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Physical Therapy Assistant Online Programs

Essential Functions And Technical Standards

Physical Therapist Assistant Associate Degree Program | Gateway Technical College

The following standards reflect reasonable expectations of a student in the PTA Program for the performance of common physical therapy functions. In adopting these standards, the PTA Program is mindful of the patients right to safe and quality treatment by a skilled PTA. These skills are necessary for the PTA to function in a broad variety of clinical situations while providing the spectrum of physical therapy interventions. These standards generally reflect what may be required for the employment of the graduate PTA. Upon admission, to verify that a student has the ability to perform these essential functions, students may be required to demonstrate the following technical standards:

Adapted from the Red Alert: The Americans with Disabilities Act – Implications for Nursing Education

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The Physical Therapist Assistant program prepares graduates to become a licensed PTA who can work in the field of physical therapy, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. As an integral member of the health care team, PTAs provide physical therapy interventions that help patients reduce pain, minimize physical impairments, improve movement and function, prevent illness or injury and promote optimal physical health.

A PTA can work in

  • hospitals,
  • health clubs and

Salary projections for PTA’s based on recent graduate starting salaries in the Upstate South Carolina range from $40,000 – $48,000 annually with an entry-level degree.

National Outlook

National employment statistics and employment expectations are available through the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Local Opportunities


Some of the subject matter covered includes

  • Medical terminology
  • Psychology of human growth & development
  • Patient care skills
  • Recording and reporting patient responses to treatment
  • Use of various technologies to control pain


Physical therapist assistants perform components of physical therapy procedures and related tasks, under the direction and supervision of physical therapists.

To determine whether or not you will be able to successfully perform the job of a PTA, check out the sample job description activities required at Essential Functions and Technical Standards for Physical Therapist Assistant Students .

Should I Become A Physical Therapist Assistant

There are many great reasons to become a physical therapy assistant. The career basics are all covered such as competitive pay, minimal time/financial investment in education, high demand for jobs, and a variety of clinical practice settings to work in.

Becoming a physical therapist assistant can also be a great first step to becoming a physical therapist one day . There are PTA to PT bridge programs that PTAs can attend to become a Physical Therapist.

PTAs are in high demand and earn a median wage of $58,790 and a variety of job opportunities in different types of settings. The job outlook is excellent because there are not enough physical therapist assistants to fill existing jobs.

If you still arent sure if you should become a PTA then check out our in-depth article: Should I become a physical therapist assistant?

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Physical Therapy Assisting: A Satisfying Career Choice

When considering a physical therapy assistant program, a potential student has to weigh all the costs and time they will need to expend to get a degree in the field. The course work can be demanding and will require hours of study. Even though some of the classroom work can be completed online, the potential student still has to take required laboratory courses which require a physical presence, and the clinical portion of the training must be completed in person.

However, the rewards are great for a physical therapy assistant. The job market is expanding so employment should not be difficult for a good assistant. The salary matches that of a bachelor’s degree or higher, and if the physical therapy assistant gains experience in a specialized field they can earn even higher salaries.

Most importantly, physical therapists employed in the field rate their jobs with a high degree of satisfaction. The work may be physically demanding and require great communication skills, but the hours can be flexible. One physical therapy assistant who was interviewed said the job was like a puzzle. The patient has conditions that are broken apart, and the assistant helps put them back together again. He worked with people who had inner ear disturbances affecting balance, hip and knee injuries, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. He liked helping people get back to their lives.

Is Physical Therapy Aide A Good Choice For A Remote Career

A.A.S. in Physical Therapist Assistant

Changes in health coverage after then Affordable Care Act of 2014 have shifted many physical therapy activities from the healthcare setting and into the patients home. As a result, physical therapy support activities now also take place in the home. The shift to homecare has also opened opportunities for independent and even traveling physical therapy professionals.

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Mission Philosophy & Goals

The Physical Therapist Assistant program supports the mission of Lake Washington Institute of Technology , which is “to prepare students for today’s careers and tomorrow’s opportunities.”

The mission of the Lake Washington Institute of Technology Physical Therapist Assistant program is to prepare students to enter the healthcare workforce as entry-level physical therapist assistants who are competent to assist the physical therapist in the provision of safe, ethical and effective physical therapy. The program aims to provide students with high quality didactic and clinical education in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills of physical therapy as well as tools for lifelong learning to maintain industry competitiveness.

The Lake Washington Institute of Technology Physical Therapist Assistant program believes the function of the physical therapist assistant is to assist the physical therapist in the provision of safe and effective physical therapy to help people restore and improve motion for greater quality of life. It is the philosophy of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at LWTech to foster the acquisition of physical therapist assistant skills in a safe learning environment that supports communication, collaboration, and critical thinking, and to promote culturally sensitive, ethical, and compassionate care in the physical therapy workplace.

