The importance of physical therapy in the American healthcare sector cannot be underestimated. From providing vital therapy for those who have suffered traumatic injuries, to assisting the elderly to live a full and independent life, physical therapy has become an indispensable part of most treatment plans.
Because of this, physical therapist assistants are enjoying robust and growing employment opportunities, coupled with excellent professional and salary options.
The Physical Therapist Assistant in Arkansas
Arkansas has a wide range of employment options for the physical therapist assistant (PTA). In addition to a vibrant mixture or urban and rural populations, the state currently is facing dramatic growth in its elderly population.
For these reasons, there is a growing demand for various types of rehabilitative and supportive physical therapy, increasing the need for physical therapist and physical therapist assistants.
Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has estimated that Arkansas employees nearly 700 PTAs. Furthermore, the BLS currently estimates that between 2010 and 2020, the available jobs in this field will increase by about 46 percent.
When combined with the attrition from retiring physical therapist assistants, this rate of increase will create an extremely favorable career outlook for those individuals seeking employment.
Becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant in Arkansas
All physical therapy assistants in Arkansas must be licensed by the state in order to legally practice. The Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy (ARPTB) is in charge of accepting and evaluating license applications, and determines whether a candidate has fulfilled all of his or her responsibilities. The ARPTB has set forth the following requirements for licensure:
- Successfully complete an accredited physical therapy assistant program.
- Take and complete the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).
- Take and pass the jurisprudence examination.
In addition, individuals who have obtained their license in another state may apply for licensure by endorsement. If it is found that the requirements of their home state are equal to those of Arkansas, they may be able to obtain a license without having to repeat the NPTE or their physical therapy assistant program. However, candidates for licensure by endorsement must still complete the state jurisprudence examination.
Completing a Physical Therapy Assistant Program
Most physical therapy programs take about two years for a full time student to complete. These programs focus on all aspects of the physical therapy assistant’s duties, and prepare the student to provide the best possible care to his or her patients.
In addition, PTA programs also help prepare their students to effectively function in partnership with other medical professionals.
Many physical therapy programs also have provisions for part-time students. This can be ideal for students who are working or who otherwise cannot attend regularly scheduled classes. Most part-time classes are evening or weekend classes, while some can be offered online, allowing the student to complete his or her studies at home.
The student must ensure that his or her program has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Arkansas will not accept diploma’s from non-accredited programs. For this reason, potential students should ensure that their program is currently in good standing with the CAPTE.
Finally, students who have attended a foreign program will have to provide extra information to the ARPTB. Foreign programs cannot be accredited by the CAPTE and so must be evaluated by the ARPTB to ensure that they are equivalent to an accredited program offered in the United States.
Because the evaluation process can be lengthy, a candidate should make certain to submit his or her material as early as possible in order to avoid delays in the licensure process.
- Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
- Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
- Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
- About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
- Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
- B.S. in Human Services / Counseling
- Work in the fascinating and rewarding field of psychology - earn your bachelor's or master's degree online with Grand Canyon University.
- The College of Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research, creativity, ethical formation and inquiry through critical, analytical and interdisciplinary study.
- GCU's bachelor's and master's in psychology degrees combine academic theory with practical application.
- Gain a comprehensive study of human behavior within a Christian values-oriented environment designed to emphasize compassion and ethics.
- Join a values-based community surrounded by compassion, ethics and research on human behavior.
- M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with Emphasis in Grief and Bereavement
- M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Christian Ministry
- M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Family Dynamics
- And more...
100% Online & No Standardized Testing
We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.
- Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
- Doctor of Philosophy: Counselor Education and Supervision
- MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
- And more...
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*
- MS in Psychology - Addictions
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University. We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.
- Health Psychology - PhD of Psychology
- Master of Science in Health Psychology
As a community of initiative, University of the Southwest challenges graduates to become enterprising members of our society contributing to the common good by advocating and participating in the productive commerce of free enterprise, the constitutional privilege of self-government, and the practical contributions of community service.
- MSEd: Mental Health Counseling
- Bachelor of Arts in Substance Abuse Counseling
- Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
- Get Matched to Psychology, Counseling, Human Services, Organizational, and Clinical Psychology Degree Programs and MORE.
- View Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate and Graduate Certificate Degree Programs in Psychology and Human Services Near YOU!
- Accredited and Flexible Psychology Degree Programs to Fit Your Time and Budget. Use Our Matching Service - It's Easy and FREE!
Taking the NPTE and Jurisprudence Examination
The NPTE is the national examination for all physical therapist assistants. This comprehensive examination covers all of the duties of the physical therapy assistant. In order to pass the exam, the student must have a score of 600 or greater.
Candidates should only take the examination when they are confident of passing it. Arkansas requires that anyone who has failed the exam twice, no matter where they took it, submit a plan of study to the ARPTB before they will be allowed to take the NPTE again. Such a plan may entail extra schooling and will greatly delay the licensure process.
The Jurisprudence Examination
The jurisprudence examination evaluates the student’s understanding of how the duties of a PTA interact with the laws of Arkansas. This test can be retaken as many times as needed, but must be passed before the candidate can be licensed.
Becoming a PTA in Arkansas can be a gateway to a well-compensated and personally rewarding career. Whether the PTA is working in a major hospital or providing in home care to the elderly, the PTA provides a vital service to his or her fellow Americans.