What are the qualifications to be a physical therapy aide?


Quick Answer

Physical therapy aide requirements vary by state, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employers usually require a high school diploma and on-the-job training to qualify for a physical therapy aide position.

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What are the qualifications to be a physical therapy aide?
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Full Answer

Physical therapy aides work under the direction of a licensed physical therapist, the Bureau of Labor Statistics adds. Physical therapist assistants usually need an associate degree from an accredited program in the field, but aides do not have this requirement.

The difference between physical therapy assistants and physical therapy aides is that aides do not require as much education for the position, the Physical Therapy Assistant Guide says. Most assistants need to be licensed or credentialed, while most aides start training right after being hired. Physicians or assistants train aides to work with certain services in the clinic.

Some programs offer early training for physical therapy aides, Penn Foster explains. The Penn Foster Career School Physical Therapy Aide program teaches students about the treatment techniques used by physical therapists, as well as the common medical terminology used in the field. The month-long program features information about how to communicate with patients and medical professionals as an aide. The physical therapist's role is to determine what activities and tasks the aide needs to perform on a daily basis. Some states restrict the duties aides are allowed to perform in an office to licensed physical therapists or credentialed assistants.

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