How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Iowa

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How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Iowa

In Iowa, physical therapy assistant jobs are becoming increasingly popular.

If you want to build a career in the industry, take a look at this guide for tips and info.

Earning Your License as a Physical Therapist Assistant in Iowa

In Iowa, you first have to get licensed in order to practice.

For that, consider pursuing a Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or Associate of Science (AS) degree.

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You will need to join a program where you can develop your skills.

This program has to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and by the Iowa Board of Physical & Occupational Therapy.

Such a program has a duration of 2 years.

The clinical practice period generally lasts for 17 weeks.

You will get to practice in clinics, which require a background check before receiving students.

Some clinics where you can practice are:

  • Linn County Regional Center – Hiawatha
  • Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines

The classes you will attend include:

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology lecture and lab
  • PTA Patient Assessment
  • Kinesiology
  • Functional Motor Development
  • Pathophysiology
  • Neurology for PTA
  • Orthopedic issues

In addition to theory, you also have to take 500 to 600 hours of practice.

Getting your degree will enable you to start your licensing application.

Candidates have to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for physical therapy assistants, provided by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).

The required documents include:

  • $120 fee for your application
  • An application form
  • The social security number
  • 2 recent passport-type photographs
  • Certified school transcripts sent by your school

The documents have to be mailed to the Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy Professional Licensure Division, in Des Moines.

To get licensed, you need to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for physical therapy assistants.

This exam is open book and computerized, comprising the following subjects:

  • Diseases/Conditions that Impact Effective Treatment (28%)
  • Equipment & Devices; Therapeutic Modalities (14.7%)
  • Interventions (30.7%)
  • Physical Therapy Data Collection (20.7%)
  • Safety & Protection; Professional Responsibilities; Research (6%)

You have to get a score of 600 to pass the exam and pay a $400 examining fee.

You will also need to pay a fee of $70 to Prometric.

Physical Therapist Assistant Employment and Salary Information

In Iowa, some of the best companies you can get employed by include:

  • Aegis Therapies – Ottumwa
  • US Physical Therapy – Davenport, Ankeny
  • Agility Health – Dubuque
  • UnityPoint Health – Waterloo
  • Millennium Rehab & Consulting Inc. – Johnston
  • Select Rehabilitation – Fairfield
  • Reliant Rehabilitation – Rockwell City, Eldora, State Center
  • Sanford Health – Sheldon
  • University of Iowa

Largest cities like Des Moines or Iowa City hold the best job prospects for physical therapy assistants in this state.

According to the Iowa Department of Workforce Development, jobs in the field will see a growth of 38%.

This is projected to happen between 2012 and 2022.

This big job growth means that physical therapy assistants in this state can easily find a job after licensing.

The salary you will get depends on how much experience you have.

As an entry-level, you will earn less money than someone who is experienced.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Des Moines $53,948
Cedar Rapids $53,002
Davenport $53,164
Sioux City $47,545
Iowa City $52,567
Waterloo $50,684
Ames $53,445
West Des Moines $53,948
Council Bluffs $52,815
Ankeny $53,948

Regional Salary in Iowa

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Ames, IA30$55,470$26.67$61,940$46,660
Cedar Rapids, IA100$59,530$28.62$68,440$48,340
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL120$58,460$28.11$70,420$47,050
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA210$59,160$28.44$68,770$46,260
Dubuque, IA40$51,670$24.84$64,590$33,880
Iowa City, IA80$59,280$28.5$69,870$49,420
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD50$55,240$26.56$62,000$46,940
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA60$59,280$28.5$71,410$45,690
* 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.

Physical Therapist Assistant License Renewal Information

In Iowa, your physical therapy assistant license has to be renewed once in 24 months.

To get it renewed, you need to submit a $60 renewal fee.

You can renew your license online, up to 2 months before it expires.

You can also request it physically by mailing the Iowa Department of Public Health, Professional Licensure in Des Moines.

To renew the license, you have to take 20 hours of additional class.

Out of these, 15 hours must be spent in clinical practice.

After the license expires, you have a month to renew it.

If it doesn’t get renewed within that time period, you have to go through the licensing process again.

The most important part of becoming a successful physical therapy assistant is to earn a license.

After you complete a program, you can easily get one and start working.

USA Physical Therapist Assistant Schools by State

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