How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Arkansas

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Embarking on a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) career in Arkansas offers an exciting blend of fulfillment and professional growth.

Here, we will guide you through the essential steps, providing a roadmap from education to certification.

Dive in to uncover the pathways, educational institutions, costs, and potential earnings that shape this rewarding healthcare career in the Natural State.

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Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Arkansas – Step by Step

Educational Requirements for PTAs

Beginning a career as a Physical Therapist Assistant in Arkansas starts with a solid educational foundation.

Prospective PTAs must enroll in a program by the CAPTE.

This ensures the program meets the high standards required for a successful career in physical therapy

  • Finding an Accredited Program: Arkansas hosts several accredited programs. Each offers a curriculum to provide the knowledge and practical skills essential for a PTA.
  • Program Curriculum: Most PTA programs blend classroom learning with clinical experience. Core subjects typically include anatomy, physiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, and management. Additionally, students undergo supervised clinical practicums to gain hands-on experience in patient care.
  • Additional Requirements: Some programs may have prerequisites, such as volunteer hours in a physical therapy setting or specific coursework. Applicants need to check particular program requirements.

Licensing Requirements

Once you have completed an accredited Physical Therapist Assistant program, the next step is obtaining your license to practice in Arkansas.

This process is crucial, ensuring you meet the professional standards to provide safe and effective patient care.

  • National Physical Therapy Exam for PTAs: The first requirement is passing the NPTE for PTAs, an examination administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). This exam is required for licensure in all states, including Arkansas.
  • Arkansas State-Specific Requirements: Besides passing the NPTE, you must fulfill any Arkansas-specific requirements. These can include a jurisprudence exam, background checks, or additional documentation. It’s essential to consult the Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy for current requirements.
  • Application for Licensure: After successfully passing the NPTE and meeting state-specific requirements, you can apply for licensure through the Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy. This process will include submitting your educational credentials, NPTE scores, and any other required documentation, along with the necessary application fees.

Application Process

The final step is the application process for state licensure.

This is a critical stage where you officially become recognized as a qualified PTA.

  • Submission of Application: Submit a licensure application to the Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy. This application should include your details, educational background, and proof of program completion from an accredited PTA school.
  • Documentation and Fees: Along with your application, provide documentation of your passing score, any required state-specific exams, and a background check if necessary. There are also application and licensing fees, which vary and should be confirmed directly with the state board.

Securing Your First Job as a Physical Therapist Assistant

 Landing your first job as a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) in Arkansas is an exciting and pivotal step in your professional journey.

Here are some strategic approaches to help you navigate this process effectively:

  • Your Network: Utilize connections made during your clinical rotations and educational training. Instructors, classmates, and professionals you met during clinical experiences can provide help with leads and recommendations.
  • Attend Job Fairs and Industry Events: Attend healthcare job fairs and networking events. These venues often provide you with direct access to employers.
  • Apply to Various Settings: PTAs in Arkansas work in diverse environments, including hospitals, private clinics, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes. Applying to various settings can increase your chances of finding a job that suits your interests and skills.

Physical Therapist Assistant Schools in Arkansas

Arkansas offers many options for those seeking to become Physical Therapist Assistants through accredited educational programs.

Below are some of the notable schools in Arkansas that provide PTA programs.

Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (ASUMH)Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (ASUMH)

    • Program Details: ASUMH offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant. The curriculum is designed to be completed in two years, including clinical rotations in various settings.
    • Cost: The program’s cost can be found on the ASUMH website, where tuition rates and additional fees are regularly updated.

Arkansas Tech UniversityArkansas Tech University.

  • Program Details: This program is approximately two years, blending classroom learning with practical clinical experience.
  • Cost: Detailed information about the program’s cost is available by contacting the college’s financial aid office.

South Arkansas Community College (SouthArk)South Arkansas Community College (SouthArk)

    • Program Details: SouthArk’s PTA program leads to an Associate of Applied Science degree, designed to be completed in two years. The program includes essential coursework and extensive clinical training.
    • Cost: Prospective students should refer to SouthArk’s website for up-to-date tuition information and any additional costs associated with the program.

Top 3 Schools in Arkansas

School NameAddress
Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (ASUMH)1600 S College St, Mountain Home, AR 72653, United States
Arkansas Tech University215 W O St, Russellville, AR 72801, United States
South Arkansas Community College (SouthArk)300 S West Ave, El Dorado, AR 71730, United States


The average annual salary for PTAs in Arkansas was around $57,103.

However, salaries can vary based on several factors, including geographic location within the state, years of experience, the type of healthcare facility, and additional certifications or specializations.

Generally, PTAs working in urban areas or specialized medical settings may command higher wages.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Physical Therapist Assistants in Arkansas

City NameSalary
Little Rock$33,300
Fort Smith$31,500
Pine Bluff$32,300
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Arkansas

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO190$62,840$30.21$83,790$33,300
Fort Smith, AR-OK130$59,380$28.55$79,000$33,680
Hot Springs, AR70$54,340$26.13$78,260$30,660
Jonesboro, AR150$62,450$30.02$84,660$41,150
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR330$63,270$30.42$88,180$31,990
* 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

What is the job outlook for PTAs in Arkansas?

The job outlook for Physical Therapist Assistants in Arkansas is quite positive.

With an aging population and an increasing focus on health and physical wellness, the demand for PTAs is expected to grow.

Are there continuing education requirements for PTAs in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, Physical Therapist Assistants must complete continuing education to maintain their licensure.

The Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy mandates that PTAs complete a certain number of continuing education hours over a set period.

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

Transferring a PTA license to Arkansas from another state, known as licensure by endorsement, is possible.

The process typically involves applying to the Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy and verifying your current license and educational credentials.

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