How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Arizona

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Embarking on the journey to become a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) in the Grand Canyon State of Arizona is a fulfilling endeavor.

This guide will walk you through the steps and requirements for pursuing a career as a PTA in the beautiful landscape of Arizona.

Discover the educational prerequisites, crucial exams, and unique opportunities for PTAs in this southwestern state.

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Complete an Accredited PTA Program in Arizona

To become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Arizona starts with completing an accredited PTA program.

  • Choosing the Right Program: When selecting a program, consider factors such as the curriculum, faculty expertise, facilities, and the program’s track record of graduation and licensure exam pass rates.
  • Accreditation: Ensure that the program you choose is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). This certification signifies that the program meets the professional standards necessary for a PTA career.

Pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for PTAs

Once you’ve completed an accredited program in Arizona, the next step is to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for PTAs.

  • The NPTE: The NPTE for PTAs is an examination designed to assess candidates’ competence and knowledge in physical therapy. Administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT), this exam covers various topics, including physical therapy principles and procedures, patient care, and ethical and legal considerations in practice.
  • Registration Process: To take the NPTE, you must first register with the FSBPT and pay the examination fee.
  • Staying Informed: Stay up-to-date with any changes in the NPTE format content by regularly visiting the FSBPT website.

Apply for Licensure in Arizona

Arizona State Board of Physical Therapy oversees this process, which ensures that all practicing PTAs meet the necessary professional standards.

  • Application Procedure: When applying to the Arizona State Board of Physical Therapy, your application should include documentation of your educational qualifications, such as a PTA program diploma and NPTE scores.
  • Jurisprudence Requirement: Arizona may require applicants to pass a jurisprudence exam, testing their knowledge of the state’s laws and regulations regarding physical therapy practice.

Maintain and Renew Your License

This process typically involves several key steps:

  • Renewal Cycle: The PTA license in Arizona is subject to renewal every two years. It’s essential to keep track of renewal dates and requirements.
  • Compliance with State Regulations: Staying informed about any changes in state laws or licensure requirements is vital to ensure uninterrupted practice.

Starting Your First Job as a Physical Therapist Assistant in Arizona

When commencing your newly licensed (PTA) career in Arizona, here are some practical steps and tips to help you secure your first job:

  • Clinical Internships: The connections you made during your clinical experiences. Contact the professionals you worked with during your internships for job leads or recommendations.
  • Job Search Resources: Take advantage of general job boards and those specific to healthcare or physical therapy. Websites like the Arizona Physical Therapy Association (AzPTA) job board can be helpful.
  • Stay Open to Learning: Your first job continues your education. Be receptive to feedback and learning from more experienced colleagues.

Physical Therapist Assistant Schools in Arizona

Gateway Community CollegeGateway Community College

    • Program Duration: Course length two years
    • Cost: Approximately $6,000 for in-state tuition
    • Additional Information: Gateway Community College offers a comprehensive PTA program with a strong emphasis on clinical experience.

Pima Medical InstitutePima Medical Institute

    • Program Duration: Course length 20 months
    • Cost: Contact the institute directly
    • Additional Information: The Pima Medical Institute provides PTA students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Carrington CollegeCarrington College

    • Program Duration: Course length two years
    • Cost: Approximately. Contact the college for up-to-date fees
    • Additional Information: Carrington College offers a PTA program that prepares students for success in the field through rigorous coursework and clinical training.

Top 3 Schools in Arizona

School NameAddress
Gateway Community College´╗┐108 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85034, United States
Pima Medical Institute2121 N Craycroft Rd Building 1, Tucson, AZ 85712, United States
Carrington College8909 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95826, United States

Salary

The average salary for Physical Therapist Assistants in Arizona is approximately $64,300 annually.

It’s important to note that salary figures can vary based on several factors, including experience, location, and the specific healthcare facility or employer.

Here are some key factors to consider regarding PTA salaries in Arizona:

  • Experience: Typically, PTAs with more experience tend to earn higher salaries. As you gain more years of practice and expertise, you may become eligible for higher-paying positions or salary increases.
  • Location: The geographic location within Arizona can impact PTA salaries. PTAs working in larger cities like Phoenix and Tucson may earn slightly higher wages than those in rural areas due to differences in the cost of living and demand for healthcare services.
  • Healthcare Setting: PTAs can work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes. The salary may vary depending on the type of facility.
  • Additional Benefits: Besides base salaries, PTAs may receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. The total compensation package can vary from one employer to another.
  • Career Advancement: Some PTAs may pursue advanced certifications or additional education to advance their careers. These efforts can lead to opportunities for higher-paying positions or specialized roles within physical therapy.

Researching and considering these factors is essential when assessing potential salary prospects as a PTA in Arizona.

Additionally, staying updated on industry trends and job market conditions can help you make informed decisions regarding your career.

Annual Salary Range:
$31K
$35K
$40K

Average Salary of Physical Therapist Assistants in Arizona

City NameSalary
Phoenix$35,700
Tucson$34,300
Mesa$35,700
Glendale$35,700
Scottsdale$35,700
Chandler$35,700
Tempe$35,700
Gilbert$35,700
Peoria$35,600
Yuma$34,300
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Arizona

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Flagstaff, AZ30$63,670$30.61$80,280$51,130
Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ60$57,670$27.72$69,950$48,110
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ930$63,710$30.63$80,460$34,030
Prescott, AZ40$68,380$32.88$87,630$57,180
Tucson, AZ260$62,500$30.05$78,810$45,380
Yuma, AZ40$54,870$26.38$85,660$28,400
* 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 Arizona in need of Physical Therapist Assistants?

Arizona consistently has demand for PTAs, particularly in healthcare facilities nationwide.

Are there any Arizona-specific requirements for PTAs?

Arizona may have specific continuing education or jurisprudence exam prerequisites besides national requirements.

Can I work as a PTA in Arizona while I'm still in the process of obtaining my license?

In Arizona, you must have a valid PTA license to practice legally.

Working as a PTA without a license is not permitted, even if you have completed your education and are waiting for licensure approval.

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

Arizona does not have reciprocity agreements with other states for PTA licensure.

If you hold a PTA license from another state and wish to practice in Arizona, you must apply for Arizona licensure separately.

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