Since the two professions are related, people often wonder about the differences between physical therapist assistant vs. physical therapist. A physical therapist and a physical therapist assistant, the former is also called a physio, physiotherapist or PT and later PTA, are medical personal that are working together in helping the disabled. They are providing diagnosis and treatment for people that have difficulties with movement and other motor skills of their bodies. Both are trained professionals, devoted to the welfare of the patients, but obviously they are not doing the same work, their job descriptions are not the same. The comparison of physical therapist assistant vs. physical therapist shows that there are differences in the salaries, education and in their duties and responsibilities.
Physical therapist assistant vs. physical therapist job differences
The work of a physical therapist is to determine what’s wrong with the patient with a physical examination and a study of his/her health history. If we consider physical therapist assistant vs. physical therapist the assistant is, so to say, subordinate to the physical therapist, s/he only provides aid in the process and might be asked to prepare the necessary equipment. Furthermore, the physical therapist prescribes the medication, if necessary and is generally the one in charge when it comes to diagnosing. Physical therapist assistant vs. physical therapist usually spends more time with the patients, since the assistant is the one the leads them through the exercises and improvement techniques established by the physical therapist. Some say that the relation physical therapist assistant vs. physical therapist is similar to the relation physical therapist aide vs. physical therapist assistant, i.e. the former is under the latter in the hierarchy scale.
Salary of physical therapist assistant vs. physical therapist
Different job description equals different salary. And we all know that the subordinate members of the staff earn less money than the superior members and this is the case when we discuss physical therapist assistant vs. physical therapist. In the United States of America the average annual salary of a physical therapist is around 78,000$, while the one of a physical therapist is around 46,000$. We have a clear situation when we talk about physical therapist assistant vs. physical therapist. The highest paid physical therapist assistant earns more than the lowest paid physical therapist, 64,000$ and 50,000$ respectively. Of course, the education, the work experience and the state and city where they operate has a lot to do with this situation, so this should not come as a surprise. If we consider the average figures, or if we compare the highest paid individuals for both categories, i.e. physical therapist assistant vs. physical therapist, things are as they should be. It is important to say that there is a lot of competition in both categories.
Physical therapist assistant vs. physical therapist – education
You don’t have to be an expert to know that the superior members of the staff have better/higher education than the subordinate ones, especially if the field is medicine. This is the case in physical therapist assistant vs. physical therapist too. While the physical therapist holds a university degree and has to go through further specialisations, qualifying for a physical therapist assistant usually takes only few years. However, it is important to know that physical therapist assistant vs. physical therapist should not be seen as a sort of opposition or rivalry. Firstly, because they work together, they cooperate and secondly, because many physical therapist assistants become physical therapists later.