Going to school or going back to school can be a very expensive proposition. In fact, it remains as one of the major factors standing between individuals who want to pursue further education and begin a new line of work. Therefore, it’s very important to get a good sense of what you can expect in terms of total cost for a program before you get started. Here, you’ll find some information on data on the cost of a physical therapy assistant school, and you’ll be able to judge for yourself what may or may not be feasible for you.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, and CAPTE, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, the average tuition and fee rate for a PTA program was about $7,800 for a public in-state school, and $26,500 for a private institution. These numbers are from 2008, so it’s likely that today you’ll see increases, although they shouldn’t be drastic after just a handful of years. Clearly, the difference between public in-state and private institutions is vast, and it’s enough to make many candidates choose a local, public university or college.
Knowing that information, it’s important to note that an associates degree as a physical therapy assistant will last just two years. With the average tuition data and projections, you can double that figure, and you’ll have your total for two years of education, plus any books and other fees that you’ll need along the way.
Being only a two-year program, costs are kept much more in line than three or four year programs, where things can quickly spiral beyond reach. Two years will get you in and out quick and will prevent you from spending too much, while enabling you to rapidly begin your new career.
Another huge factor that you’ll have to remember is that physical therapy assistants are in very high demand right now in terms of employment potential. From 2008 to 2018, there’s a projected growth rate of 33% for PT assistants, with a total industry rate of growth, also including PT aides, of 35%.
That means that once you have completed your program, you can immediately begin earning a salary and enjoying a healthy wage which will allow you to pay for your education and then some. This is opposed to many other educational programs and current occupations which have a very hefty price tag, and then bring you straight into a dead end where you won’t be able to find work or earn that improved salary.
As mentioned, going back to school is never cheap. However, PTA programs are typically not prohibitively expensive either. With just a two-year program, costs are also reduced versus longer educational tracks or programs which require full bachelors degrees. With scholarships and financial aid readily available, and most importantly, a field with great employment opportunities awaiting you, heading to school to become a physical therapy assistant is reasonable and accessible for most individuals.