Looking to start a career in healthcare? As one of the most in-demand industries in the nation, the need for skilled healthcare workers is rapidly rising. If you have been considering applying to a PTA program to pursue a career as a physical therapist assistant, 2021 is the best time to do it.

Wondering where to start, and what PTA program is best for you? Here are the most commonly asked questions, answered:

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is a crucial steppingstone in a recovery process, whether from physical injury or mobility issues from ailments or diseases. Physical therapy helps people’s health and wellbeing through exercise routines, manual treatment, mobility training, and pain or symptom control.

What does PTA stand for?

PTA stands for Physical Therapist Assistant.

What does a physical therapist assistant do?

A physical therapist assistant, or PTA, is a crucial part of a patient’s healing process. Working under the direction of a physical therapist, a PTA will implement a therapist plan to the benefit of their patients – helping them through a series of therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, therapeutic modalities, and health or movement education.

Are PTA jobs in high demand in 2021?

They are! According to the California Employment Development Department, overall employment of physical therapist assistants and aides is projected to grow 30.8 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states: “Demand for physical therapy is expected to increase in response to the healthcare needs of an aging population and individuals with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity.”

Where do PTAs work?

PTAs typically work in hospitals, in physical therapists’ offices, rehabilitation centers, or other similar medical facilities. PTAs also work alongside occupational therapy assistants (OTAs), and nurses in a collaborative team for patient care.

Is a PTA a good career?

Many PTAs report a high level of job satisfaction. This could be attributed to the number of available positions, location flexibility, high pay, and how much their skill is valued. Those who become physical therapist assistants are sometimes inspired by their experience in sports, dance, or gymnastics, an interest in sports medicine or personal training, their love of physical fitness, and their ability to motivate others for a healthier life.

How much money does a PTA make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a physical therapist assistant is $58,790, higher than the national average, and higher than that of other, non-healthcare careers. In California, starting salary for a PTA averages $32 an hour with an Associate’s in Physical Therapist Assistant, according to the Employment Development Department.

How do you become a physical therapist assistant?

In order to become a PTA, you must go through schooling and obtain an associate’s degree from an accredited PTA program, as well as a license or certification. Many students may have completed a previous bachelor’s degree in kinesiology or exercise science to support their foundation in anatomy but this is not a requirement of PTA programs for an associate’s degree.

What are the best schools that offer a PTA program?

With a 98.53% average pass rate in 2018 and 2019, the PTA program offered at Stanbridge University is one of the best for students looking to become a PTA. With an option to learn at either the Orange County campus or the Los Angeles campus, students will engage in innovative learning with virtual reality, telemedicine, and synthetic cadavers alongside experienced and caring faculty.

What do you learn in a PTA program?

In the Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program at Stanbridge University, you will be able to learn how to effectively assist people as they regain confidence and mobility after physical limitations. Whether it’s helping stroke victims walk again or getting injured athletes back out on the field, students learn how to transform limitations, restore ability, and change lives.

Is Stanbridge University’s PTA program accredited?

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program (Orange County and Los Angeles campuses) at Stanbridge University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If you are needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 949-794-9090 or email pta.admin@stanbridge.edu.

Which Stanbridge University campuses offer a PTA program?

The Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program is offered in Orange County, Irvine and Los Angeles, Alhambra campuses.

How long does it take to become a physical therapist assistant?

At Stanbridge University, the PTA program ranges from 20-21 months. Physical Therapist doctorate programs take an estimated 3.5 years to complete their degree programs and require a bachelor’s degree with additional prerequisites to apply.

What can you expect from a PTA program?

Students in Stanbridge University’s PTA program have access to a Virtual Reality Lab where they can use augmented and VR technology, allowing for multisensory learning via virtual models of human anatomy and biology in 3D. Stanbridge has the West Coast’s first Cadaver Lab with SynDaver Synthetic Cadavers for in-depth and hands-on anatomy training. In 10 spacious labs on campus, PTA program students learn hands-on with a multitude of exercise equipment, adaptive equipment, mobility devices, positioning devices, and physical agent modalities. Intimate, small classroom environments allow students to have access to critical training and guidance throughout every step of the learning process. Stanbridge PTA students have an excellent reputation in the physical therapy community.  This is why their graduates have a 100% employment rate within 6 months of graduation.1

What is the pass rate of Stanbridge University’s PTA program?

As of 2019, the OC campus had a 98.53% average pass rate in 2018 and 2019. The PTA program at the Alhambra, Los Angeles Branch Campus does not yet have current graduates or pass rates.

Is financial aid available for PTA programs?

Cost shouldn’t prohibit you from achieving their career goals. The Financial Aid team at Stanbridge University is happy to help. Those interested can meet with a Financial Aid Officer and receive individual, one-on-one guidance. To learn more about the Stanbridge University Admissions and Financial Aid process today, visit our website or call our FA Help Desk at (877) 728-6018!

How do you apply to Stanbridge University’s PTA Program?

Stanbridge University accepts applications for admission to their diploma and degree programs on an open enrollment basis. To apply, schedule a virtual meeting with the Admissions Department and visit the Stanbridge University Portal to access the application form online at portal.stanbridge.edu.


Discover more about one of the best PTA Programs in California! Check out Stanbridge University’s Physical Therapist Assistant program here.

1 Source: CAPTE Annual Accreditation Report (AAR) 2019. Employment Licensure Information, Stanbridge University Employment Rate, Dec 1, 2018 to Dec 1, 2019. As viewed on October 15, 2020.

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