Copyright

Physical Therapist Aide Certificate and Certification Programs

Find out about educational program and certification processes for prospective physical therapist aides. Read about the job responsibilities of a physical therapist aide and assistant. Find out more about educational prerequisites and courses taken in a degree program, as well as continuing education, licensing, employment outlook and salary information.

View 24 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Although physical therapist aides and assistants may share certain tasks, the two roles are quite different. Physical therapy aides play an important role in the delivery of physical therapy care. They are most often responsible for keeping the treatment area clean and orderly. They may help order supplies and assist patients as they move to and from their session. This work group does not generally need formal training or certification.

Physical therapist assistants, on the other hand, are more directly involved in patient care and may execute many of the same tasks as the physical therapist. While there is very little formal training for aides, physical therapy assistants must be formally certified. Thus, educational programs target prospective physical therapist assistants rather than aides.

Physical assistant therapists obtain their qualifications not through certificate programs, but rather degree programs. Most physical therapist assistant degree programs are offered in the form of an associate degree and mainly lead to an Associate of Science. These programs generally last one or two years and introduce students to a variety of related medical topics. This education combines classroom instruction with clinical training. Courses are generally taken in medical terminology, kinesiology and pathophysiology. Graduates are prepared to pursue necessary certification in the field.

Educational Prerequisites

Most physical therapy assistant associate degree programs require students to hold a high school diploma or equivalent before applying. Many programs also require that students complete a certain number of hours of physical therapy observation in an approved clinic.

Program Coursework

Students in an associate degree physical therapy assistant program are exposed to a wide range of therapy-related subjects in a combination of classroom coursework and hands-on, clinical experience. Some of the possible topics included in such a curriculum are listed below.

  • Medical terminology
  • Fundamentals of physical therapy
  • Kinesiology
  • Issues in clinical practice
  • Pathophysiology

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, the employment of physical therapy aides is expected to grow by 43% between 2010 and 2020. The BLS also states that, as of May of 2012, the mean hourly wage for physical therapist aides was $12.22.

Continuing Education and Licensure Information

Depending on the state in which they practice, physical therapist assistants may be required to be formally certified. This usually involves passing a certification exam administered by the National Physical Therapist Examination (NPTE).

Some states may also have other requirements like completion of fieldwork hours and CPR certification. Physical therapy assistants may advance their career by specializing in a particular aspect of the field. They may also use their experience to pursue a career as a physical therapist. Physical therapy aides do not need to be licensed in order to work.

Show me popular schools

Related to Physical Therapist Aide Certification

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
How to Become a Physical Therapist Aide: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Learn how to become a physical therapist aide. Research education, licensure and experience requirements for starting a career...

Physical Therapist Licensure and Credentialing Information

To enter the profession of physical therapy, graduates of an accredited master's degree program must obtain licensure through...

What Should You Major in to Become a Physical Therapist?

Physical therapists generally major in biology, anatomy or another foundational science as an undergraduate, and they undergo...

Physical Therapist: Employment Info & Career Requirements

Learn about the career of a physical therapist. Find out the required education, necessary skills, salary and job growth...

Physical Therapy: Required Education to Be a Physical Therapist

Popular Schools

  • 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?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Alabama (2 campuses)
    • Arkansas (1)
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1)
    • Delaware (1)
    • Florida (9)
    • Georgia (8)
    • Louisiana (1)
    • Maryland (5)
    • Mississippi (1)
    • North Carolina (5)
    • Pennsylvania (6)
    • South Carolina (3)
    • Tennessee (3)
    • Texas (8)
    • Virginia (11)
    • West Virginia (1)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

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

    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)
    • Texas (1)
    • Virginia (5)

    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
    • 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 (8)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Kentucky (1)
    • 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 (5)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (2)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    When would you like to start classes?

  • 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

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must be 22 years of age or have active military status
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Associate
        • AA in Healthcare Mgt

    What is your highest level of education?

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics