Associate of Physical Therapy: Assistant Degree Overview

Learn about the associate degree requirements for the physical therapy assistant profession. Find out about the employment outlook and the certification and licensing steps for this career.

View 5 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Students who are considering a physical therapy assistant path may find that some high school prerequisites are required or helpful. At the college level, students typically complete both a didactic component and a clinical component for this degree, which may be earned at college or university-affiliated institutions. The physical therapist assistant degree program may result in an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science degree. Completion of the program qualifies graduates to sit for national certification examinations and work under the supervision of physical therapists.

Education Prerequisites

In general, a student seeking admission into a physical therapist assistant associate degree program has earned a high school diploma or its GED equivalent. Additionally, some academic institutions require students to complete prerequisite courses in mathematics, biology and English.

Course Topics

In addition to the clinical component to this type of degree program, traditional classroom instruction prepares students to perform their duties according to industry standards. Courses can cover topics such as:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Rehabilitation methods
  • Patient care
  • Pathophysiology
  • Kinesiology
  • Exercise therapies
  • Medical terminology
  • Health care ethics
  • Neurology
  • Health care statistics

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of physical therapist assistants is projected to grow 46% from 2010-2020, and job opportunities are expected to be very good for these professionals (www.bls.gov). In May 2012, physical therapist assistants earned an average annual salary of $52,320, the BLS stated.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Upon successful completion of a physical therapist assistant associate degree program, graduates are prepared to take the National Physical Therapy Exam, which is required for practice in most states. Other states may require the completion of additional stipulations, such as state examinations. Physical therapy assistants may be required to become licensed, registered or certified, depending on the state in which they work. Additionally, graduates can go on to earn bachelor's degrees in closely related fields, such as health science or health administration.

Show me popular schools

Related to Associate of Physical Therapy: Assistant Degree Overview

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Physical Therapy Assistant Continuing Education Courses & Requirements

Physical therapy assistants must take continuing education courses to retain licensure and remain current with their training....

Physical Therapy Assistant: Overview of Career Education

Physical therapy assistance is a quickly growing field. To become a physical therapy assistant, an individual must complete...

Online Physical Therapy Aide Courses and Classes

Online physical therapy aide courses are available through several schools and are typically offered as part of degree programs...

How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant

Learn how to become a physical therapist assistant. Research the education requirements, training information and experience...

Doctor of Physical Therapy: Degree Overview

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Associate
        • AS in Medical Assisting

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (2 campuses)
    • Minnesota (2 campuses)
    • New York (1)
    • Texas (3)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • School locations:
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    • California (1 campus)
    • Florida (6)
    • Idaho (1)
    • Kentucky (2)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Ohio (7)
    • Oklahoma (2)
    • Tennessee (1)
    • Texas (1)
    • Virginia (5)
    • West Virginia (1)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Associate
        • Associate in Medical Assisting and Administration

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Associate
        • Military Physical Assistant Prerequisite Program
        • Medical Logistics
        • AS in Health Science
        • Medical Material Supervisor

    Which subject are you interested in?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New York University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Physical Therapist Assistant
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Indianapolis include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Medical Assisting
        • Physical Therapist Assistant
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • New Hampshire (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Hesser College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Massage and Related Therapeutic Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
        • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • School locations:
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southern Illinois University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Physical Therapist Assistant
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Mississippi (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Pearl River Community College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework, Diploma
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Clinical Laboratory Assistant
        • Physical Therapist Assistant
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions

Popular Schools

  • What is your classroom preference?

    • AS in Medical Assisting

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Associate in Medical Assisting and Administration

    What year did you graduate from high school?

    • Military Physical Assistant Prerequisite Program
    • Medical Logistics
    • AS in Health Science
    • Medical Material Supervisor

    Which subject are you interested in?

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copyright