Physical Therapy Aide Job Description

Physical Therapy Aide Job Description

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Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who help people who are recovering from injuries and illnesses. If you want to become a physical therapist aide (PTA), you may have a question, What is a Physical Therapy Aide’s Job Description and Career Guide?


They also work with patients who have mobility problems that may be the result of developmental issues or aging.

Physical therapy aides are an integral part of any physical therapist’s practice. They help patients recover from injuries or illness, get back to their daily routines, and improve the way they function in their day-to-day lives.

Physical therapy aides are important members of the physical therapy team, contributing directly to patient care at every level.

Getting Certified As a Physical Therapy Aide

The first step to becoming certified as a physical therapy aide is to determine which certification you want to pursue. You can get certified in as little as a year from a local vocational school with hands on training.

While certification is not required to work as a physical therapy aide, it can provide you with more opportunity. For example, employers are more likely to hire someone who has received APTA or NBCOT certification because of their professionalism and strong work ethic. Additionally, some state boards require that aides hold one of these certifications before they can practice legally in their state.

Certification programs are offered through vocational schools and community colleges across the country. However, some schools offer associate degree programs while others offer certificates only; so it’s important that you do your research before making a decision about where or how much money you want to spend on your education.

The Main Job of a Physical Therapy Aide

The main job of a physical therapy aide is to help keep the physical therapy clinic organized and clean.

Physical therapy aides are responsible for keeping the clinic clean and organized at all times, assisting with equipment sterilization, and ensuring that all tools are properly stocked before each patient visit.

Physical therapy aides may also be required to perform other duties such as cleaning the facility’s floors, vacuuming carpets, or disinfecting equipment.

If you’re interested in pursuing this career path, be sure that you’re comfortable working in busy environments where organization is key!

A PTAide’s Duties

As a physical therapy aide, you may also be asked to perform routine nursing duties. In addition to providing routine care, the physical therapy aide performs less advanced tasks at the direction of the physical therapist or assistant.

Physical therapy aides are not licensed health care professionals and cannot provide clinical assessments or treatment recommendations. The following are the only tasks that physical therapy aides may perform:

Provide personal assistance or follow-up services for patients after their injury has been treated. This may include helping patients shower and dress and providing transportation to appointments as needed
Undergo training in specific areas like performing range-of-motion exercises with patients
It is important for the physical therapy aide to understand how the equipment works and when it needs to be repaired or replaced.

Know how to use equipment safely.
Know when equipment needs repair or replacement.
Know how to maintain equipment, including cleaning and troubleshooting malfunctions.
As a physical therapy aide, you’re responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the equipment and facilities. You should know how to use cleaning equipment safely and effectively, including being able to clean it yourself or call in a technician if necessary. You should also understand how to use different kinds of cleaning chemicals safely.

Physical Therapy Aide vs. Physical Therapy Assistant

A physical therapy aide (PTA) is a licensed professional who works under the direction of a physical therapist. The PTA assists the physical therapist in the treatment of patients with physical therapy, which includes the use of exercise, massage and heat therapies. PTA’s are involved in all aspects of patient care such as preparing equipment, assisting with treatments and post-operative care instructions. They may also assist with providing education on home exercise programs or other topics requested by patients.

A Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) has typically completed an accredited program at a vocational school after high school graduation and passed several exams to become certified as an aide or associate aide within their state board requirements.


Physical therapy aides and assistants are both important members of a physical therapist’s staff.

The main difference between them is that an aide works under the supervision of an assistant or a therapist, while an assistant reports only to the therapist.

It takes two years of study for an assistant to get to there goal, as opposed to just a few months for an aide.

The bottom line: If you want to become a PTA, you should earn your associate’s degree in physical therapy assisting first or go for certification as a PTA instead.

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