Which Schools Have Online Physical Therapy Assistant Degree Programs?
Offered at the associate's degree level, physical therapy assistant (PTA) programs train students to successfully administer physical therapy treatments under the supervision of licensed physical therapists. Due to the clinical requirements, completely online physical therapy assistant programs do not exist.
Important Information About Physical Therapy Assistants
Associate's degree programs for physical therapy assistants are often available through vocational schools or community colleges. These programs usually take two years of study and include general education courses in addition to those in physical therapy. Because of the hands-on, clinical nature of the profession, fully online PTA programs do not exist. However, below are some of the schools that offer physical therapy assistant degree programs, some of which have options for partially online programs.
|Prerequisites||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Common Courses||Applied anatomy, tests & measurements, pathophysiology|
|Possible Careers||Physical therapist assistant, medical assistant (may require further education)|
|Continuing Education||Bachelor's programs are available; licensed physical therapy assistants may be required to complete continuing education coursework for licensure renewal|
|Median Salary (2018)||$48,090 (for all physical therapists assistants and aides)*|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||30% growth (for all physical therapists assistants and aides)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Physical Therapy Assistant Schools
Whatcom Community College
Whatcom Community College offers a full-time program at its campus in Bellingham, Washington, but students who cannot attend on-campus classes can opt for the part-time online/hybrid option. The program leads to an Associate in Science (A.S.) in Physical Therapy Assisting. This PTA degree features required prerequisite courses in general education topics such as math and English, and after completing these courses, students can study kinesiology, physical therapy, and PTA procedures.
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Milwaukee Area Technical College in Wisconsin awards an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Physical Therapist Assisting. This program emphasizes effective communication with patients and is designed to prepare students to secure jobs in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other healthcare facilities. Students are encouraged to fulfill their roles with sensitivity and respect. The program examines ways in which the delivery of physical therapy services may be properly documented.
San Juan College
San Juan College, located in Farmington, New Mexico, offers two different physical therapy assistant programs that result in Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) degrees. One of these is the traditional face-to-face option, while the other is an online hybrid program. In the hybrid option, students are required to go to onsite labs once per semester. Both of these programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Jefferson State Community College
An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Physical Therapy Assisting is available through the program at Jefferson State Community College. The degree requires two years of study, with one year devoted to prerequisite coursework and the second year focusing on professional coursework. Once the student graduates from the program, he or she will be qualified to take the National Board Exam and receive professional state licensure.
Physical therapy assistants play an important role in the delivery of physical therapy services to patients trying to regain movement after illness or injury. They perform many of the same tasks as physical therapists, such as patient preparation, hydrotherapy, massage, and heat pack application. Every state requires that physical therapy assistants be licensed and hold an associate's degree from an accredited college program as well as passing a licensing exam.