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Carrington College Blog

Physical Therapist Assistant – A hands-on career at Carrington College

April 13, 2011

Physical Therapist Assistant SchoolThe role of a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is a truly rewarding health care career choice; a PTA gets to see the tangible difference they make to the lives of the people they help; by tracking the improvements in their patients’ performance, a PTA can see the benefits of their work in front of them every day.

Always working under the direction and supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist (PT), a Physical Therapist Assistant provides physical therapy services to patients of all ages suffering with medical problems or conditions that limit their ability to perform every day activities.  Successful physical therapy can transform lives; when mobility is decreased due to injury, illness or age, the specialized care offered by Physical Therapists and their Assistants is vital.

To work as a PTA, you must first earn an Associate’s degree from an accredited program At Carrington College our Physical Therapist
Assistant Associate Degree Program, is available at our Mesa, AZ, Boise, ID, Albuquerque, NM, and Las Vegas, NV campuses, offers a mix of formal instruction, laboratory practice and hands-on clinical experience.

Physical Therapist Assistants help patients of all ages, and can work in a variety of health care settings including hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, schools, sports facilities, and more.  From the application of therapeutic heat/cold modalities, to the delivery of hands on patient care, or the application of dressings and supports, the role of a Physical Therapist Assistant can truly be described as ‘hands-on’.

Once you have earned your Associate of Science degree, states require you to then study for and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). The NPTE is not state specific; it is a national exam that crosses all states. A passing score is required in order to apply for licensure in the state or jurisdiction in which the PTA plans to work. Once you have passed this licensure exam you will be eligible to work as a Physical Therapist Assistant.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics 1 the job prospects for a qualified Physical Therapist Assistant are very good, with employment expected to grow by 35% from 2008 through 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations*.  The latest Occupational Employment Statistics state that the median annual wage for a Physical Therapist Assistant was $48,290 in May 2009**.

To find out more about the Carrington College Physical Therapist Assistant Associate degree Program, you can talk to an Admissions Representative at 1.877.206.2106, or you can get the process started by completing this online form. Submit the form and we’ll contact you to answer any questions you have, and help you get started.


* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2010-11 Ed.).

of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2009