Even as Washington deals with a current shortage of physical therapist assistants, the demand for their services is only expected to increase in the coming years. According to the Washington State Employment Security Department, as of 2015 physical therapist assisting was the single most in-demand profession in Garfield County, and was listed among the top 20 most in-demand jobs in four other counties (Grays Harbor, Pacific, Stevens and Asotin Counties).
PTAs in Washington State are recognized nationally for being particularly well paid, earning an average salary of $56,659 as of 2015. Physical therapist assistants with salaries that fell within the 75th percentile (typically experienced) earned an average salary of $68,370, while those in the 25th percentile (typically newer to the profession) earned an average of $46,363 that year.
Where the Jobs are for Physical Therapist Assistants in Washington
The Washington State Employment Security Department predicts rapid job growth for physical therapist assistants in this state. This agency expects the number of jobs for physical therapist assistants to increase by 28% between 2013 and 2023, generating an average of 75 new jobs in the state each year during this period.
The Washington State Employment Security Department ranked the industries that employed the most physical therapist assistants in the state as of 2012. Nearly three times as many PTAs were employed in specialty clinics as worked in the second highest employment category:
- Sports Medicine and Other Specialty Clinics: 625
- General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: 223
- Employment Services: 150
- Home Health Care Services: 79
- Nursing Care Facilities: 74
- Offices of Physicians: 60
- Outpatient Care Centers: 26
- Community Care Facility for the Elderly: 15
Salaries for Physical Therapist Assistants in Washington by Location
More than four fifths of Washington’s physical therapist assistants were employed in the three largest metropolitan areas of the state according to a 2015 report published by the Washington State Employment Security Department. The Seattle area had the highest level of employment, with more than 44% of Washington’s physical therapist assistants located there.
As of 2015, the average salary for physical therapist assistants in Washington varied by more than $20,000 depending on location. PTAs in Tacoma enjoyed the highest average salary statewide:
Shown below is a detailed analysis of the salaries for physical therapist assistants in the major metropolitan areas of Washington State as of 2014 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics):