How Much Does it Cost to Become a Physical Therapy Aide?

Are you considering a career as a physical therapy aide?

If this sounds like you, you’ll want to make sure that you are aware of all costs related to becoming a physical therapy aide.

Some of the costs you will be responsible for are licensing fees, tuition, and equipment.

Once you have begun working as a physical therapy aide, some of your main responsibilities will include:

  • Observing patients prior to, during, and following therapy. The status of the patient will be reported to a physical therapist.
  • Use various equipment to assist patients including walkers.
  • Assisting patients with certain exercises.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for physical therapy aides is expected to increase 19 percent from 2022 to 2032.

There are various programs in which you can enroll to receive a physical therapy certificate or degree.

However, remember that costs will vary depending on the level of education you choose.

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How Much Does it Cost to Complete Physical Therapy Trade/Vocational School?

Depending on the school you choose and the state you reside in, tuition for physical therapy aide programs will vary.

Typically, you will need to earn at least an associate’s degree, even though there are lower-level programs you can enroll in.

For example, you have the option to complete a program and earn a physical therapy aide diploma.

Costs can range anywhere from $600 to $1200.

Community College

If you choose to enroll in community college, you can enroll in a two-year program and earn an associate’s degree from a PTA program.

Community college costs can vary depending on the type of college you enroll in.

For example, community college can cost around $2,500.

Private schools can cost $10,000 at the minimum.

During the time you’re enrolled in a PTA program, you will participate in clinical observation, and gain clinical and lab work experience.

Additionally, you can enroll in a university and obtain a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, Kinesiology, or another related major.

You can always transfer your community college credits over to a four-year program if you’re considering furthering your education.

Trade School vs. College by Numbers

National AverageFour-Year CollegeTwo-Year CollegeTrade School
Average CostUp to $30,049$2500 to $20,000$600 to $1200
Time to Complete4 Years2 Years12 months
Other ExpensesBooks/Housing/EquipmentBooks/Housing/EquipmentBooks
AwardBachelor's degreeAssociate's degreeCertificate

How Much Does a Physical Therapy Aide License Cost?

All states require licensing to practice as a physical therapy aide.

In order to work as a PTA, you must first take and pass the FSBPT exam.

The cost is $350.

Additionally, The American Physical Therapy Association also offers an exam.

You have the choice of taking the PTTC exam to become certified as well.

What are the Additional Costs After Becoming a Physical Therapy Aide?

Physical therapy aides have to sustain the costs of several things. In order to become hired as a PTA, therapists must first obtain their CPR and First Aid certifications.

The fee is typically $100, but can be as low as $40 depending on where you take the class.

During your apprenticeship, you will have to purchase a name tag, lab coat, and certain equipment.

These costs together can add up to nearly $400.

After you start work as a physical therapy aide, you will need appropriate work attire.

Depending on the setting in which you work, you may wear scrubs or office attire.

You will also need to have reliable transportation for work and ensure you have gas money and insurance coverage.

Most of the equipment that you will be using during your work as a physical therapy aide will be provided to you and include:

  • Balance Pads
  • Foam Rollers
  • Stretching Straps
  • Therapy Putty
  • Exercise Balls
  • Resistance Bands
  • Weights
  • Treadmills

Is Becoming a Physical Therapy Aide a Good Investment?

The expenses associated with becoming a physical therapy aide will vary slightly depending on the state and school you attend.

Every state requires that physical therapy aides pass the state exam.

Exam and licensing fees are pretty much the same nationwide.

Furthermore, you will need to purchase some equipment and other supplies prior to beginning your career as a PTA.

The salary and job outlook for physical therapy aides are promising.

On average, physical therapy aides make $31,410.

However, half of the workers earned more, with the top 10 percent earning more than $41,320.

There’s plenty of room for growth in physical therapy.

You can advance to an assistant, or a physical therapist following years of experience.

If you believe a career as a physical therapy aide is ideal for you, you should consider taking the necessary steps to enroll in a college near you.

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