Summary Guide forPhysical Therapist Aides in California
May also be called: Occupational Therapy Aides; Physical Therapy Aides; Rehab Therapy Aides; Rehabilitation Aides; and Rehabilitation Technicians
What Would I Do?
Physical Therapist Aides work under the direct and immediate supervision of a physical therapist. They help make therapy sessions productive by preparing the equipment and patient. Aides provide support to patients who require assistance with changing position or moving on and off therapy equipment. Some other duties Aides perform include keeping the treatment area clean and ordering supplies. They also answer phones, and fill out insurance forms.
Physical Therapist Aides work in various types of medical facilities. They need to be physically able to assist patients with movement. This may include lifting some patients. They frequently have to kneel, stoop, bend, and stand for long periods. Aides may work full- or part-time, depending upon their employer. Many outpatient physical therapy offices are open long hours to coincide with patients' personal schedules. Aides at these locations may work evenings or weekends.
Will This Job Fit Me?
The job of Physical Therapist Aide may appeal to those who enjoy providing service to others and working in a team situation. Those who enjoy communicating with people and teaching others should also enjoy this type of work.
What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?
The median wage in 2015 for Physical Therapist Aides in California was $27,314 annually, or $13.13 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.
Full-time Physical Therapist Aides generally receive benefits. Typical benefits include medical, dental, life, and vision insurance. Additional common benefits are paid time off and retirement plans. A few employers even offer tuition reimbursement. However, some employers offer only partial benefits. Some do not provide benefits to part-time Aides. Others will offer benefits to those who work a set minimum number of hours.
What is the Job Outlook?
As insurance companies reimburse an increasing number of physical therapy services, demand for Physical Therapist Aides should increase. Other factors increasing demand include a growing elderly population and an increased survival rate of trauma victims and newborns with birth defects. These individuals are more vulnerable to conditions requiring therapeutic services.
How Do I Qualify?
Most Physical Therapy Aides are trained on the job. Employers prefer that Aides have a high school diploma or GED. Some employers require candidates pass a drug and background check and physical evaluation. In addition, some employers want applicants to have a valid California driver license and automobile insurance.
Finding a Job
Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Job openings can be located in newspaper classified ads. It can also be helpful for candidates to contact facilities providing physical therapy services. Even if no job announcement has been posted, many employers still accept applications. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.
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