The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce has recognized the physical therapist assistant profession as having a “bright outlook statewide” based on factors that include job outlook and salary expectations. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2014 that physical therapist assistants in Columbia earned the tenth highest average salary of all metro areas in the country.
Overall, physical therapist assistants in South Carolina earned an average salary of $54,490 as of 2014, while experienced PTAs in the state earned an average of $65,860 according to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. The average starting salary for South Carolina’s physical therapist assistants was $37,990 that year.
The level of job growth for physical therapist assistants is expected to increase almost three times faster than the average job growth rate in South Carolina. The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce predicts that the number of jobs for physical therapist assistants in the state will increase by 32% between 2012 and 2022, generating an average of 64 job openings each year.
Physical Therapist Assistant Employment in South Carolina
The major sectors that employ physical therapist assistants in South Carolina are expected to increase rapidly between 2010 and 2020 according to the state’s Department of Employment and Workforce State of the Workforce Report published in 2012:
The large increase in the ambulatory healthcare services industry in South Carolina is worth noting, since this sector is the primary employer of physical therapist assistants in the state.
In ranking the healthcare industries that employed the most physical therapist assistants as of 2014, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the primary employers of PTAs in the US were offices of specialized practitioners, which included physical therapy clinics, orthopedic practices and sports medicine clinics. General physicians’ offices were also on the list of the top five employment industries for physical therapist assistants in the US.
How PTA Salaries Vary According to Location Throughout South Carolina
The average salary of physical therapist assistants varied by more than $33,800 in the major metropolitan areas of South Carolina as of 2014 according to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce:
- Columbia – $80,700
- Florence – $60,220
- Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord – $59,970
- Augusta-Richmond County – $56,250
- Greenville – $56,250
- Anderson – $54,340
- Myrtle Beach – $51,250
- Charleston – $47,730
- Spartanburg – $46,870
Shown below for comparison is a detailed analysis of the salaries for physical therapist assistants in the major urban and rural areas of South Carolina as of 2014 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics):