A DPT is a practitioner treating their own caseload where a PTA cannot practice without a DPT present or on staff.
Insurance reimburses differently to each profession as well meaning DPTs get paid more because of their ability to bill different codes. Pay varies per geographic location for each PT and PTAs.
The DPT degree is expensive and typically costs >$100K in student loans where a PTA degree is usually much more affordable.
A DPT can make anywhere from $60k-$100+ depending on location. A PTA can make anywhere from $30K-~50K depending on location and experience.
A PTA is a great option for getting a well paid job with an associates degree.
Physical therapy is a great field whether you work as an assistant or a PT, good luck!
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The main difference between a PT and a PTA is 1. education/degree and 2. roles and responsibilities in the field.
A physical therapist (PT) is now a doctorate degree which means they require a 4 year undergraduate (bachelor's degree) then a 3 year doctoral (PT program). Tuition average $120K.
A physical therapist assistant (PTA) is an associate's degree (2 years). Tuition averages $10-20K.
School is a combination of classroom/didactic work, labs and clinical rotations.
Both require a degree, passing of the national board exam in order to acquire your license.
A PT performs an evaluation, see patients for follow up treatments, performs re-evaluations and discharges.
A PTA can see patients for follow up treatments.
Both can work in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings.
PTA salary - https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes312021.htm
PT salary - https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291123.htm
More info about PTA - https://www.apta.org/your-career/careers-in-physical-therapy/becoming-a-pta
More info about PT - https://www.apta.org/your-career/careers-in-physical-therapy/becoming-a-pt