Physical Therapist Assistant Schools

Physical Therapist Assistant

Program Accreditation Status:

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at The Praxis Institute is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314 Telephone: 703-706-3245; Email:; Website:

Feedback   or comments regarding the PTA program could be directed to the programdirector at

Feedback or comments regarding the PTA Program Director could be directed to: Flavio Alfie at 1850 SW 8th Street, 4th Floor Miami, FL 33135

What is Physical Therapy?

The American Physical Therapy Association defines physical therapy as “…a health profession whose primary purpose is the promotion of optimal human health and function through the application of scientific principles to prevent, identify, assess, correct, or alleviate acute or prolonged movement dysfunction”.

Physical Therapy is a profession whose primary purpose is the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal health, function, and quality of life for people of all ages. The science of physical therapy involves the application of therapeutic modalities, techniques, and interventions that help rehabilitate a person to their maximum physical potential. The art of physical therapy is helping people help themselves.

In laws and regulations defining practice, physical therapy is often defined as the care and services provided by a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist, and include:

  • Alleviating impairment and functional limitation by designing, implementing, and modifying therapeutic interventions;
    Preventing injury, impairment, functional limitation and disability; and Engaging in consultation, education, and research.
  • More information about the profession of physical therapy may be obtained by visiting the American Physical Therapy Association’s web site at

Who are Physical Therapist Assistants?

Physical Therapist Assistants, or PTA’s, are skilled health care providers who work with and under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist to provide physical therapy services. In order for an individual to practice as a PTA, they must graduate from an accredited PTA program and successfully pass a licensing/certification exam.

PTA’s play an integral role in providing physical therapy services for people with various disabilities. When a patient seeks or is referred for physical therapy services, the physical therapist performs an initial evaluation and outlines a plan of care. The PTA can then carry out all or part of the treatment plan as instructed by the physical therapist.

The American Physical Therapy Association recognizes the PTA as the only individual who assists the physical therapist in the delivery of selected physical therapy interventions.

What does a Physical Therapist Assistant do?

The physical therapist assistant (PTA) performs physical therapy interventions and related tasks under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. Such duties may include training patients in therapeutic exercise and activities of daily living, using physical agents such as cold, heat, electricity, or water for pain relief and healing, instructing persons in the use of assistive devices for walking, participating in wound care, promoting wellness and injury prevention, providing patient and family education, training patients in wheelchair activities, assisting the physical therapist in performing patient assessments and complex interventions, and much more.

The PTA also monitors the patient’s response to treatment, performs various tests and measures, documents relevant aspects of patient care, and maintains ongoing communication with the supervising physical therapist, as well as other health care professionals.

What is the difference between a PT and a PTA?

The physical therapist (PT) and the physical therapist assistant (PTA) differ in educational preparation and levels of responsibilities as it relates to the provision of physical therapy services.

Today, the overwhelming majority of PT schools educate physical therapists at the Doctorate level, although many practicing therapists were educated when programs required only a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree. The PTA is educated at the Associate’s degree level, which generally equates to two years of college.

The PTA has a working knowledge of the theory behind treatment interventions, knows pathological conditions being treated, and understands how to apply modalities and techniques used to treat those conditions.

The PT has extensive education in evaluative skills, research, and administration, as well as advanced coursework in human anatomy, neuroanatomy, orthopedics, pathology, and therapeutic techniques. Both the PT and the PTA must graduate from accredited programs and pass a licensing examination in order to practice in their respective roles.

Consumers/patients may seek the services of the physical therapist directly, or, the patient may be referred to a physical therapist by a physician. The PT performs the initial examination and evaluation of the patient. The evaluation will result in a physical therapy diagnosis, and as appropriate, the PT will establish goals or outcomes to be accomplished by a physical therapy plan of care and treatment plan.

The PTA cannot perform the initial examination or evaluation; however, the PTA may assist the PT in collecting data. Following the evaluation of the patient, the PTA may perform selected interventions and data collection as directed by the supervising PT. The PTA must always work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. The collaborative relationship between the PT/PTA is highly effective and valued, and the team greatly contributes to the success of the overall rehabilitation process.

Where do PTAs work?

PTAs work in hospitals, private practices, community health centers, corporate or industrial health centers, sports medicine facilities, research institutions, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, schools, and pediatric facilities. PTAs may also teach in colleges and universities. Full-time PTAs generally work a 40-hour week, Monday through Friday, with some practice settings requiring weekend or evening hours in order to meet the needs of patients served.

