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:
- Public clinics
- Private clinics
- Home care
- Long-term care
- Recreation facilities
- Rehabilitation facilities
- 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
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.
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.”
In these programs, you will learn about topics like anatomy, healthcare informatics, clinical communication, gerontology (aging), physiotherapy techniques and more.
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.
Varies by employer. Common requirements include successful vulnerable sector police check and First Aid & CPR.
Physiotherapy Assistants are eligible for membership with the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.