Physical Therapist Assistant, AS

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Physical Therapist Assistant with patient

This physical therapist assistant degree offers a hands-on experience to students in order to prepare them for a career as a PTA.


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Change Lives for the Better as a Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) work closely under the supervision of Physical Therapists to help people improve their physical capabilities. An integral part of a rehabilitative team, a PTA provides most of the hands-on care and follows a patient through a plan of care set by a licensed Physical Therapist.

Being a PTA is an exciting and rewarding career, in which you can be part of the individualized treatment a patient receives to return to their maximum level of physical function after an injury or illness. In less than two years, you can earn your associate degree and make an immediate difference in persons' lives.

During your PTA education from Nebraska Methodist College, you'll gain experience by practicing physical therapy procedures in a clinical setting and learn to provide care specified by a Physical Therapist. This can include physical exercise, education and the use of special devices or technology. Your goals will be to help patients manage pain, increase mobility and achieve a better quality of life.

The physical therapy provided by PTAs can be used to treat conditions such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Incontinence
  • Lymphedema
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

PTAs can also treat symptoms such as:

  • back pain
  • balance
  • burns
  • developmental delays
  • dislocations
  • fractures
  • hand injuries
  • headaches
  • pelvic pain
  • sports injuries

PTAs are employed in many different settings, including:

  • hospitals
  • private practices
  • outpatient clinics
  • nursing homes
  • schools
  • sports and fitness facilities
  • home healthcare

Program Information

  • Over the past five years, the program has an overall pass rate of 100% on the national certification exam.
  • CAPTE-accredited Associate of Science degree program that can be completed in 21 months.
  • Combines 710 hours of clinical experience with hands-on classroom instruction. Clinicals are located in the Omaha metro area as well as surrounding communities. 
  • Utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, students learn how to teach movement, strength and coordination exercises; train patients to use crutches, canes and walkers; administer massage therapy and use ultrasound and electrical stimulation.
  • Students must earn a total of 75 credits for this degree program.

More PTA Program Information

Physical Therapist Assistant Salary & Job Outlook

How much does a physical therapist assistant make? The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the U.S. median physical therapist assistant salary in May 2018 was $58,040 per year or $27.90 per hour, with a much faster than average projected job growth of 31 percent between 2016 and 2026. Read more about a day in the life as a PTA on the APTA career page

PTA Professional Organizations

Physical Therapist Assistant Blog Posts

PTA Licensure

Graduates are prepared for an entry-level physical therapist assistant position and to sit for the national certification examination through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

NMC PTAs have an overall pass rate on this exam of 100% over the past five years.

Graduates are also required to pass a state licensure exam in most states. All physical therapist assistants must work under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist.

An individual who works as a physical therapist assistant in a jurisdiction where licensure or regulation is presently unavailable is required to be a graduate of a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by CAPTE.

PTA Accreditation

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Nebraska Methodist College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 402-354-7104 or email 

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