Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Profile of a PTA
WHO ARE PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANTS?
therapist assistants, or PTAs, are technically educated health care
professionals who provide physical therapy services under the
supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
WHAT DO PTAs DO?
of the PTA include implementing treatment programs,teaching patients
exercises for disease prevention and health promotion, administering
electrotherapeutic treatments such as ultrasound and electrical
stimulation, training for functional activities such as walking and
measuring overall patient performance as a result of physical therapy
WHAT DO PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANTS EARN?
to the American Physical Therapy Association, the median income for an
entry level physical therapist assistant is approximately $42,600and go up to $78,160 depending upon geographic location, position, years of experience and practice setting.
WHERE DO PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANTS WORK?
therapist assistants work in hospitals, private physical therapy
offices, community health centers, corporate or industrial health
centers, sports facilities, research institutions, rehabilitation
centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, schools, pediatric
centers, and colleges and universities.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BECOMING A PTA?
therapist assistants must complete a 2-year education program,
typically offered through a community or junior college. Candidates
receive an associate's degree upon graduation. The course of study
includes usually 1 year of general education and 1 year of technical
courses on physical therapy procedures and clinical experience. There
are currently 364 accredited physical therapist assistant education
programs throughout the country.
WHAT ARE THE LICENSURE, REGISTRATION, OR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS?
Currently all 50 states and the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, District of Columbia require PTA's to become licensed or certified. States requiring licensure
stipulate specific educational and examination criteria. Information on
practice acts and regulations may be obtained by contacting the
licensure board in each respective state.