PTA turned Ergonomics Specialist

ergonomics pta Apr 16, 2023
PTA turned Ergonomics Specialist

From PTA to Ergonomics Specialist

Learn how this PTA has transitioned into a career as an ergonomics specialist, working for companies such as Delta Airlines!

We interviewed Joanna, who has achieved amazing things in the ergonomics field in order to help you learn how to do the same!

1. How did you come to work for delta airlines:

Fortunately for me, the Director of Human Resources at Progressive Health, a company contracted with Delta Airlines, contacted me on LinkedIn. They were seeking a PTA to serve as an Injury Prevention Specialist to provide onsite injury prevention services for a major airline carrier at LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

2. How did you enjoy performing injury prevention?

I have a passion for injury prevention, but as a PTA, I can only prevent injuries from reoccurring. However, as an Injury Prevention Specialist, I can educate Delta Airlines agents on how to perform their job in a way that avoids injury by providing information about how their bodies work.

I feel a sense of fulfillment as the agents I work with are motivated to improve their job performance. By educating them and providing OSHA's First Aid, I can alleviate their discomforts and save them time and money they would have otherwise spent on doctor's visits.

3. Any tips for people wanting to get into this field?

It would be beneficial to obtain certification as an Ergonomic Assessment Specialist. (You can do this by going to  where their certification includes CEUs, a business section, and a job section to help you get hired including resume templates, cover letter templates and LinkedIn templates). 

Additionally, gaining an OSHA 10 certification will familiarize you with OSHA regulations and First Aid practices in an industrial setting. A helpful tip for fellow PTAs is to expand your job search beyond just looking for positions specifically for PTAs. Instead, try searching for roles under related job titles such as Injury Prevention, Ergonomic Specialist, or Athletic Trainer. By delving deeper into the job requirements, you may discover that a position initially advertised for an athletic trainer could also be a great fit for a PTA.

4. Did you have to do anything differently to prove you were ready for this role? 

I believe that my education from PTA school and my prior experience working in both outpatient and inpatient clinics have prepared me well for this role. Having knowledge of occupational hazards and worker's compensation laws has also been very beneficial in understanding the industrial environment.

5.Anything you wish you knew before hand?

I had no idea that I could perform prevention and ergonomic assessments with only using my experience and education. It turns out that performing ergonomic assessments and providing OSHA First Aid does not require supervision since these services are not considered treatments, but rather injury prevention measures. Industrial injury prevention is a growing industry because it is more cost-effective to prevent an injury than to treat one.


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