What is the job outlook and job prospect for PTAs?*

Job Outlook – The employment outlook for PTAs is generally very good throughout the United States at the present time. Employment trends for the PTA have historically been positive, despite the profession moving though a changing healthcare market.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2011-2012 Edition, employment of physical therapist assistants is expected to grow by 46 percent from 2010 through 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Changes to restrictions on reimbursement for physical therapy services by third-party payers will increase patient access to services and, thus, increase demand. The increasing number of people who need therapy reflects, in part, the increasing elderly population. The elderly population is particularly vulnerable to chronic and debilitating conditions that require therapeutic services. These patients often need additional assistance in their treatment, making the roles of assistants and aides vital. In addition, the large baby-boom generation is entering the prime age for heart attacks and strokes, further increasing the demand for cardiac and physical rehabilitation.

Medical and technological developments should permit an increased percentage of trauma victims and newborns with birth defects to survive, creating added demand for therapy and rehabilitative services. An increase of Veterans or Military Officers returning after servicing in areas of conflict, do also add to the increasing demand of physical therapy services.

Job prospects – Opportunities for individuals interested in becoming physical therapist assistants are expected to be very good; with help from physical therapist assistants, physical therapists are able to manage more patients. In addition to employment growth, job openings will result from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation permanently. Job opportunities should be particularly good in acute hospital, skilled nursing, and orthopedic settings, where the elderly are most often treated. Job prospects should be especially favorable in rural areas, as many physical therapists tend to cluster in highly populated urban and suburban areas.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, projects employment rates for the PTA to increase much faster than average through 2020. Current graduates enjoy a variety of practice opportunities in an open employment market.


What do PTAs earn?*

Earnings of PTAs depend on the employment setting and geographic location as well as the individual’s training and experience.

Median annual wages of physical therapist assistants were $49,690 in May 2010.



Name of Program: Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Names of occupations for which training in this program is provided:
Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
SOC code number: 31-2021
For profiles on these occupations see
Program Costs:
Fee: $ 100.00
Tuition: $39,900
Books and supplies: $1600.00
Other costs: $400.00
Total: $42,000


Associate in Science
Program Outline

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
General Requirements
MAT 100 College Algebra 3
SPC 100 Basics of Speech Communication 3
ENC 101 College Composition I 3
ENC 102 College Composition II 3
HSC 100 Anatomy & Physiology I (+Lab) 3
HSC 102 Anatomy & Physiology II (+Lab) 3
HSC 103 Intro to Psychology 3
Specialty/Core Courses
PTA 100 Introduction to PTA 4
PTA 101 Kinesiology (+Lab) 4
PTA 102 Physical Agents (+ Lab) 4
PTA 200 Therapeutic Exercise I 3
PTA 201 Therapeutic Exercise II (+ Lab) 4
PTA 202 Patient Care Procedures (+ Lab) 4
PTA 203 Documentation, Test & Measurements (+ Lab) 4
PTA 205 Pathological Conditions 6
PTA 208 Neuro-Rehabilitation (+ Lab) 4
PTA 220 Clinical Experience I 2
PTA 221 Clinical Experience II 5
PTA 222 Clinical Experience III 5
PTA 223 Seminar 3

This program is offered only in the Miami campus.

PTA Program Outcomes

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program at The Praxis Institute (TPI) is committed to standards of excellence in the delivery of education and its operation. In order to fulfill this commitment, the academic, clinical, administrative, and professional staff will continuously demonstrate a constant endeavor to promote the delivery of quality education.

The program assessment plan shall assist the institution and program administration in their efforts to assure compliance with standards of excellence by identifying areas of deficits and working towards improving them. The plan accurately reflects and is congruent with the institution’s mission and philosophy.

The table below displays graduation rate, ultimate licensure pass rate, and employment rate in a table form by year. Since the program does not have three years of outcome data yet, current reported rates are based on the available data and its respective time frames (year). Once three years of data are available, the reported outcomes will represent an average of the program’s performance during the three most recent years.

Class of: Graduation Rate Board Passing Rate Employment Rate
2013 75% 100% 100%
2014 87% 96% 88%
2015 86% 80% * 75% *

* Preliminary Outcome

Accredited By CAPTE

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Are you interested in therapeutic, sports and clinical massage and relieving a patient's acute and chronic pain. Through The Praxis Institute's Advanced Therapeutic, Sports & Clinical Massage program, students obtain a diploma, and in addition, certification in spa therapies, deep tissue, sport massage, electro-stimulation, ultrasound, laser, neuromuscular therapy and holistic lymphatic drainage

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The Praxis Institute

1850 S.W. 8th Street 4th Floor

4162 W 12th Ave.