How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in New Hampshire
Becoming a physical therapist assistant (PTA) is the perfect career choice for anyone who loves helping people and wants a career in the medical field, but doesn’t want to be in college for several years. PTAs work in a variety of facilities such as rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and hospitals, among others.
PTAs work directly under the supervision of physical therapists (PTs). They assist with patient care, paperwork and educating patients and families.
Obtaining Your License
In order to obtain your PTA license in New Hampshire, you must complete a PTA associate’s degree program from an accredited college. You will be required to have all immunizations, clean drug tests and a clean background check before being accepted into an educational program. Once you have completed the degree, you will have to pass the New Hampshire Jurisprudence Assessment Module (NHJAM). After you pass that test, you still have to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination for physical therapists (NPTE-PTA).
Once you have your degree and license, your education isn’t over. Your PTA license will expire on December 31 on every year that ends with an even number. To be approved for renewal, you will need to have taken 24 hours of additional education and worked 100 hours for each year leading up to your renewal. The licensing board audits 10 percent of all applications that are submitted. If you are chosen for audit, you have to provide proof of your continued education.
PTA Education in New Hampshire
As of right now, there is only one accredited college in New Hampshire that has a physical therapist assistant program.
- River Valley Community College. The program at RVCC takes two years to complete and includes two semesters of practicums and internships. Liability and malpractice insurance is included in tuition and lasts until the student has completed all clinical courses. This school has a 100 percent national exam passing rate.
Career and Salary Statistics
PTAs in New Hampshire earn an average of $59,360 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a fantastic salary, because it is higher than the national average and because New Hampshire has a relatively low cost of living. It is important to keep in mind that where you work will play a huge role in how much money you are making. Nursing homes and workplace settings typically pay the least. Sports and fitness facilities, physical therapy offices and hospitals generally pay the most.
Going to school to get a PTA degree in New Hampshire costs between $19,000 and $39,000 a year depending on where you live. Although this can be a costly investment, it is also a good one, as the need for PTAs in both New Hampshire and across the country continues to grow. According to data collected by the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP), 210 PTAs were working in New Hampshire in 2016. PMP predicts that by 2026 that number will rise to 240. It is important to keep in mind that those numbers are only for people who are currently employed and future employed and doesn’t reflect how many PTAs will actually be needed.
According to the New Hampshire Economic & Labor Bureau, the physical therapist assistant profession is set for a high rate of growth. Since the need for PTAs is higher than the number of people hired, many employers are offering incentives such as additional paid time off, bonuses and flexible schedules in order to find and retain great employees.
The highest paying cities for PTAs to seek work in New Hampshire are Manchester, Concord and Keene. The lowest paying cities are Somersworth, Claremont and Franklin.