Educational Programs
Associate in Science or Associate in Applied Science Degree
Broward College
Central Florida Community College
Daytona State College
Edison State College
Florida Gateway College
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Gulf Coast Community College
Indian River State College
Keiser University
Miami-Dade College
Pasco-Hernando Community College
Pensacola Junior College
Polk State College
Seminole State College of Florida
South University (Tampa campus)
South University (West Palm Beach campus)
St. Petersburg College
State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota

Professional Associations
American Physical Therapy Association
Florida Physical Therapy Association

The physical therapist assistant (PTA) is a technically educated health provider who assists the physical therapist in the provision of physical therapy and may perform physical therapy interventions selected by the supervising physical therapist. The physical therapist assistant works under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist, helping manage conditions such as back and neck injuries, sprains/strains and fractures, arthritis, burns, amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, birth defects, injuries related to work and sports, and others.

Physical Therapist Assistant

Work Environment
Physical therapist assistants work in a broad range of settings, including the following:

  • Hospitals, Outpatient clinics or offices
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Skilled nursing, extended care, or sub-acute facilities
  • Homes, Education or research centers
  • Schools, Hospices, Industrial, workplace, or other occupational environments
  • Fitness centers and sports training facilities

Job Outlook
The number of physical therapist assistants employed in Florida in 2006 was 3,856. It is projected that in 2014 there will be 5,109. This represents an annual average growth rate of 4.1 percent.

Length of Training/Requirements
Physical therapist assistants must complete a two-year training program leading to an associate in science (A.S.) degree or associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree, offered through community colleges and private colleges. The curriculum may include core courses in principles of physical therapy, introduction to basic patient care, functional anatomy and kinesiology, and clinical practicum. They must also have certifications in CPR and first aid. Graduates from accredited programs are eligible to take the state licensure examination.

In Florida, licensure for physical therapist assistants is required. The licensure examination is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. The student must have an A.S. or A.A.S degree in physical therapist assisting to take the exam. Twenty-four continuing education hours are required every two years for license renewal.

The average hourly wage for physical therapy assistants in Florida was $24.70 in 2009.

Updated: 2009