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Help People Get Back On Their Feet As A Physical Therapist Assistant

If you dream of helping people restore their strength and mobility, especially in cases when they suffer from injuries, disorders, or disabilities, then consider a future as a physical therapist assistant . By earning your associate degree at Provo College, you can launch your physical therapist assistant career with confidence. In as little as 21 months, our PTA program will prepare you with the necessary skills to thrive in this in-demand profession. For added convenience, we currently offer some classes online or in a blended format to support our students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read our licensure disclosure.

Successful graduates of Provos PTA program will:

  • Acquire the knowledge and skills to provide competent, entry-level care to patients, under the supervision of a physical therapist.
  • Demonstrate professional, ethical, and legal behavior.
  • Possess adequate knowledge to pass the national licensing exam for physical therapist assistants.

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What Is A Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapist assistants assist physical therapists in helping individuals regain the ability to function at their maximum physical ability and provide select interventions to achieve the goals the physical therapist has set for an individuals recovery that lead to healthier and more active lifestyles. If you like helping people and enjoy hands-on work, this could be the career for you.

Students in this program learn the technical and communication skills needed to become a successful PTA. At Terra State, our PTA students have the ability to multi-task, are compassionate, detail-oriented, have good interpersonal skills, are well-organized and self-motivated. Does this describe you?

How Many Times Can I Test

Physical Therapist Assistant (AAS) degree, Faculty Advice Video from

Students are allowed to test for HESI only twice per eligibility period only.

There are three eligibility periods:

STC PTA program may not accept HESI scores for students who test for more than twice per eligibility period. Students will not receive any refunds if they test more than twice per eligibility period.

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The Pta Associate Degree

The career path of any physical therapist assistant career in the U.S. begins with earning a PTA associate degree. Generally speaking, most associate degrees are earned with two years of full-time study through an online or traditional campus-based community or technical college program. Two years is also the length of many traditional on-campus PTA degree programs. Online PTA degree programs, however, typically take a bit more time. This is particularly true of part-time programs that call for up to three years or more to complete all general education and PTA coursework, as well as all hands-on practicum requirements.

What To Look For In An Online Physical Therapy Assistant Program

In addition to the elements discussed above, any online PTA program you consider should meet the following foundational qualifications:

  • AccreditationOf foremost importance for online PTA programs is accreditation. Proper accreditation assures students that their program meets or exceeds foundational standards of quality. Its also something that employers weigh heavily when assessing the qualifications of potential hires. In the U.S., entry-level PTA programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education .
  • NPTE Pass Rates: Working as a physical therapist assistant in the U.S. requires state licensure, and licensure in all 50 states requires passing the National Physical Therapy Exam . Therefore, potential PTA students may want to consider first those programs with higher NPTE pass rates for their graduates. Information on PTA program pass rates can often be found on program websites. If not, you can access them from this Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy webpage.
  • Quality In-Person Training:All physical therapy assistant programs online include some form of clinical practicum/internship component that must be completed in-person. If possible, consider those programs that provide access to quality clinical facilities near your home, and at times that best fit your schedule. Clinical practicum/internship components normally require full-time participation, but some programs may offer the flexibility of part-time attendance.

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Physical Therapy Program Clinical Experience

In addition to hands on learning on campus, you will need to complete internships where you gain clinical experience in order to prepare for your career in physical therapy. If you are away from campus, make sure that the program you are interested offers the level of support you need when it comes time to find a clinical placement site.

Check out this list of physical therapy scholarships that you can use to help pay for your degree.

How Much Do Physical Therapist Assistants Make

Physical Therapy Assistant Programs In Texas Near Me

How much any individual earns as a PTA will depend on a number of factors, including geographic location, the type of facility in which theyre employed, and length of time in practice. The tables below offer an earnings snapshot for PTAs in the U.S. using the most recent BLS statistics.

National Wage Estimates: Mean PTA hourly and annual wage estimates by percentile:


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Specific Admission Requirements To The Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Prior to being considered for acceptance into the PTA Program, all prospective students will need to:

  • Apply and be accepted to MTC. This includes having all previous college and/or high school transcripts submitted and assessed by the college.
  • Attend an advisory appointment with your assigned School of Health Care advisor. This meeting will highlight the details and requirements for admittance into the PTA Program.
  • Attend at least one mandatory PTA Program information session .
  • Complete 20 or more hours of recent clinical Physical Therapy observation experiences, 10 hours should be in an acute care hospital setting with 10 additional hours attained in another type of PT setting.
  • Proof of observation attendance is to be recorded on the MTC PTA Program observation evaluation forms. These forms must be picked up in person and directly from the PTA program.
  • Write a 2-3 page self-reflection of experience summary paper about your observation experiences.
  • The above items need to be completed prior to submittal of the PTA Program application.

    • Submit all required application materials by the due date published on the program website.
    • Complete all pre-requisite courses with adherence to the Health Sciences Course Repeat Policy and Course Acceptance Timeframe Policy.
    • All pre-requisite courses must be successfully completed by the end of the spring semester of the application / intended acceptance year and must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher .

