How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Alabama

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Pursuing a profession as a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) in Alabama opens doors to an extraordinary career and the chance to make a real difference in people’s lives.

This article will guide you through the essential procedures to embark on this fantastic career.

Whether you’re just starting or looking to change jobs, understanding the path to becoming a PTA in Alabama is your first step toward a fulfilling future.

Complete an Accredited PTA Program

The importance of accreditation cannot be overstated, as it guarantees that the program adheres to the criteria established by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

  • Program duration: Prospective students can expect a typical completion timeframe of approximately two years. These programs are available at community colleges, technical schools, and select universities. The curriculum is carefully crafted to offer a well-rounded blend of theoretical knowledge through classroom instruction and practical skills attained from hands-on clinical experience.
  • Course Overview: The curriculum encompasses a range of subjects essential for aspiring physical therapists. It delves into the intricacies of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, and specialized courses tailored to the field, like therapeutic exercises and modalities.
  • Practical Training: An integral component of these programs is providing students with ample clinical exposure. This hands-on experience allows them to gain valuable insights while working under the guidance of experienced licensed physical therapists.
  • Finding the Perfect Program: Selecting a program is crucial and necessitates carefully considering various factors. These include but are not limited to location, affordability, class size, and the track record of successful graduates in terms of graduation rates and their performance on licensure exams.
  • Program Completion: Upon completing the chosen program, physical therapist assistants (PTAs) gain eligibility to undertake the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE). This examination is pivotal for PTAs seeking licensure within Alabama’s healthcare system.

Pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for PTAs

After completing an accredited Physical Therapist Assistant program, you must pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for PTAs.

This exam, which is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT), is a test that assesses the competency of entry-level PTAs.

  • Exam Overview: The exam is a comprehensive examination. Multiple-choice questions cover physical therapy data collection, interventions, and safety and protection. The exam tests the knowledge, skills, and abilities essential for safe and effective practice as a PTA.
  • Registration and Scheduling: Candidates must first register with the FSBPT and then schedule their exam. It’s essential to be mindful of registration deadlines and available testing dates.
  • Exam Results and Retakes: The results are typically available a few weeks after the test date. In case of not passing, candidates can retake the exam, keeping in mind the FSBPT’s retake policy and any state-specific rules.

Passing the NPTE for PTAs is a critical step in your journey. It validates your educational background and practical skills and opens the door to a fulfilling career as a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant in Alabama.

Obtain Licensure in Alabama

Once you have passed the NPTE for PTAs, obtaining licensure in Alabama is the next crucial step.

The Alabama Board of Physical Therapy oversees the licensure process for PTAs in the state.

  • Application Process: The process begins with submitting a licensure application to the Alabama Board of Physical Therapy. Applicants must provide proof of completion of an accredited PTA program and NPTE scores.
  • Fees and Additional Requirements: Candidates must pay the required fees along with the application. There may also be additional requirements, such as background checks or proof of legal residency or citizenship.
  • Jurisprudence Exam: Alabama requires applicants to pass a jurisprudence exam covering state laws and regulations related to physical therapy practice.
  • License: Once all requirements are met and verified, the Board issues a license to practice as a PTA in Alabama. This license is a legal requirement to work in the state and ensures that all practicing PTAs meet the necessary standards of professionalism and competency.

Maintain and Renew License

Maintaining and renewing your license is essential for continued practice as a PTA in Alabama.

  • Continuing Education: Alabama requires PTAs to complete continuing education (CE) for license renewal. These CE requirements ensure that PTAs stay current with the latest developments and techniques in physical therapy.
  • Renewal Period: The license renewal period in Alabama is every two years. PTAs must submit proof of completed CE credits and pay the renewal fee during this period.
  • Professional Development: Beyond meeting CE requirements, many PTAs pursue additional certifications or specializations, attend workshops, and participate in professional organizations. These activities fulfill CE requirements and enhance professional growth and opportunities.
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Physical Therapist Assistant Schools in Alabama

Wallace State Community CollegeWallace State Community College.

  • Program Duration: 5 semesters.
  • Cost: Approximately $6000.
  • Unique Features: Hands-on clinical experience.

South University-MontgomerySouth University-Montgomery.

  • Program Duration: 2 years.
  • Cost: Contact the college directly.
  • Special Features: Small class sizes, comprehensive curriculum.

Bishop State Community CollegeBishop State Community College.

  • Program Duration: 2 years.
  • Cost: Contact the college directly.
  • Unique Features: Focus on practical skills and real-world scenarios.

Top 3 Schools in Alabama

School NameAddress
Wallace State Community College.801 Main Street Northwest, Hanceville, AL 35077, United States
South University-Montgomery5355 Vaughn Rd, Montgomery, AL 36116, United States
Bishop State Community College351 N Broad St, Mobile, AL 36603, United States


In Alabama, Physical Therapist Assistants can expect an average salary of approximately $31,000 annually.

This figure can vary based on experience, location, and type of employment.

Working as a PTA in Alabama offers a competitive salary and a chance to be part of a growing field.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Physical Therapist Assistants in Alabama

City NameSalary
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Alabama

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL40$58,640$28.19$78,180$31,350
Auburn-Opelika, AL40$47,940$23.05$64,250$22,450
Birmingham-Hoover, AL620$54,830$26.36$80,340$31,690
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL60$58,570$28.16$80,580$22,460
Decatur, AL50$63,840$30.69$86,430$47,840
Dothan, AL80$58,150$27.96$77,580$47,900
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL60$61,320$29.48$87,740$32,590
Gadsden, AL100$60,420$29.05$70,390$46,540
Huntsville, AL180$61,650$29.64$84,130$37,650
Mobile, AL170$58,750$28.24$75,740$34,890
Montgomery, AL100$61,440$29.54$79,070$49,750
Tuscaloosa, AL80$62,840$30.21$85,900$49,020
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Physical Therapist Assistants, OCC Code 31-2021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a license required to practice as a PTA in Alabama?

A valid state license is mandatory to practice in Alabama.

Can I transfer my PTA license from another state to Alabama?

Yes, but you must meet Alabama’s licensure requirements, which may include additional exams or documentation.

Are there any continuing education requirements for PTAs in Alabama?

PTAs must complete continuing education credits to maintain and renew their license every two years.

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