 36 percent (slightly faster than the 33 percent projection for physical therapy assistants) and add 16,700 jobs to the profession across the country through 2018. The BLS recommends prospective physical therapy aides seek employment in rural areas of Pennsylvania, which are often underserved by qualified candidates.