Physical Therapist Assistant Salary by State

6 Min Read Published October 3, 2023
Physical therapist assistant salary guide

How Much Do Physical Therapist Assistants Make?

 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average physical therapist assistant salary in 2022 was $57,240, or an hourly rate of $27.52. reported a slightly higher median annual income of $63,004, or $30.29 per hour. 

We Found The Following Schools with Online Physical Therapy Aide Programs

Physical Therapy Assistant Salary by State


Annual Salary 

Hourly Wage 













Rhode Island 












North Dakota 



New York 






South Dakota 






New Hampshire 



























South Carolina 






























New Jersey 









West Virginia 



























New Mexico 






North Carolina 












Source: ZipRecruiter 

Physical Therapist Assistant Salary Range

According to, most physical therapist assistants in the United States earned between $57,343 per year and $69,018, but salaries as low as $52,189 and as high as $74,494 have been reported. 

Physical Therapist Assistant Salary by Years of Experience

The longer you work in a career and the more experience you have, the more valuable you are to an employer. Indeed breaks down how much you can earn as a physical therapy assistant in the US based on years of experience:

  • Less than one year of experience: $28.96 per hour 
  • One to two years of experience: -- (no information reported)  
  • Three to five years of experience: -- (no information reported) 
  • Six to nine years of experience: $35.04 per hour 
  • More than ten years: $35.21 per hour 

We Found The Following Schools with Online Physical Therapy Aide Programs

PTA Salary by Work Setting

Physical therapist assistants can work in a variety of settings, wherever patients need help to regain movement and manage their pain after injuries or illness. 

Although the job responsibilities are essentially the same from one work environment to another, there is a substantial difference in the average compensation paid in different work environments and industries, as seen below: 

  • Home healthcare services: $76,210
  • Nursing care facilities/skilled nursing facilities:  $74,070 
  • Hospitals (state, local, and private):  $63,330 
  • Offices of physical, occupational, and speech therapists and audiologists: $60,090 
  • Physicians’ offices: $59,650

Source: BLS  

>> Related: How to Become a Physical Therapy Aide

How to Increase Your Salary as a Physical Therapy Assistant

 If you’re interested in increasing your earning potential as a physical therapist assistant, you have several good options. These include: 

Advance Your Education 

Pursue additional education in the form of certifications in CPR, Basic Life Support, Athletic Training, or Massage Therapy.

While these courses take little time, you can also boost your salary by taking additional classes to specialize in areas like pediatrics, geriatrics, orthopedics, or sports medicine.  


Negotiation is one of the most effective methods for getting an increase in pay. Though the thought of asking for more money can be intimidating, CNBC reports that while only 29 percent of job seekers request more money at their current or most recent job, of those who did an astonishing 84 percent of those who did ask were granted raises, with about 20% winning increases of between 11 and 20 percent. 

The key to an effective negotiation is to do your research. Make sure you know what other facilities in your area are paying for people who have your qualifications. 

Consider Becoming a Travel PTA

If your life allows you the flexibility to move from one location to another, becoming a travel physical therapist assistant can be extremely rewarding. 

Travel PTA jobs offer generous compensation and benefits packages, as well as the opportunity to meet new colleagues and help a new set of patients. Many travel companies allow you to bring your family and pets with you, and some offer a housing stipend, retirement benefits, travel reimbursement, and pre-arranged housing. 

Take Per Diem or Contract Jobs

There are also opportunities to work on other per diem or contract basis, both of which often pay higher hourly rates. 

  • Per diem work allows you to pick and choose the days and places that you want to work – even taking on additional shifts on your days off. It also allows a significant degree of autonomy. 
  • Contract work offers greater stability and a set time and place to work, but for short-term periods.  

Work Overtime

Physical therapist assistants who work overtime are paid a minimum of one-and-a-half times their hourly wage for each hour past forty that they work. Different facilities and work environments offer different overtime rates, but a factor of 1.5x is generally the minimum. 

Shift Differential

When you work shifts that are harder for employers to fill (i.e., weekends, holidays, night shifts), the pay rate is generally a few dollars higher per hour.  


Though not every physical therapist assistant is eligible for bonus pay, it is increasingly common for healthcare facilities – and particularly privately-held organizations – to pay bonuses to employees for exemplary service.  

Hazard Pay

If you work in an environment or under circumstances that are considered particularly dangerous, you may be eligible for hazard pay. Many healthcare professionals who worked with patients during the pandemic were offered hazard pay for continuing to provide care. 

PTA Salary vs Education Costs

Becoming a physical therapist assistant requires a significant investment of both time and money. Most programs are completed in roughly five semesters, with costs varying depending on whether the program is in-person or a hybrid of online and hands-on training. 

The average annual cost of a physical therapist assistant program is between $2,500 and $10,000, with the highest total cost hovering around $20,000. Though most students graduate with student loans, the median annual salary paid allows these professionals to pay off their debt relatively quickly, all while enjoying a rewarding career. 

Exercise Physiologist 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, exercise physiologists in the United States earn a median annual salary of $51,350. 

Personal Trainer 

 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, personal trainers in the United States earn a median annual salary of $51,350.

Massage Therapist 

 The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that massage therapists earn a median annual income of $49,860 per year.

We Found The Following Schools with Online Physical Therapy Aide Programs


  • Is it hard to become a physical therapist assistant?  

    • Becoming a physical therapist assistant requires the completion of a PTA education program. Admission often requires a competitive grade point average, volunteer experience in a physical therapy clinic, and a letter of reference from a physical therapist.   
  • How much do physical therapist assistants make? 

    • The national average salary paid to physical therapist assistants is $57,240 per the BLS.
  • What state pays the highest salaries to physical therapist assistants? 

    • According to ZipRecruiter, Physical Therapist Assistants working in the state of Hawaii earn an average annual salary of $65,929, making it the highest-paying state. 
  • What are physical therapist assistant duties? 

    • Physical therapist assistants observe patients before, during, and after therapy, paying attention to their condition and reporting on it to the physical therapist they report to. 


Terri Heimann Oppenheimer
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer Contributor

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is a freelance writer and editor who is driven by details. She loves to dive into research, ensuring that the information she provides educates, engages and illuminates. Before starting her own business she spent years working in advertising and raising three kids. Today she lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where her she and her husband enjoy travel, the Jersey Shore, and spoiling their grandchildren.

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