How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Mississippi

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Becoming a physical therapist assistant in Mississippi means working with physical therapists to help administer treatments to patients suffering from conditions that affect their bodies.

Besides playing a role in bringing people their well-being back, a career as a PTA is also a financial investment.

The profession ranks high among the fastest-growing ones in Mississippi, with a 132.9% boom between 2019 and 2024.

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How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) in Mississippi: Step-by-Step

To become a physical therapist in Mississippi, you need a degree accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and a license issued by the Mississippi State Board of Physical Therapy (MSBPT).

Enroll in a Physical Therapist Assistant Degree Program

A licensed PTA must have a degree accredited by CAPTE.

Mississippi hosts multiple schools offering Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science degrees and one with Associate of Science.

There are no practical differences between the degrees for the PTA profession.

A Physical Therapist Assistant degree typically takes two years to earn, including one semester of integrated clinical experience.

The clinical experience involves full-time work with licensed Mississippi physical therapists and assistants.

This is a demanding but engaging period where you apply the knowledge from the first three semesters.

Apply for an MSBPT License

Holding a PTA degree allows you to apply for a license with the Mississippi State Board of Physical Therapy.

This license hinges on receiving a passing grade on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).

You can submit an MSBPT application online or via mail.

Applicants who have completed their studies in a foreign country must undergo an education credential evaluation and provide proof of English proficiency, plus a legal proof of residency document if applicable.

The MSBPT requires an open-book jurisprudence exam as part of the application, which can be answered online.

Pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), PTA Edition

The NPTE is the national standard examination for Physical Therapy Assistants, offered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).

The examination covers knowledge fields taught during the PTA degree, from equipment and techniques to data collection.

There are 180 multiple-choice questions, with sample questions available on the site to help prepare better.

The FSBPT scores the exam from 200 to 800; applicants must score 600 or above to pass.

The MSBPT receives the result together with the applicant and issues the license if it is positive.

Physical Therapist Assistant Schools in Mississippi

There are eight schools across Mississippi with programs accredited by CAPTE.

Hinds Community CollegeHinds Community College

Length: 2 Years

Cost: $12916

Location: Jackson, MS

The Hind Community College PTA degree is popular due to its excellence in developing professional interpersonal skills.

The program uses the modern facilities of the Nursing Allied Health Center in Jackson, enjoying modern equipment and surroundings for the duration of the course.

Itawamba Community CollegeItawamba Community College

Length: 2 Years

Cost: $10220 to $14620

Location: Tupelo, MS

The PTA Technology course at Itawamba has small classes of up to 14 students, allowing a more personalized learning experience.

The numbers are encouraging: in 2023, 13 students graduated, with a 100% approval rate at the board exam and 100% work placement.

Meridian Community CollegeMeridian Community College

Length: 2 Years

Cost: $16047 to $17974

Location: North Meridian, MS

Meridian PTA students enjoy several seminars as part of the curriculum, which students appreciate as it puts them in contact with the leading faces of the professional world.

The 2022 and 2023 classes achieved 100% placement in PTA positions within a year of graduating.

Mississippi Delta Community CollegeMississippi Delta Community College

Length: 2 Years

Cost: $12985

Location: Greenville, MS

MDCC has a PTA program that values keeping up with modern standards.

Through seminars and exchanges with professors, students hear about new practices based on field experience, allowing them to enter the job market with a more current understanding of the environment.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community CollegeMississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Length: 2 Years

Cost: $33050

Location: Perkinston, MS

Many MGCCC PTA graduates praise the quality of the education and facilities on offer.

Although this program is costlier than the rest, it pays back with modern tools and amenities that allow students to study new techniques in physical therapy unhindered.

Northwest Mississippi Community CollegeNorthwest Mississippi Community College

Length: 2 Years

Cost: $14469

Location: North Senatobia, MS

The Northwest Mississippi Community College PTA program is the youngest on this list, starting in 2018.

The lack of institutional tradition has its advantages, as it allowed the college to create a curriculum free of doctrinal inertia from previous years, based instead on the latest iterations of PTA programs nationwide.

Pearl River Community CollegePearl River Community College

Length: 2 Years

Cost: $11920

Location: Hattiesburg, MS

PRCC is one of the most competitive programs in Mississippi.

The popularity of this program is due to the modern amenities and the 100% employment rate over two years.

The Pearl River program is dynamic and balances the technical and social aspects of the PTA profession.

Top 7 Schools in Mississippi

School NameAddress
Hinds Community College501 E Main St, Raymond, MS 39154, United States
Itawamba Community College602 W Hill St, Fulton, MS 38843, United States
Meridian Community College910 Hwy 19 N, Meridian, MS 39307, United States
Mississippi Delta Community CollegeMississippi 3 & E Cherry St, Moorhead, MS 38761, United States
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College51 Main St, Perkinston, MS 39573, United States
Northwest Mississippi Community College4975 US-51, Senatobia, MS 38668, United States
Pearl River Community College Length: 2 YearsTed J. Alexander Administration Building, 101 US-11, Poplarville, MS 39470, United States

Physical Therapist Assistant Salary in Mississippi

Data shows the average salary of a licensed physical therapist assistant in Mississippi is $58262, compared to a national average of $65401.

Average PTA salaries in Jackson are functionally identical to the state average at $58475 per year.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Physical Therapist Assistants in Mississippi

City NameSalary
Olive Branch$32,500
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Mississippi

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS140$64,350$30.94$77,440$50,160
Hattiesburg, MS80$49,410$23.75$72,080$28,800
Jackson, MS290$60,420$29.05$77,010$33,740
* 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

Will Physical Therapy Assistant openings in Mississippi increase?


The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the number of postings for PTAs in Mississippi will increase by 35% between 2020 and 2030.

One physical therapist can supervise up to four assistants.

How many times can you take the NPTE in Mississippi?

Mississippi allows six attempts to pass the NPTE per candidate to become licensed, after which the applicant may only take the NPTE in another jurisdiction.

Is it easy to find a job as a Physical Therapy Assistant in Mississippi today?

Yes, most schools that offer PTA programs in Mississippi report placement rates close to or at 100% within a year of graduating.

The growing demand for licensed assistants currently outpaces the graduation rate.

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