Physical Therapy Assistant Schools
Researching physical therapy assistant schools is the first step to starting a career as a PTA. Further research has disclosed that the financial rewards of this occupation can be substantially lucrative, from as low as $39,900 to $120,000 and higher depending on geographical location and industry. Now, you need to decide how and where to get your training and a look into physical therapy assistant schools in your area is required.
Physical Therapy Assistant Schools
There are many things to consider when choosing the path to your new career. The first thing necessary is a high school diploma or General Education Degree (GED). Armed with these basics you can now consider making both short and long term decisions, such as:
- Short term – focus only on a two year Associates degree. Get into the field as quickly as possible.
- Long term – plan to achieve a Bachelor’s degree in preparation for an eventual move up to a position as a Physical Therapist.
- Short term – convenience; consider only schools closest to your current place of residence.
- Long term – recognize that attending a highly respected and recognized school in the field may require uprooting yourself, your family, etc.
Accredited Physical Therapy Assistant Schools
The accreditation process is controlled by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). They are responsible to assure quality, not only that the quality of your course work is exemplary, but also, that the schools have a history of producing highly qualified practitioners to serve the public.
You cannot take the licensure exam unless you have graduated from a CAPTE accredited curriculum. Costs and financial aid vary from school to school and tuition fees can be mitigated through grants and scholarships from state and federal programs.
Public versus Private Schools
The decision to choose a private school rather than a public school should incorporate several factors, the least of which should focus on financial matters alone. Both offer accredited programs that can be completed in two years as a full time student. While it is possible to participate part-time, such as in the evenings and on weekends, locating schools that offer this option and are not overbooked can be very difficult.
The curriculum at private and public schools will include academic course work such as Mathematics and English etc., as well as clinical practice studies such as physical therapy, anatomy, physiology, disabilities and, psychology, medical terminology and medical ethics. The best schools that offer physical therapy assistant certification programs, will also include training to prepare to take the licensure examination. Certain certifications can also be acquired during your education process such as a First Aid Certification, and a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Certification. As a part of your laboratory requirements and clinical practice, you will get hands on experience working with and assisting physical therapists in the field.
Because enrollment at private colleges can be and usually is limited, a side benefit is the fact that class sizes are also limited. What this means is that you can expect more individual attention and help from your instructors and professors. Additionally, due to better funding in some cases, students at many private schools enjoy better-equipped classrooms and laboratories, as well as more experienced and better-qualified instructors. In the end, one important factor to consider is the success rate of a graduating class. Whether public or private, if a school is churning out successful and highly respected alumni, that is where you can gauge the highest return on investment.
It is usually a given that the cost of attending a private school is higher than the cost of a public education, but although precise comparisons can be difficult, a rule of thumb indicates that costs can be at least three times higher and often run a great deal more than that.
Physical Therapy Assistant Schools Online
This option works very well for those individuals with work or family constraints. While it is important to deal only with CAPTE accredited schools, you need to be aware that only a portion of your training can be actually done online. The laboratory work practice and clinical practice in a healthcare setting must be completed in person.
Of the states with the highest mean wages for this occupation, the number of accredited physical therapy assistant schools in California is only six, with more than half located in southern California. For those living in the southwest, the physical therapy assistant schools in Texas boast a number of almost twenty accredited institutions.
As you can see, going through a training program is the first step to a high paying physical therapy assistant salary. There are many options available to those who are ready to look into physical therapy assistant schools and begin a new life in healthcare.
Physical Therapy Assistant Schools By State
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