How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Delaware

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How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Delaware

Those who want to become physical therapist assistants in Delaware will enter a field that is in high demand.

If you don’t know what you need to do for this new career, this guide will describe the steps you must follow.

Becoming a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant in Delaware

The Delaware Examining Board of Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers oversees the professionals in this state.

The first requirement of the Board for future physical therapist assistants is to obtain an associate’s degree.

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This degree must be in the field and from a CAPTE-accredited program.

Some examples include:

  • Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Physical Therapist Assistant

You can find all the CAPTE schools on the CAPTE website.

As a future student in these programs, you can expect to study topics such as:

  • Behavioral sciences
  • Kinesiology
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Exercise physiology
  • Clinical pathology
  • Anatomy
  • Therapeutic Documentation for the PTA
  • Biomechanics
  • Medical Terminology
  • Gerontology
  • Professional ethics

Keep in mind that these programs also need to have hands-on practice hours.

You might also have to enroll in an internship, to be able to earn your degree.

In Delaware, the physical therapist assistants also need to hold a CPR certification.

This certification can be obtained from the:

  • American Red Cross,
  • American Heart Association,
  • National Safety Council
  • Another agency approved by the Board

This certification cannot be obtained through online classes.

Once you complete your education and earn your degree, you’re ready to apply for the license exam.

You’ll have to download the application form from the Board’s website and attach a few other documents.

These papers include:

  • A fee of $125
  • A copy of your CPR certificate
  • Official school transcripts
  • A form for a criminal background check

The form is the Criminal History Record Check Authorization Form found at the end of the application form.

The background check form must be accompanied by a fee of $69.

There are only 3 locations where the background check can be performed, and the form must be presented in person.

It’s best to make an appointment for this purpose.

The locations are:

  • The State Bureau of Identification in Dover, Kent County
  • The State Police Troop Two in Newark, New Castle County
  • The Delaware State Police Troop Four in Georgetown, Sussex County

The exam you’ll take is the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for PTAs.

This test is offered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).

You’ll need to register with the Federation while you wait for approval from the Board.

It’s the Federation that will notify you if you can take the test.

The test is organized at the Prometric center in New Castle and it costs $70.

The topics on the exam cover:

  • Professional Responsibilities
  • Equipment and Devices
  • Safety and Protection
  • PT Data Collection
  • Therapeutic Modalities
  • Interventions

The passing score is 600 and to prepare you can use:

  • An online practice exam & assessment tool (PEAT)
  • The NPTE Candidate Handbook

Only those who pass their background checks and the exam will receive their license as physical therapist assistants.

Physical Therapist Assistant Salary Information

Physical therapist assistants in Delaware enjoy higher salaries compared to most other states.

While entry-level positions are paid less, those with better degrees and more experience will earn generally more.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Wilmington $59,550
Dover $59,452
Newark $59,505
Bear $59,483
Middletown $59,346
Hockessin $59,550
Smyrna $59,388
Milford $59,594
Claymont $59,550
Seaford $58,371

Regional Salary in Delaware

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Dover, DE50$57,770$27.77$80,340$30,580
* 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.

The easiest places to find a job, are:

  • Hospital rehab units
  • Private outpatient physical therapy practices
  • Other clinics
  • Various health centers

The best employers in the state include:

  • Christiana Care Health System
  • Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Smyrna
  • Dynamic Physical Therapy in several locations throughout the state
  • Performance Physical Therapy in Wilmington
  • Premier Physical Therapy in Middletown
  • Southern Delaware Physical Therapy in Milford
  • University of Delaware Department of Physical Therapy in Newark

License Renewal for Physical Therapist Assistants

All physical therapist assistants in Delaware must renew their licenses every 2 years.

For this, the Board requires the completion of at least 3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in the renewal period.

The  CEU requirements depend on when the license was obtained:

  • In the first 6 months of a biennial licensing period: 2.5 CEUs
  • In the second 6 months of a biennial licensing period: 2 CEUs
  • In the third 6 months of a biennial licensing period: 1.5 CEUs
  • In the final 6 months of a biennial licensing period: .5 CEU

One CEU is 10 hours of an approved course.

You’ll need:

  • A current CPR certification, which will count as .1 unit
  • An Ethics course, that is .2 units long

Section 24 Del.C. §2607(a) of the Delaware legislature has a complete list of approved CEU classes.

Make sure to keep accurate records of these CEUs as the Board will audit individuals at random.

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