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With the U.S. population aging rapidly, demand for all health care related services is also growing. Because older Americans are staying active longer, the need for physical therapy services is also on the rise. Becoming a physical therapy assistant, or PTA, is a great way to earn a living while helping others recover from illness or injuries.

North Carolina physical therapy assistant programs offer area students the ability to receive career training in a well-paying and in-demand field. With the need for physical therapy services exploding, a wealth of career opportunities are available to those with the proper training and the right temperament. Fortunately, aspiring physical therapy assistants in North Carolina have a number of different educational options located throughout the state.

Physical Therapist Assistants picture    Physical Therapist Assistants image

North Carolina Physical Therapy Assistant Schools

North Carolina physical therapy assistant programs can be found at a number of technical and community colleges located throughout the state. Here are a few examples:

  • Central Piedmont Community College: Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) has been serving students in the Charlotte area for over 50 years. In addition to its more than 70 areas of academic study, the school also offers continuing education, corporate training, and college and career readiness programs. CPCC offers distance education courses as an alternative to on campus programs. Student services, a career hub, and academic assistance are also available. Graduates of the physical therapy assistance program will be eligible to sit for the PTA National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE).
  • Fayetteville Technical Community College: Serving over 42,000 students annually, Fayetteville Technical Community College offers more than 200 technical, occupational, general education, continuing education, and college transfer programs. Students may earn professional certificates, diplomas, or Associate's degrees depending on the program they pursue. The school offers a variety of clubs and activities, a student learning center, and programs designed to support students who are military veterans. Some program offerings are available in an online format. Physical therapy assistant students are expected to complete the program in 5 semesters of full-time study.
  • Guilford Technical Community College: Located in Jamestown, NC, Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) serves students residing in Guilford County and the surrounding area. With dozens of degree and career training programs available, GTCC also offers continuing education and other non-credit courses. In addition to on-campus courses, students may pursue online degrees through the school. The physical therapy assistant program requires a four-semester commitment and results in an Associate's degree.
  • South College - Ashville: This school offers an 8-quarter physical therapy assistant program with courses held during morning, afternoon, and evening hours. Completion of the program qualifies graduates to sit for their licensure exam. In addition to the physical therapy assistant program, South College offers a number of academic programs with degree outcomes ranging from professional certificates to Bachelor's degrees.
  • Craven Community College: Those seeking employment as physical therapy assistants in North Carolina may wish to consider Craven Community College. Graduates of the program will earn an Associate's degree and be eligible to sit for their licensing exam. With two locations in New Bern and Havelock, Craven Community College awards more than two dozen different Associate's degrees, certificates, and diplomas.

North Carolina Physical Therapy Assistant Programs

Physical therapy assistants help patients manage pain and regain movement after an illness or injury. They work under the supervision of a physical therapist and are directly involved with treating patients. Some duties include assisting patients with exercises, preparing treatment areas, and performing treatments like stretches. Degree programs typically include courses in:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Physical Therapy Procedures
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Pathology
  • Health Care Resources
  • Functional Anatomy

Successful physical therapy assistants typically have an interest in health related professions and a drive to help others. PTAs must exhibit high levels of compassion and possess good people skills. They must also have the physical capability of spending long hours on their feet as well as working from bent and stooped positions.

More Requirements for Physical Therapy Assistants in North Carolina

As in all states, physical therapy assistants in North Carolina are required to be licensed. PTAs must earn at least an Associate's degree and pass the PTA National Physical Therapy Exam administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Graduates must also complete the appropriate amount of practical clinical hours required by the State of North Carolina. Physical therapy programs in North Carolina can help students meet these requirements.

Once these conditions are met, physical therapy assistants can apply for licensure and pay the required fee. In North Carolina, licenses must be renewed on an annual basis. Physical therapy assistants in North Carolina must acquire 20 hours of continuing education every three years to remain licensed.

Sources:

  1. Physical Therapy Assistant, Central Piedmont Community College, https://www.cpcc.edu/health_sciences/physical-therapist-assistant
  2. Physical Therapy Assistant, Fayetteville Technical Community College, http://www.faytechcc.edu/academics/health-programs/physical-therapist-assistant/
  3. Physical Therapy Assistant, Guilford Technical Community College, http://degreeprograms.gtcc.edu/physical-therapist-assistant/
  4. Physical Therapy Assistant, South College - Ashville, http://www.southcollegenc.edu/areas-of-study/associate-of-applied-science/physical-therapist-assistant/
  5. Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), Craven Community College, http://cravencc.edu/academics/degrees/physical-therapist-assistant/
  6. Physical Therapy Assistants and Aides, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015-16 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapist-assistants-and-aides.htm
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Programs
  • BS Health Science (Post PTA)
  • AAS Physical Therapist Assistant
  • AS Occupational Therapy Assistant

At South College we welcome students from all different stages of life and career.  Whether you are pursing a degree for the first time, going back to school as an adult learner, or furthering your career with an advanced degree, our faculty and staff will partner with you to give your dreams direction.

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Asheville
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Programs
  • Massage Therapy - Certificate
  • Committed to excellence in education since 1916 with a rich history of helping students find successful careers.
  • Offers more than 50 programs including criminal justice, technology, business, and more.
  • Its fully-accredited campuses offer day, evening, and online classes.
  • Provides tutoring at no additional charge to assist during stressful times.
  • Revises curriculum continually to keep pace with improvements in technology and the increasing needs of business and industry.
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Conway
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  • Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Massage Therapy
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • Listed as a 2015 Best for Vets school in the Career & Technical College category by Military Times.
  • Offers programs in health science, business, legal studies, technology, and skilled trades such as HVAC and building maintenance &    repair.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
  • 3 campuses located in Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida.
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Chesapeake
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  • Cosmetology - Certificate
  • Part of the Delta Career Education Corporation.
  • Each campus features a public spa and/or salon where students can gain real-world experience.
  • 17 campuses across the United States, with online options as well.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent colleges and Schools (ACICS), with programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
  • Originally founded in 1916 in Wilmington, North Carolina by Judge Leon Motte.
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Greenville
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  • M.S. in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders
  • M.S. in Christian Counseling
  • M.S. in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Work in the fascinating and rewarding field of psychology - earn your bachelor's or master's degree online with Grand Canyon University.
  • The College of Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research, creativity, ethical formation and inquiry through critical, analytical and interdisciplinary study.
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  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
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  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
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  • Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
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  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015. 
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
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  • M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities. 
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
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  • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
  • Doctor of Philosophy: Counselor Education and Supervision
  • MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
  • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.

More North Carolina Physical Therapy Assistant Schools

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Concord
Bachelor
358
Hudson
Associate
3,728
Wilmington
Associate
7,570
Charlotte
Associate
18,052
Durham
Associate
5,170
Fayetteville
Associate
9,063
Jamestown
Associate
10,571
Williamston
Associate
755
Rocky Mount
Associate
2,916
Winterville
Associate
6,499
Asheville
Bachelor
133
Sylva
Associate
2,040

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Physical Therapist Assistants

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for North Carolina. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Physical Therapist Assistants

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Physical Therapist Assistants relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Asheville 240 $57,770
Durham 70 $60,570
Chapel Hill 70 $60,570
Fayetteville 120 $55,340
Goldsboro 40 $58,610
Greensboro 170 $54,070
High Point 170 $54,070
Greenville 40 $59,530
Hickory 130 $57,430
Lenoir 130 $57,430
Morganton 130 $57,430
New Bern 60 $64,050
Raleigh 240 $59,390
Rocky Mount 120 $
Wilmington 60 $59,030
Winston 90 $57,230
Salem 90 $57,230

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