How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Illinois

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Physical therapy is an important need for our body since it allows us to function better and remain flexible.

Physical therapy is needed even more after surgeries, illnesses, or injuries to help get the body back to its former state.

Physical therapists are professionals who help patients achieve that.

There are also physical therapist assistants who work under licensed PTs to help patients throughout their recovery journey.

If you want to get into the medical field but don’t want to become a doctor or a nurse, being a physical therapist assistant can be a good option.

If you stay in Illinois and are thinking about getting into this line of work, this article will walk you through the steps and procedures for the same.

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Steps to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), Division of Professional Regulation, is the organization that looks after all the PTA licensing requirements in the state of Illinois.

There are certain steps you need to follow to work as a licensed physical therapist assistant in Illinois.

Let us walk you through those steps.

Get Your Education

The first and foremost thing you need to do is complete your high school diploma or GED.

After that, you can go on to get your Associate Degree in physical therapy.

Without a degree in physical therapy from an accredited school, you cannot get your license in Illinois.

Hence, after your high school education, the next step is to graduate from a CAPTE-accredited PTA school.

There are a large number of CAPTE-accredited PTA schools in Illinois, including Belleville, Elgin, Tinley Park, and so on.

Under this degree, students will be exposed to clinical work as well as class work.

These courses cover topics such as professional ethics, kinesiology, clinical pathology, biomechanics, and more.

Once a student completes this course, they will be awarded the degree of Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (AAS).

Get Certification

The next step that you need to take is to apply for an examination so that you get licensed as a physical therapist assistant in Illinois.

To get your license to legally work as a PTA in Illinois, you need to sit for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE).

The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) regulates these exams and the IDFPR must have evidence of your graduation to approve you.

When submitting your application, you need to provide a few other things alongside your completed form.

For instance, you need to provide a $98 fee and official transcripts from the school you graduated from.

After you apply, you need to wait for some time to get approved and receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter from Continental Testing Services.

Plus, you also need to pay a $50 fee to them.

Once you are approved, you will be required to sit for the NPTE exam.

If you pass the exam, you will be handed the PTA license.

The exam includes 200 questions and lasts for four hours.

The topics that are included in the exam are devices and equipment, interventions, therapeutic modalities, protection and safety, and so on.

Remember that you also need to pay an additional $400 to sit for the exam and most importantly, you are required to score at least 600 on the exam to pass it.

Renew the License

Once you get your license, you can start working as a PTA in Illinois.

There are employment opportunities in the state of Illinois.

However, you have to keep in mind to renew your license.

In Illinois, you are required to renew your PTA license by 30th September every odd year.

You also need to complete continuing education during your renewal period.

Physical Therapist Assistant Schools in Idaho

To sit for the NPTE exam and get licensed as a PTA, you need to get your PTA degree from a CAPTE-accredited PTA school.

There are several CAPTE-accredited PTA schools in Illinois.

Let us know what options you have.

Black Hawk CollegeBlack Hawk College

The first option you have is Black Hawk College, which is in Moline, Idaho.

The college has a professional faculty that equips students with patient care knowledge and practical skills needed in this field.

This course can help students prepare for the NPTE exam.

Elgin Community CollegeElgin Community College

Another option you have is Elgin Community College, where the staff support and strong faculty are the highlights.

After completing this course, students can go on to work in physical therapy clinics, home settings, hospitals and so much more.

The college has many partnerships, and this helps students get more opportunities.

College of DuPageCollege of DuPage

Located in Glen Ellyn, the College of DuPage offers a PTA course that helps students get hands-on experience in patient care and how to operate equipment and devices.

After you take this test, you will be well prepared to sit for the national licensing exam and get licensed.

Top 3 Schools in Illinois

School NameAddress
Black Hawk College6600 34th Ave, Moline, IL 61265, United States
Elgin Community College´╗┐1700 Spartan Dr, Elgin, IL 60123, United States
College of DuPage´╗┐425 Fawell Blvd, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137, United States

Physical Therapist Assistant Salary in Illinois

The salary for physical therapy assistants in Illinois is $67,127 on average.

The demand for physical therapy assistants in Illinois is quite high.

The salary is subject to change, depending on how many years of experience you have, which region you are working in, and other factors like bonuses and tips.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Physical Therapist Assistants in Illinois

City NameSalary
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Illinois

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bloomington, IL50$58,420$28.09$74,500$40,380
Carbondale-Marion, IL70$56,220$27.03$76,220$37,580
Champaign-Urbana, IL50$61,650$29.64$75,120$47,990
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI3,230$68,060$32.72$81,820$51,160
Peoria, IL100$58,570$28.16$73,350$38,660
Rockford, IL90$60,470$29.07$71,730$48,280
Springfield, IL60$60,960$29.31$66,570$45,980
* 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 It Difficult To Become a Physical Therapy Assistant in Illinois?

No, it is not difficult to become a physical therapy assistant in Illinois.

However, it takes time and dedication to be in this field, just like any other profession.

How Much Time Does It Take To Become a PTA in Illinois?

It takes about 3 or 4 years to become a physical therapist assistant in Illinois.

What Career Opportunities Do I Have After Getting A PTA License in Illinois?

Once you get your PTA license, you will be ready to work in different healthcare settings such as nursing facilities, school districts, hospitals, home settings, and so on.

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