Prepare for a job as a physical therapist assistant and receive an Associate Degree in as few as 19 months.
About the Program
What Will I Learn
The basic areas of study in the Physical Therapist Assistant program include anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, human movement and movement disorders. Carrington’s curriculum provides a broad base of knowledge covering issues related to the muscles, bones, nerves, ligaments and tendons. The program concludes with an externship during which students practice physical therapy interventions on patients in a variety of health care settings.
Carrington’s Physical Therapist Assistant program prepares students to function as entry-level practitioners under the supervision of a physical therapist. At Carrington, students mix formal instruction, laboratory practice and hands-on clinical experience.
Students who successfully complete the program earn a PTA associate’s degree and are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for PTAs*. To work as a physical therapist assistant in California, graduates must also pass the California Law Examination (CLE), which relates to the practice of physical therapy.
Upon completion of the Physical Therapist Assistant program, graduates will be able to:
- Demonstrate ability to document data collection, interventions, and patient/client responses
- Interact skillfully with patients, families, and other health care providers while promoting optimal outcomes
- Differentiate the appropriate actions to employ in emergency situations
- Distinguish the appropriate skills to perform routine entry-level physical therapist assisting in a professional setting
- Demonstrate ethical behavior consistent with valuing the differences among patients, families, and other healthcare providers
*The College does not guarantee students will successfully pass these exams or be certified or licensed as a result of completing the program.
Carrington College Physical Therapist Assistant Student Outcomes
Student Outcomes as reported in the 2020 Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) Annual Accreditation Report. To learn more about our Public Comment Policy, please click here.
2-Year Graduation Rate
2-Year Employment Rate
Licensure Examination Pass Rate
The Physical Therapist Assistant program prepares graduates for an occupation in which passage of a licensing examination is required. If you have questions regarding the calculation of these rates, please contact the agency listed. Pass rates for Carrington College are available on The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website.
For the Boise, ID campus, click here.
For the Las Vegas, NV campus, click here.
For the Mesa, AZ campus, click here.
For the Pleasant Hill, CA campus, click here.
We’re proud to offer our program in physical therapist assisting at four locations.
To learn more about how you can earn a PTA associate’s degree, request more information.
Here are some Career Highlights for physical therapist assisting:
- A more active aging population will result in a higher demand for physical therapist services.
- An increase in chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity will require physical therapist assistants to help patients maintain their mobility.
- Medical and technological advancements should permit an increased percentage of trauma victims and newborns with birth defects to survive, creating added demand for therapy and rehabilitative services1.
Physical therapist assistants work in a variety of settings, with many working in the private medical offices of physical and occupational therapists and hospitals. Other places physical therapist assistants can work include doctor’s offices, skilled nursing facilities and home health care organizations1.
Cost & Financial Aid
Education is a major investment, but it’s an investment in your future. Every student comes to Carrington with unique financial needs. Carrington College is committed to helping you achieve your education goals. We participate in most financial assistance programs, both federal and state, as well as private financing. Each program has different requirements and application instructions. Student loans, grants and scholarships are available to those who qualify.
For complete information on current tuition costs, please see the Academic Catalog.
The best way for us to understand your financial needs is to meet in person. Call (602) 492-1086 to set an appointment with our Student Finance Department so we can help you develop your personalized financial plan to achieve your educational goals.
PTA Program Financial Fact Sheets
Student Life at Carrington College
We know college is a big step. But education can be the first step in building a better future. Your instructors, administrators and fellow students are there to help if you ever hit a bump in the road along the way. Carrington College offers a lot of great student support services designed to help you succeed.
From scholarships and grants to loans, we will help you understand how to search and apply for financial aid2.
Tutoring and Study Groups
For help with schoolwork, your instructors and Student Success Center staff are often available for tutoring or you can join in an open student study group.
Externships, Clinical Rotations and Fieldwork
Most programs include an opportunity to learn in the real world before you even graduate! You’ll earn impressive experience that looks great on your resume.
After graduation, we’ll help you with your career search with everything from resume writing help to job search support to interview tips.
Accreditation and Approvals
Carrington College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC/WASC), 331 J Street, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95814; 415- 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at http://www.accjc.org/.
The Physical Therapist Assistant programs at the Boise, Las Vegas and Pleasant Hill campuses are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please contact the program director at each location: Boise- Dr. Jonathan Bird (208) 672-0752 or JBird@carrington.edu, Las Vegas – Mr. William Dent (702) 688-4142 or William.Dent@carrington.edu, and Pleasant Hill – Mr. Kevin Daly (925) 405-8137 or at KDaly@carrington.edu.
The Physical Therapist Assistant programs at the Mesa campus is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: email@example.com; website: http://www.capteonline.org. The program’s current status is probationary accreditation; for more information see http://www.capteonline.org/WhatWeDo/RecentActions/PublicDisclosureNotices/. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Dr. Amy Norton (480) 717-3524 or ANorton@carrington.edu.
For comprehensive information on Carrington’s accreditation and approvals, visit carrington.edu/accreditation.
Read Our Career Guide On Physical Therapist Assisting
Physical therapist assistants offer help and support to physical therapists in the care and treatment of individuals seeking greater mobility due to injury or illness.
Physical Therapist Assistant FAQ
What does a physical therapist assistant do?
Physical therapist assistants, sometimes referred to as PTAs, work under the supervision of physical therapists to help patients regain movement and manage pain resulting from an injury or illness. A PTA works directly with patients to help them complete exercises and therapies.3
How long does it take to become a physical therapist assistant?
Physical therapist assistants typically complete an associate degree.4Carrington College’s Physical Therapist Assistant program can be completed in as few as 19 months.
What do you need to be a physical therapist assistant?
According to the BLS, All states require physical therapist assistants to have an associate’s degree from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education and to be licensed or certified.4Licensure typically involves passing the National Physical Therapy Exam for physical therapist assistants. Some states require that applicants pass an exam on the state’s laws regulating the practice of physical therapist assistants.
What degree do you need to be a physical therapist assistant?
According to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, physical therapist assistants must have an associate degree from a program approved by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.5
*The College does not guarantee students will successfully pass these exams or be certified or licensed as a result of completing the program. To work as a physical therapist assistant in California, graduates must also pass the California Law Examination (CLE), which relates to the practice of physical therapy.
- Student loans, grants and scholarships are available to those who qualify.