Physical therapist assistants, often called PTAs, work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. They help patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses regain movement and manage pain.
Patients may include accident victims and individuals with short- and long-term disabling conditions, such as low back pain, fractures, head injuries, arthritis, heart disease and cerebral palsy.
This career field is experiencing large growth. Earn your associate's degree at Delta and get started!
The Physical Therapist Assistant career has grown by 5% over the last 2 years, and is expected to grow by 23% over the next 10 years.
In this field, it is estimated that you could earn and average of $45,300 per year.
Visit Career Coach for more details.
- Physical Therapist Assistant
Technology is a big deal. That’s why we have the best technology out there – like a $20 million health wing renovation. We want to make sure when you graduate, you can hit the ground running.
About Delta's Program
Delta's program is four semesters long, starting in the fall. It's a cohort program, so you come in as a group and take your classes together from your first semester until your last. Each semester in the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program, students take 12+ credits and requires a full-time commitment to be successful. Students spend many hours outside of class studying and practicing their skills.
Most PTA courses are offered on campus during the day, however students may occasionally be asked to be available on nights or weekends for special events. Students also have more than 100 clinical sites to choose from.
At Delta College, we want every student to get the best education, so they're ready to hit the ground running when they graduate. Accreditation is one way we do that.
The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Delta College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Getting your degree in a health field is unique compared to other Delta programs. You must first take your prerequisite core courses, then you apply for validation.
The Registrar's Office validates your prerequisite courses to confirm you are eligible to begin the clinical portion of your program.
- Declare the Physical Therapist Assistant program.
- Meet with your advisor regularly. Stay on track with what you need to do to apply.
- Apply for validation with the Registrar's Office once you've started your final semester of prerequisite courses.
- Stay connected for important updates from Delta!
We want to make sure you're ready when you graduate and that the knowledge you gain from your Delta degree is top-notch.
Use appropriate technical and interpersonal skills to function as a competent entry-level PTA.
Demonstrate professional behaviors and values of the profession which include lifelong learning and civic responsibility.
Demonstrate abilities that will enable employment as a physical therapist assistant.
Utilize appropriate problem solving and critical thinking abilities to carry out an established patient plan of care under the supervision of a physical therapist.
We think it's important to know how we're doing so we can continually improve our programs – collegewide. We work really hard to give our students the best possible education. So, we annually evaluate and show you what we find out.
Licensure pass rates
Total percent of candidates in graduation class who took the NPTAE and passed.
2014 12/13, 92.3%
2015 17/17, 100.0%
Source: The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, 2015
Program Completion Rates
Employment in physical therapy (full-time or part-time) within six months of passing the licensure exam.
Source: graduate surveys
Why you should choose Delta
Delta College students have an option to earn a dual associate degree in General Management with their Physical Therapist Assistant associate degree.
It's a great way to get that business background and increase your earning potential. Students should complete the business course requirements for the dual degree before beginning clinical work as a PTA.
Delta's PTA program, started in 1976, is the second oldest in Michigan. We believe our vast experience over such a long time period is one reason why our students have such a great national exam pass rate – 100%!
Delta College PTA students and faculty are actively involved with the Michigan Physical Therapy Association and the American Physical Therapy Association.
The PTA Student Club gets involved with our community with multiple service projects and professional involvement.
Things like giving free assistive devices to community members, attending state and national conferences, volunteering at local community events and raising awareness for health-related causes are just a few examples of club activities.
One of the very best things about Delta College is your ability to start here and go on. And, in the process, save thousands (and thousands) of dollars. It's a smart choice!
In fact, if you're interested in earning a bachelor's degree, you have several options by coming to Delta first, and then transferring. Delta has signed transfer agreements to continue your studies with:
- Ferris State University - Allied Health Sciences
Facts & Figures
100% of recent PTA graduates are currently employed.
100% of recent PTA grads passed their national licensure exam.
Delta College offers over 150 degree, certificate and training options. Continue exploring and advancing your education with these related programs:
- Physical Therapist Assistant – Dual Associate with Business Management
- Pre-Physical Therapist – Transfer