According to the U.S. News Best Job Rankings, a physical therapist assistant is ranked #3 in Healthcare SUpport Jobs and #26 in Best Jobs. On top of that they have an extremely low unemployment rate.
All of this is good news if you are a physical therapist assistant to seeking to become one.
With Americans living longer and longer lives and the stigma around developmental delays and differences in children disappear, more and more people are seeking out physical therapy.
Along with more patients, comes more job opportunities. More good news!
In this article we will take a look at the parts of a resume, what information you will want to consider including and at the end a current job posting and complete resume example.
Resume objective for a physical therapy assistant
The objective of your resume is to showcase your particular skill set and years of experience. It is recommended that if you do not have a lot of experience to highlight what it is you are looking to learn from a job.
If you have experience with a particular demographic, for example, the eldery, children, those recovering from injuries, etc., your objective would be a place to mention that.
Because PTA’s are part of the service industry you are likely to receive ratings or rankings from patients. If you have a high score, putting it in your objective could make you stand out.
Additionally listing your success rate with patients, let’s say the PT you worked with achieved patient goals 82% of the time, you were a part of that success so go ahead and brag in your objective!
Hardworking certified PTA with 5+ years experience assisting in pediatric treatment plans to deliver excellent results. Received an approval rating of 96% from patient parents. Able to assist PT and provide passionate and effective support to pediatric patients.
Resume skills for
A physical therapy team can make a major impact on someone’s life. I received physical therapy after a shoulder injury and the team I worked with was instrumental in my healing! I still do many of the exercises at home!
Since PTA’s work closely with people, people skills are a must. According to many of the sources we read through interpersonal and communication skills were at the top of their lists.
Kankakee Community College, which offers an associate degree, lists communication and patient care at the top of their program objectives.
Other top mentions included stamina, dexterity, the ability and knowledge to operate PT equipment, observation, problem solving skills, compassion and decision making skills.
PTAs are often tasked with observing patients before, during and after therapy, assessing and writing detailed notes on their progress, and assisting patients through exercises.
When listing your skills consider creating a good mix of soft and hard skills.
Assessing and observing patients | Excellent written skills | Ability to work equipment | Stamina | Compassion
Physical therapy assistant work experience
Physical therapy assistants will find work in a handful of places. According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) 72% of PTA’s wor full-time in a hospital or in a privately owned therapy business.
Other locations PTA’s might work included schools, and rehabilitation units. Learn How to Become predicts a 31% increase in job growth between 2016 and 2026.
Baby Boomers are reaching the age where such services are becoming needed, which is a major contributing factor to the job growth for physical therapy.
WIth this added job growth new positions are being created in nursing home, orthopedic offices, and home health care settings.
Sample Work Experience
Physical Therapy Assistant, 20016-2020
Through the guidance of a physical therapist, I implemented patient recovery and care plans. Communicated plans and progress to patient and their families and documented treatment in accordance with facility guidelines and standards.
- Maintained Equipment
- Provided a safe therapy environment
- Made presentations and conferences and in-service days
- Assisted with patient scheduling
Anne Arundel Medical Center, Inpatient
Physical Therapy Assistant, 2010-2016
Provided therapeutic treatments to patients, pediatric to geriatric, under the supervision of direction of a Physical Therapist. Demonstrated the ability and competency to cross cover by treating patients with a variety of diagnoses in various units.
- Consulted with physicians and nursing staff and assisted in understanding of PT
- Participated in interdisciplinary meetings
- Ability to lift 100lbs
- Met department productivity standards
Anne Arundel Medical Center, Outpatient Rehab
Physical Therapy Assistant, 2007-2010
Provided therapeutic treatments to patients according to departmental standards and under the direction of a Physical Therapist. Utilized methods and procedures within the scope of the practice and documented progress according to departmental standards.
- Documented patient and/or family education
- Documented patient response to treatment
- Completed required continuing education hours
- Inspected, sterilized, and maintained equipment
Physical therapy assistant education
To become a physical therapy assistant you will need to attend an accredited PTA program and obtain a license. There are currently 256 programs in the United States that are accredited by
You can find a list here of all the current programs here, this list is provided by Commision on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
The majority of programs are 2-year associate degrees which is what most jobs require, but there are some 4-year degee options if you are seeking that level of education.
