Physiotherapy Assistant Schools and Colleges

Physiotherapy assistant schools can help you make a positive difference in a satisfying healthcare role.

You can find a program that offers fast and practical ways to learn how to help people restore their physical function, manage pain, or adapt to conditions caused by injury, illness, or disability. It's the type of worthwhile training that can lead to an enriching career with real meaning, good pay, plenty of variety, and genuine stability. In fact, this area of healthcare enables many Canadians like you to achieve balanced and fulfilling lives.

Why Physiotherapist Assistants Are Vital to the Well-Being of Our Communities

When people have physical conditions that limit their activities, they often aren't able to go to work, go shopping, or participate in other important experiences. As a result, our communities lose out on their potential contributions. That's why Canadians who've completed physiotherapy assistant courses are so valuable. They have the ability to help physiotherapists provide safe and effective services that increase the functional capacity of people with all kinds of physical problems.

Simply put, physical therapy is what makes it possible for countless people across the country to successfully overcome or cope with injuries or limitations that stem from chronic pain, disabilities, or diseases such as cancer or diabetes. The need is great, and it's growing as the country's population ages. Just look at these facts:

  • Canada is already home to over 20,000 registered physiotherapists.*
  • In the province of Ontario alone, the number of new registered physiotherapists recently increased by close to 41 percent in just one year.**
  • It's been estimated that, within any given year, more than 4.2 million Canadians over the age of 12—or about 15 out of every 100—suffer injuries that limit their normal activities.***
  • Over three million Canadian adults, according to national estimates, experience pain or reduced mobility or agility because of a physical disability.****
  • About 40 percent of all Canadians will develop cancer at some point in their lives.† Those who survive often need help restoring their physical strength, range of motion, or mobility after—or in conjunction with—other treatments.

What Being a Physiotherapist Assistant Involves

This career is all about helping people overcome physical barriers. As a physiotherapist assistant (PTA), you can work collaboratively with a supervising physical therapist while safely and effectively carrying out special treatments that have been assigned for individual clients. On any given day, your work might involve tasks like:

  • Preparing or maintaining important rehabilitation equipment
  • Helping clients get through personalized exercise plans
  • Performing treatments that help clients increase their mobility or reduce pain or stiffness
  • Conducting physical tolerance testing
  • Assisting clients who have breathing problems with techniques for clearing their airways
  • Providing localized, therapeutic massage
  • Educating clients on how to use and manage assistive devices or supportive equipment
  • Reporting what you observed during your interactions with clients

It's important to note that the role of a PTA is often a little different than that of an occupational therapy assistant (OTA). Whereas PTA training is primarily geared toward helping people who have physical limitations, occupational therapy assistant programs tend to cover a broader variety of problems.

With OTA training, the focus is on helping people overcome or manage any limitations that are specifically related to the daily activities they engage in. Those limitations might be the result of a physical problem, mental illness, or emotional condition. However, PTAs and OTAs frequently work alongside each other.

Where a PTA Can Work

Physiotherapist assistants in Canada can find employment in a huge variety of settings. The possibilities are truly expansive. For example, the list of potential work environments includes:

  • Rehabilitation centres
  • Hospitals
  • Private clinics
  • Sporting events or sports medicine facilities
  • Community health centres
  • Nursing homes
  • Private or assisted-living residences
  • Senior centres or group homes
  • Child development facilities
  • Hospices
  • Industrial work sites
  • Schools
  • Research facilities

How Much a PTA in Canada Can Make

The average salary of Canadian physiotherapist assistants is over $30,000. However, with experience and the right skills, it's possible to earn more than $43,500 a year. That's particularly true if you also possess abilities in the field of occupational therapy. For instance, certified occupational therapy assistants in Canada make, on average, more than $43,600.‡

Educational Requirements

One of the advantages of going after a career as a PTA is that the training is usually relatively fast. In fact, many college-level programs take only about 44 to 77 weeks to complete. So, in less than two years—or maybe even less than one—you can learn everything you need in order to qualify for entry into this field. Plus, physiotherapist assistants aren't regulated, so you won't have to worry about earning any mandatory certification after you graduate.

Make a Simple Move Toward Fulfilling Your Goals Right Now

Discovering a physiotherapy assistant school near you doesn't get any easier than this. All it takes is a moment to enter your postal code into the simple school finder above, so get started now!

Main Sources

* Canadian Physiotherapy Association, website last visited on April 7, 2017.

** College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, website last visited on September 26, 2017.

*** Statistics Canada, website last visited on April 7, 2017.

**** Rick Hansen Foundation, website last visited on January 6, 2015.

Canadian Cancer Society, website last visited on April 7, 2017.

‡ PayScale, website last visited on January 6, 2015.