How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Delaware

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Are you looking for an engaging career where no two days are the same and you get to help people improve their lives?

Consider becoming a physical therapist assistant in Delaware.

Through hands-on involvement in patients’ rehabilitation journeys, PTAs support individuals working through temporary or permanent injuries.

Read on to learn if a future as a PTA could be the perfect next step for your career goals and passion for healthcare.

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How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Delaware, Step by Step

Preparing for the Profession

There are things you need to do to be accepted into a PTA program in Delaware.

  1. First, you need to complete prerequisite college classes with good grades. Prereqs usually include biology, chemistry, math, psychology, and English comp. Your overall GPA needs to be at least 2.5.
  2. As well as sending your transcripts, PTA program applications often request letters of recommendation from teachers or bosses.
  3. Finally, once in the program, you need to satisfy the rules for vaccines, background checks, and health.

Gaining Professional Qualification

After graduation, PTAs must obtain state licensure demonstrating their competence.

In Delaware, candidates take the National Physical Therapy Examination, a rigorous test validating their understanding and readiness to practice.

Additional screening such as background checks may also be part of the licensing process.

Meeting all requirements officially certifies individuals for employment as PTAs.

Physical Therapist Assistant Schools in Delaware

Delaware offers accredited options for aspiring PTAs:

University of DelawareUniversity of Delaware

The University of Delaware offers an Associate of Science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant through a full-time, on-campus program.

Students complete general education requirements and prerequisite coursework in the first year.

In the second year, they focus solely on PTA licensing criteria, taking specialized classes, and participating in multiple clinical affiliations under licensed physical therapists.

Students will have earned their associate’s degree upon graduation from the two-year program.

The total estimated tuition cost for Delaware residents to complete the PTA program at the University of Delaware is approximately $30,000.

This covers resident tuition rates over eight academic semesters.

Students from other states may pay higher out-of-state tuition fees, as they do not qualify for in-state tuition discounts.

Financial aid options are available to help offset costs for those who qualify.

After graduation and passing the NPTE, students will be eligible for licensure as physical therapist assistants.

Anne Arundel Community CollegeAnne Arundel Community College

The two-year Physical Therapist Assistant program at Anne Arundel Community College is administered through the Chesapeake Area Consortium for Higher Education.

Students complete prerequisites and general education requirements over 1-2 years at a total estimated cost of $6,000-$12,000 for in-county residents, depending on the number of credits per semester.

They then attend the five-term PTA program over 18 months, taking clinical and lab courses in the 1,375-square-foot state-of-the-art lab space.

Upon completing the program requirements, graduates earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

The program boasts a 100% employment rate among graduates and a median salary of $50,000 after obtaining the necessary PTA license.

College of Southern MarylandCollege of Southern Maryland

The College of Southern Maryland offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant through its partnership with Anne Arundel Community College.

Students complete general education requirements at CSM over 1-2 years, taking courses such as English, biology, and psychology.

They then attend 18 months of PTA-specific classes and labs at AACC.

During this time, students also participate in multiple clinical rotations under licensed physical therapists to gain hands-on experience.

Upon completing the program requirements, graduates earn their associate’s degree and are eligible to take the national licensing exam to become a PTA.

The tuition rates for the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Associate’s degree program at CSM are $140 per credit for residents of Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s counties and $245 per credit for other Maryland residents.

As the PTA program requires completion of approximately 65-70 credits, total tuition costs would range from $9,100-9,800 for residents and $15,925-17,150 for other MD residents.

These rates are effective from Fall 2023 through Summer 2024 for the expected 2-year duration of the full-time PTA program, though the college reserves the right to adjust fees after this period without notice.

Top 3 Schools in Delaware

School NameAddress
University of Delaware´╗┐Newark, DE 19716, United States
Anne Arundel Community College´╗┐101 College Pkwy, Arnold, MD 21012, United States
College of Southern Maryland´╗┐8730 Mitchell Rd, La Plata, MD 20646, United States

Salary and Job Outlook

Employment prospects look promising for motivated PTAs in Delaware.

With an aging population and a focus on preventative healthcare, demand is strong.

The average annual salary for PTAs in Delaware is around $75,419.

Pay tends to be higher in outpatient clinics and private practices versus nursing homes.

The job growth rate is forecast at 28% through 2030.

Annual Salary Range:
$32K
$36K
$40K

Average Salary of Physical Therapist Assistants in Delaware

City NameSalary
Wilmington$37,000
Dover$37,100
Newark$37,000
Milford$37,300
Seaford$36,700
Middletown$37,000
Rehoboth Beach$37,400
Smyrna$37,000
New Castle$37,000
Bear$37,000
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Delaware

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Dover, DE50$57,770$27.77$80,340$30,580
* 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.

Continuing Education and Professional Development

Maintaining licensure requires bi-annual renewal and 24 hours of continuing competence over the two years.

Delaware advocates lifelong learning through workshops, seminars, academic coursework, and specialty certifications.

This further develops essential skills while keeping professionals aware of advances in treatments, technologies, and regulatory changes.

It also opens doors to more specialized roles with higher compensation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the job market like for PTAs in Delaware?

Delaware has excellent job opportunities for PTAs thanks to its growing elderly population and rehabilitation emphasis in healthcare.

The state projects a 23% increase in PTA jobs by 2030, much faster than average.

New clinics and expanded services are regularly opening.

After licensing, PTAs on average make $58,000 a year in Delaware, with career stability and the opportunity to specialize or manage facilities over time.

What types of clinical rotations can I expect in a Delaware PTA program?

During clinical rotations, you’ll get hands-on practice in different physical therapy settings under a licensed PT’s supervision.

Common sites include outpatient orthopedic and sports clinics, acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, schools, and pediatric centers.

Rotations expose you to diverse patient populations and conditions.

Most programs require at least 120 hours of clinical experience for you to sharpen your evaluation and treatment skills with real clients.

This experiential learning is a critical program component.

What is the application process like for PTA programs in Delaware?

The application process for PTA programs in Delaware typically involves:

  • Complete general education prerequisites with minimum grades (usually C or higher)
  • Take the ACT or SAT entrance exams (certain scores required)
  • Submit your application by the priority deadline (usually January-March)
  • Include all official transcripts and test scores
  • Provide letters of recommendation
  • Complete a personal statement addressing your interest and suitability
  • Interview with program faculty (invitation after initial screening)
  • Fulfill any other supplementary requirements, like community service
  • Notification of acceptance decisions is made in the spring
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