How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Montana

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If you’re looking for a career in health care that offers job stability and flexible scheduling that also allows you to exercise your passion for helping others recover from physical injuries, a career as a Montana physical therapy assistant could be the right career for you.

Our guide provides a step-by-step overview of how to become a physical therapist’s assistant in Montana, along with an overview of two local physical therapy schools, a brief look at physical therapy salaries in Montana, and answers to frequently asked questions about working as a PT.

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How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Montana – Step by Step

Choose Your Career Path

It is essential to research the role of physical therapy assistants to get a clear understanding of the role and determine if this is the right career pathway for you.

Today’s PTAs provide hands-on and administrative support to physical therapists working in a variety of healthcare settings with patients.

Earn a PTA Degree from an Accredited Program

Aspiring physical therapists in Montana will need to earn a degree from an accredited program by completing the required coursework and the National Physical Therapist Assistant Exam.

[NPTAE] administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

Pass the NPTAE Exam

The NPTAE exam is designed to assess the skills of potential therapy assistants.

Candidates who complete the exam with a passing score become eligible to continue their journey through state or local licensure.

Apply for State Licensure

The Montana Board of Physical Therapy Examiners issues occupational licenses for new physical therapists within the state.

They also provide general information on state licensing requirements and keep an active directory of currently licensed practitioners.

Complete a Background Check

Being able to successfully pass a criminal background check is one of the requirements for licensure in Montana.

Receive Your Physical Therapy Assistant License from the State

The Montana Board of Physical Therapy Examiners will issue professional or occupational licenses to candidates who have completed their application and passed a background check.

Explore Career Opportunities

PTAs can officially start exploring career opportunities once the MBPTE has issued them a license.

Many PTA schools and programs offer job placement assistance that can help recent graduates find work with partner agencies.

Maintain Montana State Licensure

Physical therapy assistant licenses are valid for the time designated on the permit.

Working PTAs must periodically take continuing education coursework and complete mandatory state requirements to maintain or renew their license.

Physical Therapist Assistant Schools in Montana

Montana’s students seeking to qualify for professional licensure as physical therapists will need to earn a degree from an accredited program.

The following programs are accredited by America’s Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education or other authorized agencies.

Flathead Valley Community College Flathead Valley Community College 

About the School

The physical therapy associates degree program at Flathead Valley Community College prepares students for stepping into common healthcare settings as confident and competent PTAs skilled in practical and textbook knowledge.

FVCC offers a 72-hour associate’s degree program for aspiring physical therapist assistants seeking formal education and training in Montana.

Their accredited program teaches students the fundamentals needed to become practicing therapy assistants.

It also features an immersive clinical experience that exposes students to the everyday reality and work environments experienced by practicing workers allowing for a seamless transition from student to practitioner.


  • Clinical Experience
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Pathophysiology for the Physical Therapist Assistant

Tuition and Fees: $188.45 – $536.96 per credit hour, $300.00 program fee

Great Falls College at Montana State UniversityGreat Falls College at Montana State University

About the School

Great Falls College offers a five-semester associate’s degree program that introduces students to the practical and educational requirements needed to succeed as successful physical therapy assistants working in Montana.

Their competitive associate degree program has all-inclusive tuition.

It offers a fast-track option where dedicated students carrying a full course load can graduate from the program in just under one year.

Great Falls College currently accepts twenty new students into their program each fall.

Students who complete the program will be prepared to sit for the NPTAE and formally begin their careers working in local area hospitals, clinics, urgent care, physical therapy offices, and private practice.


  • Clinical Experience
  • Introduction to Orthopedics
  • Introduction to Physical Therapist Assisting
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Physical Therapist Assisting

Tuition and Fees: $122.81 – $571.22 per credit hour plus mandatory fees.

Top 2 Schools in Montana

School NameAddress
Flathead Valley Community College777 Grandview Dr, Kalispell, MT 59901, United States
Great Falls College at Montana State University2100 16th Ave S, Great Falls, MT 59405, United States

Physical Therapist Salary in Montana

Online salary research from shows that US physical therapists typically make comfortable salaries that fall between $57,501.00 on the low end to $70,201.00 on the higher end of the salary scale.

Salary reports from Indeed show that Montana-based physical therapists make an average salary that equates to around $63.00 an hour, which is in alignment with the national average.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Physical Therapist Assistants in Montana

City NameSalary
Great Falls$56,101
Miles City$60,301
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Montana

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Billings, MT60$52,850$25.41$65,170$32,470
Great Falls, MT30$54,870$26.38$62,190$46,900
* 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 areas of Specialization are available for Montana PTAs?

Montana’s physical therapy assistants can choose from a wide variety of specialties that include some of the following.

  • Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
  • Geriatric Rehabilitation
  • Neurological Rehabilitation
  • Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation
  • Wound Care
  • Aquatic Therapy

Where do Montana Physical Therapists Work?

Physical therapy assistants in Montana work in hospitals, medical centers, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, and beyond.

How Long Will It Take Me to Become a Physical Therapist in Montana?

Becoming a physical therapy assistant in Montana can take about 2-3 years with formal training.

Many associate degree programs, including the ones listed above, have prerequisites that must be completed before students becoming eligible to take core classes and participate in immersive clinical experiences as on-the-job training.

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