How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Pennsylvania

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Philadelphia, PA, made the list of the top metro cities in the U.S. that have the most physical therapists.

Physical therapist assistants assist patients who are recovering from illnesses and injuries.

Physical therapy helps these patients regain mobility and manage their pain.

They work under the supervision of a physical therapist.

If you’re contemplating becoming a PTA and living in Pennsylvania, this guide will provide you with all the necessary steps in addition to the educational requirements needed.

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How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant (Step by Step)

Here are the necessary steps you must take to become a physical therapist assistant in Pennsylvania:

Graduate from a CAPTE-Accredited PTA Program

The first step you must take to get your license as a physical therapist assistant in the state of Pennsylvania is to earn an associate’s degree.

The school you choose should be accredited by CAPTE.

Many of these schools can be found in Butler, Hazleton, Media, Scranton, and several other cities.

Submit an Application to Earn a License in Pennsylvania

Once you have earned your associate’s degree from a CAPTE-accredited PTA program, you can move on to applying for your license.

You can print the application from the board’s website.

You will need to fill out and submit this application along with a $30 fee, which will be mailed out to the address stated on the application.

You can also submit payment and required documents online on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website.

Once your application has been received, the board will approve it only if you meet all the eligibility requirements.

In addition, you must register for the NPTE-PTA.

Once you have been approved to take the exam, you can schedule a time to take it.

To take the exam, you must pay a $400 fee.

Take and Pass the NPTE (National Physical Therapy Exam)

The NPTE-PTA exam consists of 200 questions covering material you were taught while enrolled in the physical therapist assistant program.

Some of the topics in the exam will include:

  • Interventions
  • Safety and Protection
  • PT Data Collection
  • Therapeutic Modalities
  • Equipment and Devices

To prepare yourself for the exam, you can take a practice test online on the FSBPT website.

You will need a score of at least 600 to pass the test. If you fail your exam, you can take it again after reapplying.

Start Your Career as a PTA

Once you have successfully passed your NPTE exam, you will then be qualified to work as a PTA in Pennsylvania.

Once you have your license, you can start applying for openings in your area.

Some employers in Pennsylvania that are hiring PTAs include:

  • Artman Lutheran Home in Ambler
  • Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital in Malvern
  • Highlands Hospital in Connellsville
  • Penn Highlands DuBois in DuBois

Stay Up-to-Date With Competency Hours to Keep License Active

Once you have earned your license, it doesn’t end there.

Your license must be renewed by December 31 of every even-numbered year.

Your renewal forms will be mailed out to you.

You must also pay a $45 fee with all supporting documents.

You also have the option to renew your license online.

Physical Therapist Assistant Schools in Pennsylvania

Here is a list of schools that offer PTA programs in Pennsylvania:

Butler County Community CollegeButler County Community College

107 College Drive l Butler, PA 16002

A 2.80 GPA or higher is required to get into Butler County Community College.

The program takes two years to complete, and the costs vary.

For example, if you’re a Butler County resident, tuition is $130.00 per credit.

If you live outside the county, you will pay $233.00 per credit.

Out-of-state and international students will pay $333.000 per credit.

You must complete an application online and submit high school transcripts.

You may also have to complete BC3 placement testing.

Community College of Allegheny CountyCommunity College of Allegheny County

808 Ridge Ave l Pittsburgh, PA 15212

If you are considering the Community College of Allegheny County for a PTA program, you should know that it will also take two years to complete.

The program requires all students to obtain a “C” or better in all required courses.

If you’re an Allegheny County resident, you will pay $126.00 per credit hour.

If you’re a resident of other counties in the state, you’ll pay $252.00 per credit hour.

And if you are an out-of-state or international student, you will pay $378.00 per credit hour.

Pennsylvania State University HazletonPennsylvania State University Hazleton

76 University Dr. l Hazelton, PA 18202

Only 55 students are admitted into the PTA program at Pennsylvania State University Hazleton each year.

This program also takes two years to complete.

But, to apply, students must first show proof that they have completed at least 10 hours of observation in physical therapy clinics.

The cost for in-state students is $13,048 per year and $19,488 per year for out-of-state students.

Top 3 Schools in Pennsylvania

School NameAddress
Butler County Community College107 College Dr, Butler, PA 16002, United States
Community College of Allegheny County808 Ridge Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, United States
Pennsylvania State University Hazleton76 University Dr, Hazleton, PA 18202, United States


The average salary for physical therapist assistants in Pennsylvania is $67,601.

However, the salary in the state can range from $61,001 to $74,501.

The final salary will depend on factors including certification, education, skills, and experience.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Physical Therapist Assistants in Pennsylvania

City NameSalary
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Pennsylvania

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ250$59,030$28.38$74,160$45,980
Altoona, PA70$53,490$25.72$61,430$37,830
Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA60$56,650$27.24$64,710$47,860
Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA80$59,110$28.42$69,560$40,380
Erie, PA110$52,130$25.06$61,010$40,440
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA320$51,900$24.95$75,240$21,170
Johnstown, PA80$52,770$25.37$68,600$36,980
Lancaster, PA200$54,740$26.32$73,240$38,940
Lebanon, PA30$58,030$27.9$73,000$45,630
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD1,970$62,630$30.11$77,110$43,610
Pittsburgh, PA770$53,550$25.74$67,290$39,230
Reading, PA100$61,170$29.41$75,070$41,470
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA200$54,960$26.43$69,570$38,170
State College, PA50$55,260$26.57$73,660$37,850
Williamsport, PA60$57,500$27.64$68,200$45,820
York-Hanover, PA100$58,490$28.12$74,010$43,510
* 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

How long does it take to receive a PTA license in Pennsylvania?

It can generally take anywhere between two and three weeks to receive your PTA license in Pennsylvania.

Yet, this time frame is considered fast compared to other PTA licenses across the country.

What are some of the other top employers in Pennsylvania that employ PTAs?

Besides the employers mentioned above, here is a list of additional employers where you can consider applying to work as a PTA:

  • Grand View Health in Sellersville
  • Kearsley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Philadelphia
  • Wise Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Grove City
  • ManorCare Health Services in Lancaster and Bedford

Can I take classes online for a PTA in Pennsylvania?

Some coursework is offered online for those pursuing a career as a PTA.

However, a lot of the program requires hands-on clinical experience.

This means you will have to take this part of the course in person.

While you can find hybrid classes for PTA programs in the state, chances are high that you won’t find a fully remote program.

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