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Physical therapy assistants (PTA) work with a physical therapist to diagnose and treat patients suffering from illness or injury that negatively impacts mobility. This work involves examining the patient to develop a treatment plan designed to improve mobility, promote healing and wellness, reduce pain, or all of the above. The PTA also works with his or her patients to implement lifestyle changes to help avoid future issues and health problems.

Virginia Physical Therapy Assistant Schools

In order to receive a license to work as a PTA, you must complete a two-year, college level program for physical therapy assistants. Here are some examples of PTA schools in Virginia:

  • Northern Virginia Community College: This school offers a Physical Therapy Assistant Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program open to all students over age 18 that pass the placement test.

  • Wytheville Community College: This school's PTA program, which awards graduates with an AAS, is approved by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

  • South University Richmond: Graduates of this school's PTA program receive an AAS degree. The program is CAPTE-approved.

  • Jefferson College of Health Sciences: This school offers an AAS program in Physical Therapy Assistant where students move from classroom to lab to a clinical setting.

  • Riverside: To enroll in the AAS, CAPTE-approved program for Physical Therapy Assistants at this school, students must complete, and pass, prerequisite coursework.

What to Expect from Virginia Physical Therapy Assistant Programs

Since a career as a physical therapy assistant requires a two-year degree rather than certification, expect to complete "core" classes, such as English, Math, and Psychology. Each school offering a PTA program has prerequisites in these subjects, as well as medical terminology and physiology.

Common PTA courses include:

  • Musculoskeletal function and structure
  • Therapeutic procedures
  • Rehabilitation procedures
  • Clinical education
  • Cooperative education

Virginia Physical Therapy Assistant License

The state of Virginia requires all physical therapy assistants to obtain a license. In addition, you must complete a two-year college-level program, pass Board examination, and be over the age of 18. Here are some other things to keep in mind if you're pursuing your license in this state:

  • If you previously worked as a licensed PTA, you may obtain a Virginia license by endorsement.
  • Licenses remain on file for one year and then must be reapplied for, with appropriate fees submitted.
  • Virginia allows trainee program participants to obtain a PTA license if they complete 1,000 training hours in an approved facility, with only three trainees per licensed physical therapist.
  • To renew your license each year, you must complete 30 Continuing Education hours, plus a minimum of 160 hours of active practice.
  • Active duty military personnel who miss their renewal deadline due to deployment have 60 days to renew upon return to the United States. Provide a copy of Form DD214.

Resources for Physical Therapy Assistants in Virginia

To keep track of licensing requirements, developments in the industry, and more, check out the following resources for a physical therapy assistant.

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  • Occupational Therapy Assistant (AS)
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Richmond
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  • Professional Massage Therapy Program
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  • 85% of faculty holds a doctorate or terminal degree in their field.
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More Virginia 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
Roanoke
Masters
971
Chester
Associate
8,082
Richmond
Associate
12,557
Annandale
Associate
41,266
Richlands
Associate
3,716
Norfolk
Associate
25,857
Wytheville
Associate
3,072

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Physical Therapist Assistants

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Virginia. 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
Blacksburg 50 $56,220
Christiansburg 50 $56,220
Radford 50 $56,220
Harrisonburg 60 $58,320
Lynchburg 80 $65,950
Richmond 400 $53,340
Roanoke 190 $58,940
Staunton N/A $68,550
Waynesboro N/A $68,550

Sources:

  1. Board of Physical Therapy Frequently Asked Questions, Virginia.gov, https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/PhysicalTherapy/pt_faq.htm#Verification, accessed September 17, 2016
  2. Welcome to CAPTE, http://www.capteonline.org/home.aspx, accessed September 17, 2016
  3. Role of a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), APTA, http://www.apta.org/PTACareers/RoleofaPTA/, accessed September 17, 2016

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