Physical therapist assistants commonly find employment in public hospitals and clinics, as well as private practice. However, there are many other ways for PTAs to use their training. Virginia-based PTAs have a number of choices when it comes to choosing a career path; one of these unique options is working in an adult day center. Places like Circle Center Adult Day Services in Richmond offer a safe daytime environment for elderly men, women, and adults with various disabilities. Many centers of this nature hire physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to serve their clients.
Whether a PTA chooses a more traditional clinical role or one that is specialized to fit a specific need, salaries for physical therapist assistants in Virginia are quite competitive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the statewide average salary for a Virginia-based PTA is $53,420 (2014).
Job Growth and Salary Expectations for Physical Therapist Assistants in Virginia
According to the Virginia Employment Commission, there were 1,900 physical therapist assistants working in Virginia in 2012. This number is expected to grow by 55 percent, reaching 2,950 by the end of 2022.
The Virginia Employment Commission reports that an entry-level physical therapist assistant in Virginia makes approximately $23,800 per year, while a PTA with moderate experience earns an average of $54,500.
Physical therapist assistants with more than five years of experience can earn much higher average salaries, at $76,400 annually.
Salaries for Physical Therapist Assistants in Virginia’s Major Metro and Non-Metro Areas
A large number of physical therapist assistants work in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News area; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 360 PTAs worked in this area as of May 2014. Another city with a high number of PTAs is Richmond, home to 330. Many physical therapist assistants choose to forego the heavily populated metropolitan areas of the state and find employment in nonmetropolitan areas. Approximately 220 PTAs work in the Southwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area.
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford area PTAs earn the highest average salaries, making $64,340 annually. Lynchburg also boasts salaries that are higher than the state average, at $62,380 per year. Physical therapist assistants working in Harrisonburg also earn high salaries – approximately $62,160 annually.
For more details on PTA salaries in Virginia, see the table below (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014):