    Skills Learned In Clinical Practicum

    PT Treatment with Patients: During a clinical practicum PTAs are hands on and teach patients about their specific exercises. They also help them with the treatment exercises by showing them how to perform them and assisting them during their routine. Your PTA Programs clinical training may also provide you with massage therapy practice or instruct you on rehabilitation exercises or how to use adaptive devices, like walkers and crutches.

    Diagnosing and Evaluating Patients: Physical therapists are being assisted by physical therapy assistants, who are helping the therapists by observing the movements of patients are assisting in physical therapy. Physical therapists also need to observe their patients before, during, and after treatment in order to provide feedback. They oversee the progress of the patient and make sure they dont miss anything.

    Empathy and Compassion: As altruistic as it is, compassion can be characterized by a conscious understanding of the pain of others and a desire to help relieve that pain. Having a sense of empathy and compassion are important for healthcare workers and PTAs specifically who are helping patients in chronic pain. Every PTA should bring compassion and patience to their work. Both of these qualities are very important if we want to help someone feel more comfortable throughout their therapy treatment.

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    Physical Therapist Assistant Degree Curriculum

    Our associate degree program equips you to pursue a career as a physical therapist assistant in as few as 21months. When you graduate, youll be able to serve effectively in a variety of settings supporting physical therapy treatments.

    • Anatomy and Physiology I
    • Pathology for the Physical Therapist Assistant
    • Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Lab

    When Do I Know The Results Of My Exam

    Physical Therapy Assistant Course | New Online Courses

    A copy of the HESI test scores will be given after completion. The Student Assessment Center does not discuss test scores with testers. Students are recommended to discuss all test scores with their particular department of study.

    If you have any further questions or comments, please contact the Student Assessment Center at 956-872-3484.

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    State Licensing After Your Online Pta Program

    To become a physical therapy assistant in the U.S., you need to hold a license which is regulated by individual states in addition to DC, PR, & US territories. You can use our state licensing tool to access your states PTA license requirements, forms, and fees.

    Specific requirements and processes differ by state jurisdiction, but all require that you take and pass the NPTE to become licensed. You may also need to fulfill general requirements, including criminal background check, CPR certification, and the purchase of a license application processing fee.

    Some state licensures require applicants to be eighteen years of age. Also, licensure is only accepted in the state that gives the license. So for example, if you want to work as a PTA in State A and then move to State B, you will need to get licensed again in your new state. It is a good idea to start learning your states requirements as soon as possible so you arent delayed in beginning work upon graduation.

    Physical Therapy Assistant Programs Online

    Online PTA programs can equip you with the skills and expertise needed to work with physical therapy patients. Patient care assistant often work in private clinics, hospitals, and rehabilitation facilities.

    Many accredited schools offer PTA degree programs online. PTA programs usually involve earning an associate degree and include required courses in subjects like:

    • Physiology
    • Kinesiology

    In-person learning is typically required for labs and supervised practicums so you can get the hands-on training you need. There are a number of hybrid programs that combine in-person, hands-on learning opportunities with online coursework. It can be possible to earn a qualifying associate degree and obtain licensure in as little as 2 years.

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    In almost all states, becoming a practicing physical therapy assistant also requires licensing. It can be beneficial to find out whats specifically required by your own state licensing board.

    In addition to licensure, some PTAs also pursue certifications in specialized areas of physical therapy care in order to enhance their skills and job prospects.

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    Ready To Put A Physical Therapy Career In Motion

    Now that you know the difference between a career as a physical therapist versus a physical therapist assistant, you can take the next step toward starting your dream career. While these two career paths work closely together, youll find yourself doing different daily tasks for each, and the journey toward each is unique.

    If the PTA path sounds like the route for you, check out the Rasmussen University Physical Therapist Assistant Associates degree. Or, if youre ready to be a full-blown physical therapist, visit the Rasmussen University Doctor of Physical Therapy program page to learn more about program requirements, start dates and much more.

    Getting Licensed After Your Online Pta Program

    angelamdadesign: Physical Therapy Assistant Programs In Texas

    As mentioned earlier, you cant practice as a physical therapist assistant in the U.S. without a license. Licensure of PTAs is handled by regulatory agencies in each individual state, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Specific licensure requirements and procedures vary by jurisdiction, but all mandate that applicants pass the National Physical Therapy Exam to be licensed. Other requirements may include such items as a criminal background check, CPR certification, and payment of a license application processing fee. Some states additionally require applicants to be at least 18 years of age. Also, licensure is good only within the jurisdiction that issues it, so PTAs who work in more than one state, or are planning to move to a new state, must obtain the proper license for that jurisdiction before starting practice. PTA students are advised to become familiar with the licensure process in their jurisdiction as early as possible.

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