Become a Physical Therapist Assistant With an Online Associate Degree

September 19th, 2012 by

Physical Therapy Assistant Degree Wanting to help others within the medical profession is a noble calling, but not everyone with this desire can necessarily devote a decade or longer to their formal education. Thankfully, there are a number of different positions that require significantly less education and far fewer years spent attending college.

One of the best choices for many individuals is to become an assistant physical therapist. With an online associate degree in the field, you can begin working in as little as 18 months.

If this kind of career interests you, then be sure to read on for more information on the degree program itself, what kinds of courses and subjects you can expect to study, the various careers available to you after graduation, reasons to pursue your degree online and what kind of person will enjoy being a physical therapist.

Understanding the Physical Therapist Assisting – Associate Degree

A typical associate degree in becoming a physical therapy assistant consists of 60 credits and takes an average of two years to complete. Those who are interested in pursuing this degree should already have a high school diploma and some interest in the field, but typically there are no prerequisites for specific classes or grade point averages. The course will prepare graduates to work alongside licensed physical therapists in hospitals, nursing homes and private sports rehabilitation facilities. Your job might include tasks like setting up for appointments, observing and recording patient progress and helping patients with their at home exercises and therapy.

Typical Courses and Curriculum For This Degree Program

Although there are roughly 20 classes necessary in order to achieve your 60 credits and graduate with an associate degree in physical therapy assisting, only about two-thirds of these classes will be directly related to physical therapy. These pertinent core curriculum classes will typically include anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, rehabilitation techniques and therapeutic exercises. General education courses that will be added to your schedule are needed to fulfill the general education requirements and might include history, writing composition or math.

Careers and Salary Expectations After Graduation

The primary reason that so many college students are studying to become physical therapy assistants is because it is one of the most in-demand careers available. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for physical therapy assistants and aides will increase by a staggering 46 percent over the next decade. In addition, the average salary for physical therapy assistants is $37,000, a surprisingly large number for just an associate degree. Of course, with experience that number is expected to grow even bigger.

Advantages of an Online Education

There are many reasons why studying for your degree is easier online than in a traditional college campus. Online educations are often more affordable, more convenient and more flexible than their traditional counterparts. Rather than spending your time on a train, bus or car each day to get to campus, you can simply wake up and log onto your computer to begin studying, watching live lectures or even participating in group discussions with your classmates.

Attributes of the Top Physical Therapy Assistants

In order to be a successful physical therapy assistant, you should enjoy working with people in daily life, be able to follow instructions well and have strong science and anatomy knowledge. Since you will be working directly under a physical therapist, you should be okay with following directions and obeying instructions whenever necessary.

Working as a physical therapy assistant is a popular, lucrative and rapidly growing career. If you are interested in making this your job, then pursue an online degree at the associate level today.

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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