Explore Career Options, Jobs, Schooling, and Salary for an in Demand Career in Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy Assistant Degree

A physical therapy assistant degree is in fact an associates degree as a PTA. This degree will be 2 years in length, and this program may be studied at over 270 physical therapy assistant schools that are recognized by the Commission in Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education or CAPTE. Studying at a CAPTE accredited college is a no brainer if you wish to study for this profession. The better the accreditation from the school you attend, the greater and more diverse your job prospects are upon graduation.

Working as a physical therapy assistant will require a student to possess the physical abilities needed to succeed in this profession, as well as the academic understanding of the the core classes that will be part of the curriculum. Students will have both academic and clinical practice during the completion of an associate degree.

What You Will Study During a Physical Therapy Assistant Degree:


examples of some courses that you may study during an associate degree physical therapist assistant program in this discipline are:

    • Introduction to Physical Therapy
    • Basic Therapeutic Techniques
    • Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology
    • Psychology
    • Anatomy and Physiology
    • Therapeutic Exercise
    • 160 hours in a clinical setting
    • Orthopedics
    • Human Disease and Pathology
    • Human Growth and Development
    • Therapeutic Modalities
    • Advanced Rehabilitation Techniques
    • Medical Ethics and Procedures
    • Neurophysiological
    • 240 hours in a clinical setting in some schools (2nd work placement)
    • Clinical Management and Healthcare Issues
    • General electives in English, and other health studies will also be required for graduation.

Physical Therapy Assistant Degree  knowledge:


As you can see this sample of a physical therapy assistant degree even though it is 2 years in length is an intense 2 year study. The level of medical knowledge picked up in this degree makes a physical therapy assistant a strong member of the rehabilitation team. They are able to not only assist the licensed physical therapist with treatments and duties, they also are armed with strong practical physical therapy knowledge gained from their education. During the the school period very often the supervision and teacher assistants will be highly qualified physical therapists, as well as other medical professionals. This helps the physical therapist assistant in training to learn a tremendous base of knowledge in a relatively short period of time.

The goal for a graduating student from a physical therapy assistant degree program  is to develop a well round set of clinical skills. This individual will be having the ability to clearly demonstrate their role as a PTA effectively, as well as apply treatment interventions as directed by the primary physical therapist. A graduate should be able to demonstrate a competency at an entry level with regards to being able to implement plans and procedures passed on by the primary physical therapist. This is the ultimate goal of a graduated physical therapy assistant. Studying the appropriate degree will build the proper skill set. Learning how to respond with the proper modifications, and how to judge a patients response is a critical part of this job. This is why many programs will have not 1, but 2 clinical placements. This program really does prepare graduates upon completion of a state license to be ready to work. Choosing a well reputable CAPTE PTA program will allow an individual to find entry level employment as a PTA.

A physical therapy assistant degree can be a very intense 2 years for many, as well this can be a physically demanding career that involves bending, lifting, twisting and standing for long periods of time. A student will experience all of this during their clinical internship, which is provided to help the student prepare for their future career. If you are choosing to study as a physical therapy assistant we encourage you to take the advice given in this article in only looking for accredited schools. We also encourage you to look at the list of courses we have provided so you may understand what type of classes are studied by physical therapy assistants during this degree. With the right information you can make the right choices for your studies of  a physical therapy assistant degree, and for your future.