Anyone interested in becoming a physical therapist assistant will need to get the right education. Finding the right schools provides the individual with the skills that are necessary in the job but some individuals do not take the school selection procedure seriously and end up with schools offering inferior programs. So pay attention to the little details when you are selecting the school to study at!
Most states require physical therapist assistants to pass national licensing examinations that prepare the students for the job. A degree from an accredited physical therapy school is a requirement. The program, which often takes two years, is a mandatory requirement. The programs will tend to differ depending on the school, but all will have academic as well as hands-on experience. Choosing the right school is an important decision and it is wise to review all the programs available from different schools in order to find the most suitable one.
The physical therapy school has to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education. This is the only organization that is authorized by the Department of Education to oversee the programs. There are over two hundred schools countrywide that have this accreditation, and information about the schools can be obtained from the commission’s website.
When selecting a school, it is wise to train in the state where you plan to work. The physical therapy schools in each state will be better equipped to cater for the needs of that particular state. You can get a better idea of what is required in the state and during the work experience you will be able to work with people who can be your future employers. This will give you a good head start when it comes to finding a job. You will also gain contacts, which is very important in this industry.
A number of online colleges offer physical therapy assistant programs. The online schools offer courses online that make up part of the curriculum. It is important to note that only some modules are offered online, as lab classes have to be taken on site. The workplace experience will also have to be completed before a license can be acquired. Online courses are often more appropriate for those who have already acquired a degree and are looking to enhance their education through continuing classes. Before enrolling for an online program, find out if it is accredited.
The costs for physical therapy assistant schools often vary depending on the city or state, and the type of school. There is a difference between what the private and public schools charge and the costs can vary tremendously. Costs for private schools are much higher, and in some cases can be double those of public schools. Public colleges located in a person’s own state will usually offer the cheapest rates. It is often better to go to school where you live if you are hoping to cut costs. The public colleges often receive subsidies from the state government and local communities. This helps to benefit the local residents who can receive lower tuition costs to attend the state colleges.