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Physiotherapist Assistant

What is a Physiotherapist Assistant?

Physiotherapy Assistants (PTAs) work under the direction and supervision of a physiotherapist.

They assist in both the delivery and administration of care. Their tasks may include, but are not limited to:

  • Collaborate with the physiotherapist on care plans
  • Provide certain treatments
  • Greeting patients, conducting intake, and generally assisting patients
  • Data entry and billing support
  • Maintaining the equipment and the environment used to provide care

They may work in:

  • Hospitals
  • Public clinics
  • Private clinics
  • Home care
  • Long-term care
  • Recreation facilities
  • Rehabilitation facilities
Source: https://opa.on.ca/careers-in-physiotherapy/becoming-a-physiotherapist-assistant/
  • The average Physiotherapist Assistant salary in Canada is $29,250 per year or $15 per hour.
  • Entry level positions start at $26,193 per year
  • Most experienced workers make up to $49,725 per year
Source: https://neuvoo.ca/salary/?job=Physiotherapist%20Assistant
Schooling Entry Requirements

Due to the placement component, many programs require students to successfully complete a vulnerable sector police check, and sometimes also First Aid & CPR.

Some programs also encourage or require relevant volunteer experience.

Education

According to the Ontario Physiotherapy Association, “it is not a requirement to have a degree or diploma from a PTA program in order to practice as a physiotherapist assistant in Ontario. However, it is best practice that a physiotherapist assign tasks to PTAs based on their education, training and the overall competence of a PTA so it is often beneficial to have an educational background. Almost all programs in Ontario offer combined physiotherapist assistant and occupational therapist assistant (OTA) education programs. Upon the completion of a PTA/OTA program, the graduate would have the skill set to provide client-centered care in both areas of work.”

Source: https://opa.on.ca/careers-in-physiotherapy/becoming-a-physiotherapist-assistant/

In these programs, you will learn about topics like anatomy, healthcare informatics, clinical communication, gerontology (aging), physiotherapy techniques and more.

Schooling Options

In Ontario, most programs are dual Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Assistant programs. A variety of public and private colleges offer these programs, including:

  • TriOS College
  • Niagara College
  • Mohawk College
  • Durham College
  • Georgian College
  • Centennial College

Programs are 1 to 2 years in length.

Professional Requirements

Varies by employer. Common requirements include successful vulnerable sector police check and First Aid & CPR.

Professional Body

Physiotherapy Assistants are eligible for membership with the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

Interested in Pursuing This Career?

Contact your Youth Service Officer for more information on available programs and training to help get you started on your career path!