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Carrington College Blog

Stretch yourself as a Physical Therapist Assistant

August 24, 2011
Student practicing mobility techniques in the PTA lab.

Are you looking for a rewarding and respected healthcare career in a field where the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 35% increase in jobs between now and 2018*?  Does a career where you can help patients achieve tangible physical progress appeal to your compassionate, caring side?  If so, then perhaps you should consider studying to become a Physical Therapist Assistant.

A Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is a licensed healthcare professional who, under the supervision of a Physical Therapist, rehabilitates people following injury, illness, or disability.  They are licensed health care practitioners who can work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, rehab centers, nursing facilities, outpatient orthopedic clinics, schools and more.

A PTA is truly a ‘hands-on’ career choice; Physical Therapist Assistants use non-invasive treatment techniques to promote healing and restore function.  The techniques employed include restorative exercise, range of motion and stretching activities, soft tissue mobilization, coordination training, aquatic therapy, aerobic conditioning…the list goes on.  Ultrasound, electrical stimulation, hot or cold treatments, bracing & taping, as well as ergonomic-focused treatment, and a variety of patient education techniques are all tools used by licensed PTAs to help their patients.

The 20 month Carrington College California PTA program is available at our Pleasant Hill campus; the program can teach you the skills and knowledge you need for an entry level PTA position, once you have passed the licensure exam.  Our students enjoy a mix of formal classroom instruction and practical, hands-on training in a lab; they also have the added benefit of three clinical externships where they can hone their skills and build their confidence with a variety of patient types.  The program culminates in an Associate of Science degree.

As mentioned, a PTA is a licensed healthcare professional. That means that our graduates, if they wish to work as a PTA, have to sit for the National Physical Therapy Exam which is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.  Once they have successfully passed the licensing exam, they may seek licensure in any of the 50 states.  In California, licenses are issued by the Physical Therapy Board of California.

So if you are taken by the idea of enjoying a rewarding career where can work every day to help patients improve their lives through greater mobility and function, then why not find out more about our PTA degree program. Talk to a Carrington College California Enrollment Services Representative today at 1.888.204.5818, or complete the online form at

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

Program availability varies by location.

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