How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Alabama

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How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Alabama

If you like to help people recover from injuries, perhaps you’d like to become a physical therapist assistant.

In this guide, you’ll learn all about the steps you’ll have to take, to become a physical therapist assistant in Alabama.

A physical therapist assistant must be registered with the Alabama Board of Physical Therapy.

For this, you’ll need a degree and a license.

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Earning the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Degree

The degree you need is an associate’s degree from a school with:

  • Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
  • Approval from the Alabama Board of Physical Therapy

You can obtain one of these degrees, but not only:

  • Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
  • Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Science (AS)

You should be studying topics like:

  • Medical terminology
  • Physical therapy issues and trends
  • Therapeutic procedures
  • Functional anatomy and kinesiology
  • Kinesiology lab
  • Human anatomy and physiology

Your classes will also need to include 630 or 650 hours of clinical work.

Once your coursework and clinical work hours are completed, you can get your degree.

Physical Therapist Assistant Application by Examination

After you receive your degree, you can apply to the Board to take the exam to obtain your license.

You’ll need:

  • To download and fill in the application form
  • To pay the application fee -$150
  • 2 character References (two)
  • Completed Certification of Physical Therapy Education (CPTE)
  • Official Transcripts

You’ll have to mail these documents to the Alabama Board.

You can take the exam only if you receive a letter of approval.

The passing score is 600 and the exam covers these topics:

  • Physical Therapy Data Collection (20.7%)
  • Diseases/Conditions that Impact Effective Treatment (28%)
  • Interventions (30.7%)
  • Equipment & Devices & Therapeutic Modalities (14.7%)
  • Safety and Protection (6.0%)

The FSBPT will send your results directly to the Alabama Board 5 days after the exam, though you can also request a copy.

To be allowed to work, you’ll also need to take and pass the jurisprudence exam as well.

This exam is taken through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) and you’ll register for it on the site of this institution.

The fee associated with this exam is $50 and you can take it only if you receive the Authorization to Test (ATT) letter from FSBPT.

The exam is administered by Prometric and you’ll have to schedule the date online.

When you do this, you’ll be required to pay an additional fee of $25 to schedule the exam.

You’ll have 1 hour to answer 50 questions covering the following topics:

  • Legislative Intent
  • Definition of Physical
  • Therapy/Practice of Physical Therapy
  • Definition of Physical Therapist, Physical Therapist Assistant, & Support Personnel
  • Board Powers and Duties to Regulate Practice
  • Qualifications for Licensure/Examination/Licensure by Endorsement
  • Use of Titles and Lawful Practice
  • Grounds for Disciplinary Action
  • Disciplinary Actions: Penalties
  • Rights of Consumers/Public Records

The passing score for this exam is still 600.

Physical Therapist Assistant Salary Information

The demand for physical therapist assistants in Alabama is high, as in this state we can find the second-highest concentration of such professionals.

If you want to have a higher average salary, getting hired in a larger city can be helpful.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Birmingham $52,798
Montgomery $50,010
Huntsville $52,753
Mobile $51,620
Tuscaloosa $52,281
Dothan $49,268
Auburn $48,088
Decatur $51,141
Madison $52,753
Florence $48,088

Regional Salary in Alabama

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL40$58,640$28.19$78,180$31,350
Auburn-Opelika, AL40$47,940$23.05$64,250$22,450
Birmingham-Hoover, AL620$54,830$26.36$80,340$31,690
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL60$58,570$28.16$80,580$22,460
Decatur, AL50$63,840$30.69$86,430$47,840
Dothan, AL80$58,150$27.96$77,580$47,900
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL60$61,320$29.48$87,740$32,590
Gadsden, AL100$60,420$29.05$70,390$46,540
Huntsville, AL180$61,650$29.64$84,130$37,650
Mobile, AL170$58,750$28.24$75,740$34,890
Montgomery, AL100$61,440$29.54$79,070$49,750
Tuscaloosa, AL80$62,840$30.21$85,900$49,020
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Physical Therapist Assistants, OCC Code 31-2021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

You can find employment in one of the following settings, and not only:

  • Hospitals,
  • Nursing homes,
  • Outpatient centers
  • Sub-acute facilities
  • Rehabilitation centers

Additional Information

You can also try obtaining a certificate or a bachelor’s degree, not just an associate’s.

The higher degree you have, the better career chances you’ll have.

Remember that this license also needs to be renewed every year by October 1st.

For this you’ll need:

  • $93 – the renewal fee
  • Prove completion of 10 Board-approved contact hours of continuing education
  • A license renewal form

Every 5 years you’ll also need to complete 2 hours of continuing education related to physical therapy jurisprudence.

Both the Practice Act and the Administrative Code must be covered in these 2 hours.

You must keep a record of all the classes you take for a minimum period of 5 years, as the Board might ask about them.

To accumulate these hours, you can perform activities such as:

  • Complete the academic coursework related to physical therapy
  • Participate in a related clinical residency or fellowship program
  • Earn a PTA specialty certification
  • Publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal
  • Teach a course on physical therapy

USA Physical Therapist Assistant Schools by State

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