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!
Interested in a career in physical therapy? Learn more about our region’s employment outlook and career opportunities you can pursue in this field of study.
Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. You may, in accordance with State laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. This field generally requires formal training.
median annual salary
annual job openings
are currently employed within Bay, Midland, Saginaw and Tuscola counties.
This number is expected to over the next four years.
of current workers will reach retirement age within the next ten years.
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About Delta's Program
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.
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). If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 989-686-9316 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. (Portal login required.)
- 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.
Demonstrate professional behaviors of the physical therapy field.
Use relevant interpersonal skilsl to communicate with each diverse person in the healthcare setting.
Perform appropricate technical skills under the supervision of a physical therapist to function as a competent entry-level physical therapist assistant.
Utilize appropriate critical thinking abilities to carry out an established plan of care under the supervision of a physical therapist.
Demonstrate the ability to pass the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination.
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.
2016 16/16, 100%
2017 15/16, 93.8%
Two-year average: 96.9%
Source: The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, 2018
Program Completion Rates
2016 16/20, 80.0%
2017 18/20, 90.0%
Two-year average: 85.0%
Employment in physical therapy (full-time or part-time) within six months of passing the licensure exam.
Two-year average: 100%
Source: graduate surveys
Why you should choose Delta
If you have an interest in wellness and health fitness, this dual associate degree in Health Fitness Specialist could be perfect for you! It's a great way to get additional training in personalized exercise and fitness to increase your earning potential.
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.
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.
Reach100 is a nationwide call to membership for PT and PTA students to demonstrate their commitment to APTA membership. Delta College has reached Gold Status with 90-99% Membership.
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.
97% of PTA grads passed their national licensure exam in a two-year average.
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 Health Fitness Specialist
- Pre-Physical Therapist – Transfer
"Delta gave me the opportunity to see what goes on in the real world of physical therapy. Clinicals gave me real-life, hands-on experiences with patients."
Physical Therapist Assistant student