Physical Therapy Aide Training Programs and Classes

Physical therapy aides help physical therapists with essential clerical skills and basic patient care. Continue reading for more information about a physical therapy aide career, including training requirements, common course topics and typical duties. Schools offering Physical Therapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

As a physical therapy aide, you'd perform clerical work and prepare treatment spaces for exercises performed by patients during a physical therapy session. While secondary school training is not required, some schools offer brief programs to better prepare you for a career in this field.

License and Certification Not required for aides; physical therapy assistants may need licensure
Responsibilities Office tasks; preparation for patient appointments; verify information; take medical histories
Training On-the-job training, diploma and certificate programs

What Duties Do Physical Therapy Aides Have?

Unlike the job duties of a physical therapist assistant, which includes participation in the treatment of patients, you could be asked to help in front desk duties, such as booking appointments, checking patient insurance and information, filing documents and answering the phone. You might be required to offer some brief patient contact, such as helping a patient from one place to another, taking a medical history or offering non-medical services during a therapy session.

What Level of Training Do I Need?

To become a physical therapy aide, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that you usually just need a high school diploma and on-the-job training (www.bls.gov). However, diploma and certificate programs are available at a few vocational schools and community colleges. These programs might offer you the opportunity to observe or participate in the duties of a physical therapy aide in a professional environment. Experience in the field could give you an advantage over those with no formal training.

What Are Typical Classes?

Your curriculum could be a single course or a series of modules and labs. Certificate programs usually take about six weeks to complete. You'll usually learn about basic health issues, common diseases and injuries, physiology and kinesiology. Course topics you might cover include:

  • Role of an aide
  • Medical terminology
  • Safety practices
  • Transporting patients
  • Human anatomy
  • Preparing medical spaces

Do I Need to Be Licensed or Certified?

As of 2012, no states require that you obtain a license to become a physical therapy aide. In fact, you don't need any form of credential to work in this position. If you choose to advance in the field to become a physical therapist assistant, you'll need to complete a formal training program, usually at the associate degree level, and some states require licensure at this stage.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • South University

    South University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at South University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • George Mason University

    George Mason University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Utica College

    Utica College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Utica College:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Technical University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Technical University:

    Online Programs Available

  • University of the Southwest

    University of the Southwest responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of the Southwest:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

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