Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.

Career and Education Opportunities for Physical Therapy Assistants in Scottsdale, Arizona

If you want to be a physical therapy assistant, the Scottsdale, Arizona area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 500 jobs for physical therapy assistants in Arizona and this is projected to grow 37% to 690 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for physical therapy assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 33.3% over the next eight years. In general, physical therapy assistants assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures.

A person working as a physical therapy assistant can expect to earn about $20 per hour or $41,970 yearly on average in Arizona and about $22 per hour or $46,140 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for physical therapy assistants are better than earnings in the general category of Physical Therapy in Arizona and better than general Physical Therapy category earnings nationally. Physical therapy assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: rehabilitation aide, rehabilitation assistant, and physical therapy technican.

The Scottsdale area is home to seventy-six schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Scottsdale where you can get a degree as a physical therapy assistant. Given that the most common education level for physical therapy assistants is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, you can expect to spend about two years studying to be a physical therapy assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Physical Therapy Assistant

Physical Therapy Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, physical therapy assistants assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. They also may, in accordance with State laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist.

Physical therapy assistants instruct, motivate, safeguard and assist patients as they practice exercises and functional efforts. They also talk with physical therapy staff or others to consider and evaluate patient data for planning and coordinating treatment. Equally important, physical therapy assistants have to help clients to dress or put on and remove supportive devices, such as braces and slings. They are often called upon to communicate with caregivers and family members about patient therapeutic efforts and treatment plans. They are expected to attend or conduct continuing education courses or in-service efforts. Finally, physical therapy assistants fit patients for orthopedic braces and supportive devices, such as crutches.

Every day, physical therapy assistants are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for physical therapy assistants to observe patients during treatments to compile and evaluate data on their responses and progress, and furnish results to physical therapist in person or through progress notes. They are often called upon to transport clients to and from treatment areas, lifting and transferring them in line with positioning requirements. They also monitor operation of apparatus and record use of apparatus and administration of treatment. They are sometimes expected to administer traction to relieve neck and back pain, using intermittent and static traction apparatus. Somewhat less frequently, physical therapy assistants are also expected to administer active and passive manual therapeutic exercises, therapeutic massage, aquatic physical therapy, and heat, light and electrical modality treatments, such as ultrasound.

Physical therapy assistants sometimes are asked to clean work areas and check apparatus after treatment. And finally, they sometimes have to perform postural drainage, percussions and vibrations, and teach deep breathing exercises to treat respiratory conditions.

Like many other jobs, physical therapy assistants must have a strong concern for others and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Scottsdale include:

  • Massage Therapist. Massage customers for hygienic or remedial purposes.
  • Physical Therapy Aide. Under close supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, perform only delegated, selected, or routine tasks in specific situations. These duties include preparing the patient and the treatment area.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Physical Therapy Assistant Training

GateWay Community College - Phoenix, AZ

GateWay Community College, 108 N. 40th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034. GateWay Community College is a medium sized college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,853 students. GateWay Community College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated seventy and zero students respectively in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute - Mesa, AZ

Pima Medical Institute, 957 S. Dobson Road, Mesa, AZ 85202. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Mesa, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 883 students. Pima Medical Institute has a less than one year program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

Apollo College-Phoenix Inc - Phoenix, AZ

Apollo College-Phoenix Inc, 8503 N 27th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85051-4063. Apollo College-Phoenix Inc is a small college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 3,917 students and an admission rate of 99%. Apollo College-Phoenix Inc has a one to two year program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated 146 students in 2008.


Certification in Sports Medicine: The ABP in collaboration with the American Boards of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Emergency Medicine offers a certificate of added qualifications in sports medicine.

For more information, see the American Board of Pediatrics website.

AmSAT Certified Teacher: Certified Alexander Technique Teachers have completed a 3 year, 1600 hour course at an AmSAT certified teacher training center.

For more information, see the American Society for the Alexander Technique website.


Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona photo by Flyer84

Scottsdale is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 235,371, which has grown by 16.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Scottsdale, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Scottsdale are priced at $633,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, two hundred thirty-three new homes were constructed in Scottsdale, down from six hundred eighty-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Scottsdale are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 44.1% of Scottsdale residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Scottsdale is 6.4%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Scottsdale residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Scottsdale is home to the Arabian Library and the McCormick Ranch Golf Course as well as Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt and McCormick Railroad Park. Shopping centers in the area include Los Arcos Mall, Park Scottsdale Shopping Center and Papago Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Scottsdale can choose from Hyatt Regency & Resorts - Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort, Doubletree Paradise Valley and Innsuites Hotel-Scottsdale for temporary stays in the area.