A physical therapist assistant works under the supervision of a physical therapist.
In Rhode Island, the duties of a physical therapist assistant may include helping patients perform exercises, traction, ultrasound, and massage.
The goal of physical therapy is to restore movement and help someone regain their quality of life after an injury or illness.
If you enjoy working with other people, you should consider being a physical therapist assistant.
It is important to note that you’ll need to have strength and dexterity to perform the duties involved in this career.
- How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Rhode Island
- Physical Therapist Assistant Schools in Rhode Island
- Physical Therapist Assistant Salary
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Rhode Island
Each state has rigorous requirements for becoming a physical therapist assistant.
In Rhode Island, these include getting an associate’s degree and passing an exam.
Meet the Requirements for Pursuing a Physical Therapist Assistant License
The first step to becoming a physical therapist assistant in Rhode Island is to meet the requirements needed for the job.
You’ll need to be able to lift moderately heavy items and stand for at least 40 hours a week.
You’ll also need good eyesight, hearing, and manual dexterity to work as a physical therapist assistant.
You’ll need to be able to pass a background check and may be required to pass drug tests as well.
Complete an Associate’s Degree Program
The first step is completing an associate physical therapist degree program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
These programs typically take 2 years to complete, and they include classroom learning and internships.
You may be required to pass a background check and drug screen before beginning the program, or before completing the clinical part of the program.
Apply for a Physical Therapist Assistant License
Once you complete an approved associate degree program, you can apply for a physical therapist assistant license.
You’ll also need to register for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
You’ll need to be approved for your license before you can sit for the NPTE exam. You should apply at least 30 days before you are scheduled to take the exam.
You will need to complete the application and include your official school transcript and a full background check from the state you live in.
You’ll also need to pay a $50 application fee.
Pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE)
Once you are approved for licensure, you will receive a letter saying that you can schedule your test.
You must schedule the exam within the window mentioned in the letter.
You’ll need to take the test in Warrick, Rhode Island because this is the only testing location.
Schedule your exam as soon as possible, because seats fill up quickly.
You can prepare for your test by taking practice tests.
It costs $99 and allows you to take practice tests for 60 days.
You’ll register to take the test through Prometric.
The cost of registration is $82.
Physical Therapist Assistant Schools in Rhode Island
Two colleges in Rhode Island provide physical therapy assistant programs.
These are the Community College of Rhode Island and the New England Institute of Technology.
Community College of Rhode Island
The Community College of Rhode Island offers a Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science degree.
To be admitted into the program, you’ll need to pass a background check.
This college is a Hispanic Serving Institution, which means at least 25% of students are Hispanic.
You’ll complete some general education courses, including Composition and Introduction to College Mathematics.
Degree-specific courses include Human Anatomy, Kinesiology, Medical Terminology for Rehabilitation Health, and Physical Therapist Assistant.
You’ll also have three clinical classes.
These classes require you to work as a physical therapist assistant 35 to 40 hours a week for 6 weeks.
You’ll complete a total of 3 clinical classes in the latter part of the program.
You’ll need a total of 70 course hours to complete the program.
New England Institute of Technology
The New England Institute of Technology offers a Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Science degree.
Once you’ve completed the program, you can continue your education to earn your Physical Therapist Bachelor’s degree.
introduction to kinesiology, the foundation of physical therapy, data collection skills, and other related subjects.
We also teach physical agents, lab work, pathophysiology for the physical therapist assistant, and practice issues.
General education courses include Introduction to College Writing, Healthcare Communications, College Math, and Psychology.
Degree-specific courses include Kinesiology, Anatomy, Lab work, and Pathophysiology for the Physical Therapist Assistant.
You’ll also have clinical courses that allow you to work with a physical therapist in a healthcare facility so you can develop real-world skills.
The program requires 70 credit hours and takes two years to complete.
Top 2 Schools in Rhode Island
|Community College of Rhode Island
|1 John H Chafee Blvd, Newport, RI 02840, United States
|New England Institute of Technology
|1 New England Tech Boulevard, East Greenwich, RI 02818, United States
Physical Therapist Assistant Salary
The average salary for a physical therapist assistant in Rhode Island is $66,670.
Salaries range from $60,205 to $73,539.
Your salary will depend on your experience, education level, and the type of facility you are working in.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Physical Therapist Assistants in Rhode Island
Regional Salary in Rhode Island
|Avg. Annual Salary
|Avg. Hourly Pay
|Top 10% Annual Salary
|Bottom 10% Annual Salary
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to renew my PTA license in Rhode Island?
Yes, you do need to renew your license.
You’ll need 24 hours of continuing education to renew your license, and you’ll pay a $50 fee.
You’ll need to renew your license even years before March 31st.
Are PTAs in demand in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island has a strong demand for physical therapist assistants.
It ranks 26 out of the 50 states, which puts it in the middle in terms of demand.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the market is expected to grow by 19% nationwide in the next decade.
Is it hard to become a physical therapist assistant in Rhode Island?
The requirements for a physical therapist assistant license are rigorous.
However, Rhode Island doesn’t require a jurisprudence exam like most states do, which makes the process a bit easier than most states.