Physical therapist assistants in New Jersey enjoy the third highest average salary nationwide for this job classification according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of 2014, PTAs in New Jersey earned an average salary of $61,635 according to the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD). That year, physical therapist assistants in the 75th percentile (typically experienced) earned an average salary of $70,666, while PTAs in the 25th percentile (typically entry-level) earned an average of $54,144.
The LWD expects the number of jobs for physical therapist assistants in New Jersey to increase in all of its counties. Statewide, the LWD expects a job growth rate of 34.1% between 2012 and 2022, which will generate an average of 60 new jobs for physical therapist assistants each year during this period. The number of PTA jobs in the state is expected to increase even faster in five of New Jersey’s counties:
- Passaic County: 6%
- Monmouth County: 7%
- Morris County: 9%
- Gloucester County: 7%
- Union County: 8%
Factors that Contribute to Such Strong Job Growth for PTAs in New Jersey
Physical therapist assistants are benefitting from the rapid growth of the healthcare industry in New Jersey. According to a 2015 report published by the LWD entitled New Jersey’s Health Cluster, healthcare is the only industry in New Jersey that added jobs every year between 1990 and 2014. The healthcare sector added 103,500 new jobs between 2000 and 2014, while the rest of the private sector lost about 167,000 jobs.
The future for physical therapist assistants is considered particularly bright, since this occupation has the highest projected growth rate of any health support occupation between 2012 and 2022. Nursing and residential care facilities employ the third largest number of physical therapist assistants in the country according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The LWD reported that employment in these facilities should increase by 22.3% in New Jersey, adding 20,650 jobs in this ten-year period.
How Location Affects the Salaries of Physical Therapist Assistants in New Jersey
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported that the average salary for physical therapist assistants differed by more than $7,600 as of 2014 depending on which area of the state they were located in:
- Essex-Hunterdon-Morris-Sussex-Union County: $64,529
- Bergen-Hudson-Passaic County: $62,085
- Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean-Somerset County: $61,470
- Cape May County: $59,953
- Burlington-Camden-Gloucester County: $59,607
- Cumberland County: $58,958
- Mercer County: $56,886
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed analysis of the salaries of physical therapist assistants in New Jersey’s major metropolitan areas as of 2014. The average salary for physical therapist assistants in the Newark area exceeded that of PTAs in the other major cities of New Jersey: