Accredited Occupational & Physical Therapist Assistant Degree Programs
An associate's degree in physical therapy or an associate's degree in occupational therapy prepares you for an assistant's position in either field. Both physical therapist assistants and occupational therapist assistants work directly with patients, implementing therapeutic treatment plans.
Click on the "request info" button next to an accredited school listed below to receive information on specific physical therapy and occupational therapy assistant degrees and training programs.
Results per page
Earn Your Associate’s Degree in Physical and Occupational Therapy Online
The job outlook for those who earn an associate's degree in physical therapy or an associate's degree in occupational therapy is very good, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The number of physical therapy assistants is expected to grow 46% by 2020, according to the BLS, while the projected number of occupational therapist assistants will increase by 43%.
Physical and Occupational Therapist Assistant Job Duties
Physical therapist assistants work primarily in hospitals and physical therapist clinics, implementing therapeutic treatment plans designed by physical therapists. This can include helping patients with exercise such as stretching, walking or water exercise. Physical therapist assistants might also observe patients before, during and after therapy and report their status to physical therapists, aid patients during specific exercises and use physical therapy techniques such as massage and stretching to help patients regain physical strength or manage pain.
Occupational therapist assistants work in a variety of environments, including hospitals, therapeutic clinics and nursing homes, implementing the plans that help patients deal with the loss of physical abilities due to illness, disease and disability. Job duties can include: helping patients correctly complete therapeutic exercises; working with children who have developmental disabilities, helping them to develop coordination through play activities; and handling administrative tasks such as tracking a patient's progress, handling office administrative tasks and delivering patient reports to occupational therapists.
Job and Salary Outlook for Physical and Occupational Therapist Assistants
Both physical and occupational therapists are in demand, with a 46% and 43% increase, respectfully, for these jobs by 2020, according to the BLS. The median pay for a physical therapist assistant was $49,690 in 2010, while the median pay for an occupational therapist was $47,490, according to the BLS.
A two-year associate's degree in physical therapy is what most employers will require on the resumes of job candidates for the position of physical therapist assistant. When choosing a program, it is recommended that you verify that it is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
Most employers prefer occupational therapist assistants to have earned an associate’s degree in an occupational therapist assistant program. The coursework in such programs typically focus on subjects such as psychology, biology and pediatric health. Part of the education for an occupational therapy assistant also includes supervised field work.