Physical Therapy Aide Career Path: 5 Things to Know First - MedCerts

Is Short-Term Online Career Training Right for You?

Are you interested in helping people to live healthy, active lives? Consider taking up a career as a Physical Therapy Aide. You work in outpatient care centers, hospitals, sports clinics and nursing homes. Under the direct supervision of a Physical Therapist (PT) or Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), you’ll be helping patients recuperate from illnesses or injuries.

Aides also perform clerical or administrative duties like documenting patient progress during therapy, monitoring inventory and scheduling sessions. To help you get started, here are five key things you need to know about the Physical Therapy Aide Career path.

What Do You Offer in the Physical Therapy Team?

As a Physical Therapy Aide, you regularly interact with patients recovering from different injuries. Your patients experience varying pain with movement and can be quite apprehensive about performing physiotherapy.

A good PT Aide can improve the customer service experience by selling the idea that exercise through movement promotes healing. If an activity is especially tedious or difficult, proper training teaches you creative ways to incorporate the patient's goals of interest into the regimen.

Why Are Physical Therapy Aides In High Demand?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 24% increase in Physical Therapy Aide job openings between 2021-2031. This surge in employment opportunities is much faster than the average occupation owing to a rise in the aging population.

Physical Therapists are also forced to pick up productivity by taking up more clients to compensate for dwindling reimbursement rates. The PTs need the help of more Physical Therapy Aides to keep up with the unexpectedly fast-growing client base.

Are There Any Physical Requirements?

Physical Therapy Aides do not necessarily need much physical strength to help patients. However, some degree of fitness or strength is an asset in this profession. In some cases, you may need to support or assist a client in performing specific exercises or motions, which may require physical strength or endurance. Before or during some job interviews, you may have to do a physical performance test to meet the lifting requirements in the job description.

What Personality Traits Will Help You Excel in This Role?

A few personality traits that can help you excel as a Physical Therapy Aide include:

Organizational Skills

Being organized helps you to efficiently manage daily tasks, prioritize workload and ensure that patients receive the proper care and attention. In addition, you may need to coordinate with other healthcare professionals, like nurses and physicians, to ensure patients receive comprehensive care.


Physical Therapy Aides work with patients in pain, feeling vulnerable, or dealing with the frustration of limited mobility. Empathy helps you understand and relate to the patient's experience and respond compassionately and supportably. Compassion can help physical therapy aides build a strong rapport with patients, leading to better treatment outcomes.

Self-Motivated and Initiative

Initiative and self-motivation can help you stay on top of your duties and take on additional tasks as needed. Anticipating the patient's needs is also important in providing quality care. You can help predict potential challenges by being attentive to the patient's comfort.

How Do You Become a Physical Therapy Aide? Choose MedCerts

A career as a Physical Therapy Aide can be rewarding and fulfilling. If you are interested in pursuing this profession, consider MedCerts' online Physical Therapy Aide program. We offer comprehensive online certification training to equip you with the skills needed to excel in this in-demand field. Enroll today to gain key certifications and start your career in healthcare.

Portrait of Dana Janssen
Written by Dana Janssen
Chief Product Officer

Dana has over twenty (20) years’ experience in Allied Healthcare and Education, and currently serves as the Chief Product Officer for MedCerts where he is responsible for product vision and strategy, research, and development.

Dana joined MedCerts upon its founding in 2009, and has led the research, development, and production of the entire catalog of programs that have helped MedCerts transform the distance learning landscape. Leveraging state-of-the-art technologies and innovative instructional design practices, Dana and his team have pioneered the development of the MedCerts 12 Elements of eLearning. Each MedCerts program contains a proprietary blend of these engaging, interactive, and entertaining elements that effectively accommodate learners of all types. Dana is deeply in-tune with the needs of today’s healthcare employers and is an expert in careers and certifications related to allied health.

Dana holds a Bachelor of Science in Education (BS) degree from Valparaiso University, and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Davenport University. Dana is an avid sports fan and in his free time enjoys mountain biking, woodworking, knifemaking, and spending time with his family and pets.

Published on March 22, 2023


Medical Coding and Billing Professional: Program Launch Guide

Are you a detail-oriented person with interest in healthcare? You could have a future in medical bil...

The Sterile Processing Technician Career Path: Three Things to Know

Are you looking for a career change? Do you see yourself working in hospitals, clinics, surgical cen...

Being a Sterile Processing Technician: The Typical Day

The uncertainty surrounding starting a new career path can be quite daunting. However, getting the o...