Physical Therapy Aide/Massage Therapist

The Physical Therapy Aide/Massage Therapist program offered by American College of Healthcare (ACH) in Riverside and Huntington Park, CA, is a unique program with two majors; Physical Therapy Aide and Massage Therapist. Do you want a career that enhances the lives of others? Physical therapy aides and massage therapists are important members of the health care field which helps patients improve mobility, relieve pain and prevent or lessen disabilities.

The key characteristics of a person entering either of these careers is a commitment to the service of others, willingness to provide quality health care as a part of a healthcare team, and an interest in the day-to-day operations of a modern health care facility. Having an empathetic personality and strong communication skills also go a long way in creating a trusting relationship with clients or patients.

What is Physical Therapy Aide?

General Overview

Physical Therapy Aides are non-licensed persons working under the supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist. They help make therapy sessions more productive, by putting on and removing supportive devices, providing routine treatments, such as diathermy, hydrotherapy, applying hot and cold packs and paraffin bath. They also assist patients with the practice of exercises that are to improve patient mobility, relieve pain and prevent or lessen disabilities.


Physical Therapy aides help to make physical therapists more productive. A physical therapy aide may be responsible for keeping the treatment area clean and well stocked. The aides transport patients to the therapy area and help the patients get ready for their treatment. A physical therapy aide performs a variety of duties as directed and supervised by a licensed physical therapist.Tasks depend on the needs and organization of the facility. Patients include accident victims and individuals with disabling conditions such as lower-back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, and head injuries. Physical therapy aides may also perform clerical work like ordering supplies, answering phones, filling out insurance forms and other paperwork.


Physical Therapy Aides are not required to be licensed. They work under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.

Job Outlook

Employment is expected to grow faster than average because of increasing demand for physical therapy services.

  • Physician’s office
  • Sports medicine clinics
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Orthopedic clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospitals
  • Pain treatment centers

Employment of Physical Therapy Aides is expected to increase 43% from 2010-2020, and in California Physical Therapy Aides earn a mean wage of $17,270 to $34,670, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2012.


High school diploma, a recognized equivalent diploma or passing an ability-to-benefit (ATB) test, qualification questionnaire, and personal interview with administration.

What is Massage Therapy?

General Overview

Massage therapy is known as the practice of using touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body. It is used for a multitude of reasons, including treating painful ailments, decompressing tired and overworked muscles, reducing stress, rehabilitating sports injuries, and promoting general health. Massage therapists give massage treatments using their hands and specialized tools to alleviate pain, aid in rehabilitation, or to promote relaxation.Massage therapists work by appointment, which can range from 5 or 10 minutes and can last for up to 2 hours. Many Massage Therapists like to conduct an informal review with the client prior to the session, in order to learn the person’s medical history and desired results from the massage. Massage therapists work in both private and public settings, and often travel to clients’ offices or homes to provide a massage.


Massage therapists can specialize in more than 80 different types of massage, called modalities, including but not limited to:

  • Acupressure
  • Deep-tissue massage
  • Infant massage
  • Neuromuscular massage
  • Prenatal massage
  • Reflexology
  • Sports Massage
  • Swedish massage

Most massage therapists specialize in several different modalities, which require different techniques. Some range the length of the body part and use long, exaggerated strokes, while others use fast, short strokes with a cupped or closed hand.


Massage Therapy licensure requirements differ based on the state in question. In states with Massage Therapy regulations, workers must graduate from a training program and obtain a license prior to practicing a massage. Typically, a Massage Therapist must pass an examination to obtain a license.

There are two types of certification tests offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB):

  • National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB)
  • National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM)

Both of the above exams are multiple-choice. In order to sit for either of the exams, a candidate must have received at least 500 hours of supervised instruction and graduated from an accredited school.

Massage therapy licensure boards decide which certifications and tests to accept on a State-by-State basis. In states that use the National Certification Examination (NCE), if a Massage Therapist has passed the appropriate exam in one state, he or she can apply for licensing in another state without having to re-take the test. In states that do not use the NCE, even if a Massage Therapist in another state, he or she is required to either take that state’s test or apply for reciprocity, which is typically granted on a case-by-case basis. Reciprocity refers to the exchange, recognition or enforcement of licenses, privileges or obligations between states of the US or between nations.

Job Outlook

The acceptance of Massage Therapy by mainstream health care organizations and society at large has created a multitude of opportunities for massage therapists. From 2010 to 2020, employment among Massage Therapists has been projected to rise by 20%, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. Opportunities are available and growing for those individuals who complete formal training programs and pass a professionally recognized examination.

Additionally, there has been continued growth in the demand for massage services, which will undoubtedly lead to new openings for massage therapists. The number of spas, which employ a large number of therapists, has increased in recent years and is expected to continue to do so. At the same time, the number of massage clinic franchises has been growing in recent years. Many of these offer massages cheaper than at resorts and spas, making Massage Therapy available to a wider range of customers.

Graduates of ACH’s Massage Therapy program can choose to work in a variety of locations, including (but not limited to):

  • Beauty and Hair salons
  • Cruise Ships
  • Health clubs and fitness centers
  • Hospitals and medical centers
  • Hotels
  • Massage and rehabilitation clinics
  • Nursing facilities
  • Physician offices
  • Spas and Resorts
  • Sports organizations

In California, Massage Therapists earn a mean wage of $39,770 to $52,000, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2012.


High-school diploma, a recognized equivalency diploma or passing an ability-to-benefit (ATB) test & satisfactory completion & passing of a nationally recognized, standardized capacity-to-benefit (CTB) test, qualification questionnaire & personal interview with administration.

Get Started On Your New Career

Call 1-888-430-4224 or contact us today to get started in your new career as a Massage/Physical Therapy Aide Specialist!

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