Licensure is required in all 50 states, but each state has their own guidelines so check with your state for what is needed.
Associate Degree Physical Therapy Assistant, 2006-2008
You must obtain a license in the United States to work as a Physical Therapy Assistant. To obtain licensure you must pass the National Physical Therapy Exam.
There are additional certifications a PTA can earn to enhance their career. For the majority of these specialized certifications, a PTA must complete 2,000 hours of clinical work.
Examples of specialized certifications include, orthopedics, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, and pediatrics.
To obtain one of these specialized certifications you must got through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS).
- Licensed PTS
- Orthopedic Certification
Complete physical therapy assistant resume sample
Below is a screenshot of an actual PTA job posting. We are going to take a brief look at this job posting then follow that with a complete sample resume to help guide you along your job search path.
A look at this job posting shows that the job requirements are fairly standard to what we have been discussing throughout the article.
They are looking for someone with physical stamina, the ability to create and keep detailed documentation, and who attends training, meetings, and educational programs to maintain their continuing education.
Physical Therapy Assistant
Experienced and dedicated PTA with a specialization in geriatirc PT seeks a position where they can put their knowledge and skills to work. Proven ability to achieve results with 87% of patients meeting their goals.
Able to lift 75 pounds | Knowledge of PT equipment | Excellent written communication skills | Patient and supportive | Problem Solving | Critical thinking
Cross Country Search
Physical Therapy Assistant, 2012-2020
Provided treatment to inpatient and outpatient clients. Kept detailed and accurate records and managed caseload effectively. Acted as a clinical instructor to students and interns.
- Assisted patients with the sceudling of appointments
- Displayed strong skills in flexibility and time management
- Mainted continuing education hours
- Excellent customer service skills exhibited
Physical Therapy Assistant, 2005-2011
Scheudled patients based on the their treatment plan and under the supervision of a Physical Therapist implemented treatments to a diverse populations of patients.
- Trained and assistied patients with treatments and exercises
- Collected, formatted and presented patient data at staff meetings
- Discussed goals and treatment with Physical Therpaist in regards to patients’ progress
- Demonstrated knowledge of biological and medical science
The Arora Group
Physical Therapy Assistant, 2003-2005
Provided a full range of physical therapy services under the direction of a licensed physical therapist. Instructed, motivated and assisted patients as they learned exercises and worked towards optimal performance.
- Maintained records in accordance with facility policies
- Maintained a clean and orderly work area
- Provided instruction to therapy students assigned to the department
- Attended and presented at meetings as required
- PTA License
- Geriatric Certification
- Women’s Health Certification
Bacheor of Science in Physical Therapy Assistant, 1999-2003
Physical therapy assistants are highly trained and skillful individuals who know how to work as part of a team to achieve results.
Knowledge of the body, kinestheology, and biology are all skills that a PTA will learn and possess as they go through their training.
Being a PTA requires a love of people and helping them, attention to detail and strong observational skills, and desire to continuing learning throughout yout career.
- A degree and license is required
- PTA’s are a fast growing career
- Continuing education is required to maintain licensure
Tips from Experts
“Physical therapy is part of my off season routine. That has helped me greatly” – Jamie Moyer, Former Professional Baseball Player
“Each body is different therefore each rehabilitation must be different” ― Joerg Teichmann, Head of Operations Rehamed Therapy
“Because if there’s anything you need to be a physical therapist, it’s a sense of humor.” ― Adele Levine, Run, Don’t Walk: The Curious and Chaotic Life of a Physical Therapist Inside Walter Reed Army Medical Center
If you are looking for a career in the medical field in which you can make a daily difference, then becoming a physical therapy assistant might be perfect for you!
Most physical therapy assistants work in offices or hospitals and retain normal business hours which make it an excellent career for individuals with families.
As the need for physical therapy continues to grow at a rate of over 30% the next 15 years physical therapy assistants will be in high demand making it a secure job joice for the foreseeable future.
If you are a PTA or looking to becomes one, thsi article was written with you in mind to provide you with the tips and examples you need to make your resume stand out and shine.