How To Become A Physical Therapist Assistant

becoming a physical therapist assistant will require an associate's degree from an accredited physical therapy program. in most states, you must be licensed in order to qualify for this position. licensure requirements include graduating from an accredited physical therapy assistant program, and then taking and passing the physical national physical therapy exam. additional state-administered programs are needed in some states, but not all. if you are looking for professional advancement and opportunities in areas like education, administration, and education, it is best to continue with your formal education after becoming a physical therapist assistant.

many schools renowned for their high quality education cater to busy lifestyles by offering online programs. you could prepare for a career in this field by completing your degree requirements in a self-paced and flexible format. program length will vary by school, but generally it takes around two years to complete. the coursework includes subjects like english, psychology, physiology, algebra, anatomy, medical terminology, and disabilities and therapeutic procedures. students will also gain hands-on clinical experience in various treatment centers. they will learn skills that can help restore functional ability in daily life by improving mobility, endurance, and physical strength.

desirable qualities
these professionals should be sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. they should have good listening and comprehension skills as they are responsible for addressing patient concerns. active learners will have much better chances of success as they are able to update their theoretical and technical knowledge and skills quickly.

job responsibilities
as evident from the job title, these professionals assist physical therapists in their various tasks. this mainly involves working under their supervision to provide care to the patients by helping them with the following techniques:-

  • therapeutic methods (mechanical traction, ultrasound, electrical stimulation)
  • exercise
  • aquatic physical therapy
  • massage & stretching
  • coordination and balance training

patients who are recovering from surgery, injury, or illness will need physical therapy in order to manage pain and regain movement. these professional will motivate, instruct, assist, and protect patients as they go through the therapy. physical therapist assistants will perform the following tasks:

  • observing patients during therapy, compiling data, evaluating treatment methods, and recording progress status
  • reporting patient progress to a physical therapist
  • using and training patients in equipment and devices such as walkers, prostheses, orthopedic braces, or supportive devices.
  • educating patients and family members about after-treatment measures
  • measuring and assessing the range of motion and strength

employment opportunities
as these professionals help people of all ages; the demand for their servies is likely to grow in the coming years. in 2010 they held about 67,400 jobs.

they are employed in the following settings:

  • inpatient hospital settings
  • rehabilitation centers
  • outpatient clinics
  • home healthcare companies
  • government hospitals
  • registries
  • skilled nursing facilities
  • convalescent hospitals

from 2010 through 2020, the employment of physical therapist assistants will increase by 46%. this is higher than the average growth rate, and is predicted by the us bureau of labor statistics.


Q:How long does it take to become a physical therapist assistant?

A:It takes approximately 2 years of education after high school to become a physical therapist assistant. Individuals must have an associate degree at least and a few months of on-the-job training. The minimum requirements of education will vary from state to state. The commission of Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education is the main board that accredits physical therapy programs.

Have Questions ?

Please submit your question!

* All Fields are Required
Find Now