Becoming a Wyoming Physical Therapist Assistant
Wyoming is a great place to begin your career as a physical therapist assistant (PTA). With growing employment rates and strong income levels across the state and country, these health professionals enjoy stable job opportunities.
Patients who are recovering from surgery, injury or illness often need help managing pain and regaining mobility. PTAs offer mobility therapy services to patients as instructed by licensed physical therapists (PTs). They may offer massage, stretch and equipment therapies to patients, as well as education about exercises to perform at home. You can find physical therapist assistants working in physical therapy clinics, hospitals, nursing home facilities and other healthcare settings.
Checklist for Pursuing Your PTA
On the road to becoming a physical therapist assistant, you should first complete high school or earn your GED equivalent. The state of Wyoming requires that all physical therapist assistants complete a two-year program of physical therapy study in a program accredited by the Commission on Physical Therapy Accreditation (CAPTE). After successful completion of training, you must pass the national physical therapy exam (NPTE) before applying for state licensure.
Physical Therapist Assistant Education Options
There is only one school within the state of Wyoming that offers an accredited physical therapist assistant program:
- Laramie County Community College. The Cheyenne-based physical therapist assistant program at this school lasts five semesters and result in an Associate Degree in Applied Science (AAS) in physical therapy. Potential students must be able to provide proof of immunizations and must have logged 20 hours observation or volunteering in a physical therapy setting before application. This school has agreements with other colleges and universities so that students with their AAS can continue with four-year degrees.
Students seeking more educational options can find accredited PTA programs in nearby states.
License Requirements for Physical Therapist Assistants
Licensure for PTAs in Wyoming may be pursued through the Wyoming Board of Physical Therapy (WBPT). Requirements in the application process include fingerprinting, a criminal background check, two letters of recommendation and the passing of the Wyoming jurisprudence exam. Licensed PTAs must complete 30 continuing education credits every two years.
A Promising Career into the Future
The employment rate for physical therapist assistants in Wyoming is growing at an astounding level of 33.3 percent, according to the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP). The median income for PTAs in Wyoming was $24.44 per hour, or $50,830 annually, in 2017, above the national median income of $22.56 for these professionals.
Working as a Physical Therapist Assistant in Wyoming
Physical therapist assistants are employed evenly across the entire state of Wyoming, with equal employment rates per 1,000 jobs in the main Wyoming areas. However, the best paid PTAs in the state worked in the Northeast Wyoming nonmetropolitan area in 2017, with a reported median income of $25.81 via the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
If you live in Wyoming, enjoy helping patients find relief and regain independence, and are able to follow specific instructions, a career in physical therapist assisting could be the ideal path for you.