Learn more about enrolling in a physical therapist assistant associate degree program. Find information on classes, certification, and job growth. View popular schools that offer associate degree programs in physical therapy assisting.
Courses within a physical therapy program may teach students how to help patients alleviate pain from back and neck pain, injuries, or strains. They may also assist patients with burns, amputations, wounds, or neurological conditions. Students may learn how to help patients regain their mobility through exercise and activities after surgical procedures, such and knee or hip replacements. Also, physical therapy assistants may gain the skills and training needed to work with a physical therapist, implementing their prescribed treatments for individual patients. Students may take prerequisite courses including biology, chemistry, and mathematics alongside core physical therapy courses. Possible physical therapy assistant coursework may include the following:
- Professional Issues for the Physical Therapist Assistant
- Introduction to Physical Therapy
- Rehabilitation Assessment
- Medical and Surgical Conditions
- Neurological Rehabilitation
- Motor Development and Aging
- Dimensions of Physical Therapy
Upon graduation, students may be required to obtain certification or licensure in the state in which they intend to practice. This certification process may ensure students are fully prepared and qualified to practice in the field of physical therapy. Certification is based upon passing scores on a state-administered national exam. Requirements for physical therapy licensure may vary throughout the country. Individual states may have their own set of regulations which govern the standards of physical therapy.
Employment opportunities for physical therapy assistants is expected to increase by 45% from 2010-2020. The demand for physical therapy assistants may be due to the healthcare needs of the increasing elderly population. Physical therapy assistants may earn an annual median salary of $37,710 and an hourly wage of $18.13. As of 2010, there were 114,400 individuals employed in the U.S. as physical therapy assistants.