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Career and Education Opportunities for Physical Therapy Aides in Los Angeles, California

There are many career and education opportunities for physical therapy aides in the Los Angeles, California area. Currently, 5,100 people work as physical therapy aides in California. This is expected to grow 31% to 6,700 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for physical therapy aides are expected to grow by about 36.3%. Physical therapy aides generally , under close supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, perform only delegated, selected, or routine tasks in specific situations.

Physical therapy aides earn approximately $12 per hour or $25,490 annually on average in California. Nationally they average about $11 per hour or $23,760 annually. Incomes for physical therapy aides are not quite as good as in the overall category of Physical Therapy in California, and not quite as good as the overall Physical Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: occupational therapy aide, physical therapy assistant , and rehabilitation aide.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can study to be a physical therapy aide, among 274 schools of higher education total in the Los Angeles area. Physical therapy aides usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a physical therapy aide if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Physical Therapy Aide

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

In general, physical therapy aides, under close supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, perform only delegated, selected, or routine tasks in specific situations. They also these duties include preparing the patient and the treatment area.

Physical therapy aides clean and organize work areas and disinfect apparatus after treatment. They also instruct, motivate, safeguard and assist patients practicing exercises and functional efforts, under direction of medical staff. Equally important, physical therapy aides have to secure patients into or onto therapy apparatus. They are often called upon to change linens. They are expected to arrange treatment supplies to keep them in order. Finally, physical therapy aides help clients to dress and put on and remove supportive devices, such as braces and slings.

Every day, physical therapy aides are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for physical therapy aides to observe patients during treatment to compile and evaluate data on patients' responses and progress, and report to physical therapist. They are often called upon to talk with physical therapy staff or others to consider and evaluate patient data for planning and coordinating treatment. They also record treatment given and apparatus used. They are sometimes expected to transport clients to and from treatment areas, using wheelchairs or providing standing support. Somewhat less frequently, physical therapy aides are also expected to administer active and passive manual therapeutic exercises and heat, light or electrical modality treatments, such as ultrasound.

They also have to be able to measure patient's range-of-joint motion and vital signs to establish effects of treatments or for patient evaluations And finally, they sometimes have to instruct, motivate, safeguard and assist patients practicing exercises and functional efforts, under direction of medical staff.

Like many other jobs, physical therapy aides must have a strong concern for others and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Massage Therapist. Massage customers for hygienic or remedial purposes.
  • Physical Therapy Assistant. Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. 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. Generally requires formal training.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Physical Therapy Aide Training

Cerritos College - Norwalk, CA

Cerritos College, 11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650-6298. Cerritos College is a large college located in Norwalk, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 22,228 students. Cerritos College has an associate's degree program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated forty-seven students in 2008.

Meridian Institute - Los Angeles, CA

Meridian Institute, 4201 Wilshire Blvd Ste 515, Los Angeles, CA 90010. Meridian Institute is a small school located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 30 students. Meridian Institute has a less than one year program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated three students in 2008.

Pacific College - Costa Mesa, CA

Pacific College, 3160 Red Hill Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Pacific College is a small college located in Costa Mesa, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 52 students. Pacific College has a one to two year program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated ten students in 2008.

ICDC College - Los Angeles, CA

ICDC College, 5422 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027. ICDC College is a small college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,750 students. ICDC College has a less than one year program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated 122 students in 2008.

Adelante Career Institute - Van Nuys, CA

Adelante Career Institute, 14547 Titus, Suite 100, Van Nuys, CA 91402. Adelante Career Institute is a small school located in Van Nuys, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 95 students and an admission rate of 89%. Adelante Career Institute has a less than one year program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated twelve students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.