California’s physical therapist assistants often seek out jobs in private clinics like Burger Rehabilitation Systems, one of the most prominent physical therapy clinics in the state. Burger Rehabilitation has been around for over 35 years and now has 14 locations.
Whether pursuing jobs in private practices like this one, or in a public hospital or clinic, California offers plenty of options for PTAs seeking competitive salaries and benefits.
Job Growth and Salary Expectations for Physical Therapist Assistants in California
According to the California Employment Development Department, there were 4,500 licensed physical therapist assistants in California as of 2012. This number is estimated to increase by 36 percent, to a total of approximately 6,100 by the end of 2022.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the statewide average salary for California’s physical therapist assistants is $64,850, the second highest state average in the United States. However, salaries for physical therapist assistants depend on the amount of experience they have had throughout their careers.
For physical therapist assistants with any level of experience, salaries in California are significantly higher than the national average for this professional classification
- Experienced (U.S.): $75,500
- Mid-Career (U.S.): $54,400
- Entry-Level (U.S.): $31,800
- Experienced (CA): $86,000
- Mid-Career (CA): $67,400
- Entry-Level (CA): $38,700
Salaries for Physical Therapist Assistants in California’s Major Metro and Non-Metro Areas
The Los Angeles metropolitan area is home to more than 3,070 PTAs. Other areas with a high number of physical therapist assistants include the Santa Ana-Irvine metropolitan area with 730, and San Diego, where there are 570 licensed PTAs.
Though the previously mentioned areas currently have the highest number of physical therapist assistants, the highest average salaries are found in other parts of California. The five highest average PTA salaries are found in the following areas (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014):
- Modesto: $78,690
- Visalia-Porterville: $70,090
- Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville: $68,990
- San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City Metropolitan Area: $68,520
- San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont: $68,380
For a more detailed analysis of physical therapist assistant salaries in California, see the chart below (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014):