The West Virginia Department of Commerce named physical therapist assistants as 16th on its list of high-demand jobs between 2012 and 2022. Physical therapist assistants in West Virginia earned an average salary of $46,834 as of 2014. Experienced PTAs earned even more with an average salary of $56,409, while physical therapist assistants who were new to the profession earned $27,684 on average.
West Virginia had the highest concentration of physical therapist assistants in the country in 2014 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of the state’s PTAs are located in rural areas, with the nonmetropolitan area of North Central West Virginia home to the third highest concentration of physical therapist assistants of any rural area in the country.
The number of physical therapist assistants in West Virginia is expected to continue growing. The West Virginia Department of Commerce estimates the number of jobs for physical therapist assistants in the state will increase by 34.1% between 2012 and 2022. Nearly two-thirds of these positions will be new jobs generated by growth, while the rest will come from the need to replace PTAs who will leave the workforce as they retire or advance to become physical therapists.
West Virginia’s Increasing Levels of Healthcare Employment Will Benefit PTAs
The number of healthcare workers in West Virginia is forecast to grow steadily between 2013 and 2018 according to an economic forecast published by the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics published in 2014.
Industry projections from the West Virginia Department of Commerce indicate that the greatest amount of growth in healthcare jobs in the state will come from the ambulatory care services sector. This agency estimates a job growth rate of 68.6% in the number of jobs in this sector between 2012 and 2022.
Specialty clinics employed more than twice as many physical therapist assistants as general medical and surgical hospitals in the US in 2014. Thus, a major increase in employment in this sector in West Virginia should help to generate new job opportunities for physical therapist assistants in the state.
Salaries for Physical Therapist Assistants Throughout West Virginia
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed analysis of the salaries for physical therapist assistants in the urban and rural parts of West Virginia as of 2014. The average salary for a physical therapist assistant in West Virginia varied by more than $27,000 depending on their location: