Differences between a PT and PTA

I have been a physical therapist (PT) for 4 years so far and honestly, I didn’t know about physical therapist assistants (PTA) until I started my observation hours and I had already decided to pursue a career in PT.

Now that I’ve worked closely with PTAs and can compare our jobs, I created a list of the differences between a PT and PTA in the table listed below.

*The numbers are a generalization as it varies greatly between schools and regions. This is more of a representation of the difference between the two options.

Although I would love to have WAY FEWER student loans, I am too curious to not be a PT because it provides me a set of tools and knowledge to assess and diagnose conditions. Also being able to dictate a plan of care for patients and problem solve through differences in individuals or changes in POC feeds my mind. 

I am happy with my decision to be a PT and I wouldn’t change it if I were to go back. I’d just tell myself to be a little smarter with spending, saving, and taking out less in loans.

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