Career Profile: Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapy assistants helping older male patients

Get Started Towards Your Physical Therapist Assistant Career With Cambridge

At Cambridge, we offer students interested in a career in physical therapy our Physical Therapist Assistant program. In as little as two years, students have the ability to enter the workforce as certified physical therapist assistants, working in a wide range of practices and specialties.

What Does a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Do?

For patients recovering from injuries and illnesses, physical therapist assistants help improve their movement and function. They provide physical therapy treatments, exercises and more under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Each day, you’ll meet patients of varying ages and needs such as athletes recovering from sports injuries or infants struggling to reach developmental milestones.

PTAs work in a wide variety of settings such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and schools. Daily patient care may include strength and coordination training, instruction on walking with crutches, massage, electrotherapy and more.

What Certifications or Degrees Do I Need to Become a PTA?

Physical therapist assistants must successfully complete an associate degree program such as the Associate of Science in Physical Therapy program provided by Cambridge. After successful completion, students must take and pass the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy’s NPTE exam for certification and employment.

A PTA curriculum should include coursework such as:

  • Kinesiology
  • Health science
  • Medical terminology
  • PTA techniques
  • Growth and development
  • Fundamentals of disease

What Is the Employment Outlook for a Physical Therapist Assistant?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of physical therapist assistants will grow 30% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for most occupations. Demand for PTAs will continue to increase in response to the healthcare needs of the elderly population and individuals with chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

Currently, the average pay for a physical therapist assistant is $70,982 per year depending on location and specialty.

Start Your Physical Therapist Assistant Career With Cambridge

Ready to jumpstart your career in physical therapy? Cambridge offers a 2-year Associate of Science degree in Physical Therapy to help get you started. To learn more about our program or to speak with an advisor, give us a call at 877-206-4279 today.