How To Choose the Best Physical Therapy Assistant School

Prospective students interested in the field of physical therapy often don’t realize the number of opportunities that exist in terms of employment and education through physical therapy assistant schools. It’s a great way to quickly launch yourself into an exciting career, gain hands on experience, prepare yourself for potentially more education in the future and earn a great salary all at the same time. Take a look at some information below about finding PTA schools and choosing between them.

First, it’s important to take a minute to learn a little bit more about PTA schools. As mentioned, many people are surprised at the number of physical therapy assistant schools out there and the number of programs which are currently open to new students. The latest figures show that there are 235 accredited PTA schools, with a total of 252 programs, ensuring there’s one that is going to be great for you.

Programs for PTA schools will take about two years to complete, and generally will consist of five semesters worth of credits. Students will end up with an associates degree, and programs are offered at technical schools, community colleges and universities. In order to take and pass your national examination and then to become licensed, you need to choose amongst CAPTE accredited programs, which is the accreditation governing body for the entire field of physical therapy.

Now that you know a little bit about physical therapy assistant schools in general, it’s time to take a look at how you can go about choosing between them. Hundreds of programs is fantastic because it means that you have a wide array of options, but it also means you’ll need to narrow down the list and find something that’s a match for you and your own needs.

One of the main things that you’ll want to learn will be about clinical education opportunities, work partnerships, internships and other firsthand opportunities for students and also recent graduates. The position itself is really all about hands on interaction with patients, so that’s going to be the most valuable piece of your education and training. Learning about the opportunities available to you in this regard and how you’ll gain that experience is very important and will play a large role in your educational decision making process.

You’ll also want to think about things such as employment opportunities and employment rates for recent graduates. Also take a look at what percentage of students pass and obtain licensure immediately. Both of these factors will show you the quality of the school and the education you receive, as well as the quality of the students who enroll there and go on to enjoy successful careers afterwards.

As you can see, there is plenty to think about when it comes to physical therapy assistant schools. First and foremost, make sure it’s a CAPTE accredited program. Then consider what kinds of experience and clinical opportunities, employment potential and more will be awaiting you. Finally, as with schools of all kinds, be sure to think about the cost of the program, financial aid and other assistance which will be available to you, and if you do all of this, you’ll find the right PTA schools to choose from to launch your new career.


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