What You Should Know About This Degree
Physical therapy assistant programs are often confused with both physical therapy aide programs and physical therapist programs. Physical therapists have advanced education and are considered medical professionals. Physical therapy aides are similar to medical assistants, but they specialize in physical therapy. Physical therapy assistants are in the middle of the two in terms of experience and education.
Any physical therapy assistant program you’re looking at needs to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Job growth expectations in this field are extremely high. Physical therapy assistants also have the option of taking travel positions, which often pay more and let you see the country as you work with patients.
Before you can work as a PTA, you’ll need to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE). Passing this exam qualifies you to be licensed in your state.
Here are some questions to ask when researching online associate in physical therapy assistant programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? To be able to apply for an associate in physical therapy assistant program, you usually just need a high school diploma or equivalency. You may also need to demonstrate a base level of math, English, science, and computer proficiency through a placement test.
- Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Courses in these programs are usually delivered both synchronously and asynchronously. General courses such as anatomy and physiology may be offered asynchronously, but classes that involve clinical hours are usually completed synchronously.
When you’re ready to apply, you’ll need to submit high school transcripts and possibly ACT/SAT scores. You’ll also need to take any relevant placement tests and check with the financial aid office about the possibility of grants, loans, scholarships, or work-study programs.