There are a handful of reasons as to why someone would require physical therapy.
Whether a patient is dealing with a debilitating injury or trying to improve his mobility with a disability, physical therapy can be a major life improvement.
Being part of the team that enables someone to walk again would be one of the most rewarding career decisions a person could make.
However, not everyone can start as a physical therapist.
Luckily, you don’t need a doctorate to dip your toes into this career pond.
Get into this field first by becoming a physical therapist’s assistant.
Who knows where it will take you?
We’re going to show you everything you need to know to become a PT assistant in Utah!
- How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant – Step by Step
- Physical Therapist Assistant Schools in Utah
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant – Step by Step
Get a Degree
The first step in becoming a physical therapist assistant is getting enrolled in school.
No need to pay four-year college prices, it only takes a two-year degree to get to work.
To get to the next step, make sure the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
Pass the Exam
Now, you’ll want to get scheduled for the NPTE, National Physical Therapy Examination.
Once you pass, you’ll be qualified to obtain a license.
Now that you have a license, you can begin working as a physical therapist assistant.
You may need to do an internship before being hired full-time.
Continuing to develop skills can extend the life of your career.
It’s also common for PT assistants to use that position as a way to get experience while they work toward a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
Physical Therapist Assistant Schools in Utah
Dixie State College of Utah
The two-year PTA program at DSC is comprehensive and meant to get students exam-ready.
All students entering this program are required to take on full class schedules.
In total, the associate of applied science degree will cost around $24,000.
Over four semesters, students extend their education outside of books.
Hands-on work is required to give participants the feeling of real healthcare settings.
All classes are taught by faculty with experience in the specific topics.
Salt Lake Community College
This two-year degree is achieved with the use of very small class sizes.
The idea is that each professor has a small enough group, which makes learning more customs for the needs of the students.
A Utah resident can expect to pay $8,500 to obtain an associate’s degree.
Top 3 Schools in Utah
|Dixie State College of Utah
|225 S Univ Ave, St. George, UT 84770, United States
|1450 W 820 N, Provo, UT 84601, United States
|Salt Lake Community College
|4600 S Redwood Rd, Salt Lake City, UT 84123, United States
The salary for a physical therapist assistant in Utah averages out at $61,000.
Of course, depending on the experience level, the majority of physical therapist assistants in Utah make in the range of $55,000 up to $68,000.
The median salary in Utah is just below the national average for this career.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Physical Therapist Assistants in Utah
|Salt Lake City
Regional Salary in Utah
|Avg. Annual Salary
|Avg. Hourly Pay
|Top 10% Annual Salary
|Bottom 10% Annual Salary
|St. George, UT
|Salt Lake City, UT
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Frequently Asked Questions
How hard is the physical therapist assistant program?
Any field of study that has to do with taking someone else’s life into your hands is going to be held to a higher standard, comparatively.
Not only are the studies more intensive than other two-year programs, but they also come with extra conditions.
For example, you will likely get a background check before being accepted.
You’ll also be required to get the required vaccinations.
Lastly, the GPA must not drop below a C+.
Grades dropping below that might cause students to get kicked out of the program.
What are some of the duties of a physical therapist assistant?
You’ll take your cues from the physical therapist, but there will be a lot that can be done without specific directions.
To begin with, assessing the patient will go a long way toward getting the PT up to speed as well as the assistant getting a better idea of what they’ll be working with.
Massage is another big component of the job.
Not only is massaging good, but it can make a difference to the muscles and movement of the patient.
The physical therapist will decide what exercise needs to be done, but the assistant will help the patient through the moves.
An unsaid quality a PTA needs to have is strength.
This can be a physically demanding career where real people are very reliant on someone’s strength to get them through.
Muscle comes into play again for balance training.
Being there if the patient has a fall is always a top priority.
Finally, administrative tasks such as keeping records will also be in the assistant’s purview.
What does it take to become a physical therapist?
There are several stops involved in the process of becoming a professional physical therapist.
To start, you’ll need to get a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, which takes about three years.
Of course, you’ll need to enter into a bachelor program that can work with the PhD program, such as biology or pre-med.
Once the DPT has been earned from an accredited program, candidates would need to take the National Physical Therapy Exam and any state licensing tests.
Following the exams, newly licensed physical therapists would need to go through an internship.
The length of an internship will vary based on the program.
Post-internship, a residency will follow.
As you can tell, becoming a physical therapist takes a long time and is a lot of effort.
It’s a very rewarding career in the medical field, but it does take dedication.