Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Salary in California

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.

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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

National

  • Experienced (U.S.): $75,500
  • Mid-Career (U.S.): $54,400
  • Entry-Level (U.S.): $31,800

California

  • 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):

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Bakersfield-Delano CA
30
64450
Fresno CA
50
68030
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale CA Metropolitan Division
1170
64500
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana CA
1900
65390
Modesto CA
Estimate Not Released
78690
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward CA Metropolitan Division
310
68310
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura CA
120
59980
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario CA
460
62230
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville CA
260
68990
Salinas CA
50
63300
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos CA
570
65890
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont CA
460
68380
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City CA Metropolitan Divi
150
68520
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA
190
62360
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles CA
30
53880
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine CA Metropolitan Division
730
66840
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta CA
80
54050
Santa Cruz-Watsonville CA
40
52720
Santa Rosa-Petaluma CA
50
57490
Stockton CA
40
65200
Vallejo-Fairfield CA
40
62990
Visalia-Porterville CA
30
70090
North Coast Region of California nonmetropolitan area
40
54860