Physical Therapist Assisting in Ohio
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) work under the supervision and instruction of physical therapists (PTs) to help patients who suffer from pain and mobility issues. Physical therapy can improve movability and decrease pain through the use of stretches, exercises, massage and physical therapy equipment.
To become a physical therapist assistant in Ohio, you must be compassionate for patients in pain, be willing to work long hours on your feet and be comfortable with using your hands for a variety of physical therapy treatments. This is a fast-growing career field, with a projected employment increase of 29.2 percent by the year 2026.
The Route to Becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant
Anyone who wants to become a PTA can start by taking physical health science and math classes in high school. Upon earning a high school diploma or GED equivalent, prospective PTAs should apply for an Associate Degree in Applied Science at a school accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
After the successful completion of a physical therapy assistant program, Ohio PTAs need to pass the national physical therapy exam (NPTE) and apply for Ohio PTA licensure.
Educational Opportunities for Ohio PTAs
There are schools all over the state that offer quality, accredited education options for those interested in physical therapist assisting careers, including:
- Bradford School. This Columbus school offers a physical therapist assistant program that can be completed in just 18 months. Bradford utilizes a simulated physical therapy clinic to give students hands-on, realistic training and prepare them for an entry-level PTA career.
- University of Cincinnati (UC). The Clermont College at UC offers an AAS in physical therapist assisting, which is open to those who have achieved at least a 2.75 grade point average in high school. Other prerequisites for this program include two years of high school science and math, two years of high school social science and four years of high school English (or their college-level equivalents).
Requirements for Gaining Your Ohio License
Apply for your Ohio PTA license through the Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Athletic Trainers (OTPTAT) Board. This organization is responsible for the regulation of physical therapy in the state of Ohio, and offers licensure to those who can meet these requirements, among others:
- Completion of a physical therapy program accredited by the CAPTE
- Passing of the NPTE
- Passing of a criminal background check
- Successful completion of the Ohio Jurisprudence Exam
PTA Statistics in Ohio
In 2016, the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) reported that 6,250 PTAs worked in the state of Ohio. That employment number is projected to increase 27.2 percent by 2026—an optimistic career outlook. There is an average of 1,010 PTA job openings per year in the state of Ohio.
Ohio physical assistant therapists also receive higher-than-average pay, with a median income of $27.63 reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2017. Compared to the national median income of $22.56 per hour that year, PTAs in Ohio earned a much stronger income.
A Positive Career Choice, No Matter Where You Are in Ohio
By far, the highest number of physical therapist assistants worked in the Cleveland area in the year 2017. Cincinnati and Columbus followed with high numbers of PTA employment as well. The highest rates of PTA employment per 1,000 jobs were reported in the Canton and Youngstown areas. If you’re looking for a strong income, you might consider working in Dayton or Cleveland, where PTAs earned median hourly incomes of $32.48 and $29.20 in 2017.
With strong incomes reported across the state and a fast employment growth rate predicted in the future, physical therapist assistants have positive career opportunities within the state of Ohio. If you are interested in entering the healthcare field and want to help patients regain their mobility, physical therapist assisting may be an ideal career path for you.