How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Maryland

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How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Maryland

Are you interested in developing a career as a physical therapy assistant in Maryland?

If so, you should read on to learn more about what you need to do.

Earning Your License as a Physical Therapist Assistant

In Maryland, all physical therapy assistants need to get a license.

You first need to pursue a Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or Associate of Science (AS) degree.

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To earn one of these degrees, you have to join a program through a school.

This program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and by the Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.

In Maryland, a program for physical therapy assistants are available in the following cities:

  • Baltimore
  • Columbia
  • Cumberland
  • Westminster
  • Arnold

An associate’s degree typically takes about 24 months to finish.

You will be required to take both theory and practice hours, which will total about 10-14 credits.

The clinical training is completed in a clinic and they will generally first ask for a background check.

The clinics that are open to clinical practice are:

  • Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore
  • Sinai Rehabilitation Center – Baltimore
  • University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute – Baltimore
  • HealthSouth Chesapeake Rehabilitation Hospital – Salisbury
  • Adventist HealthCare Physical Health & Rehabilitation – Gaithersburg

Some of the classes you will attend are:

  • Pediatrics
  • Gerontology
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Behavioral sciences
  • Professional ethics
  • Medical terminology
  • Therapeutic documentation for the PTA
  • Exercise physiology
  • Applied neuroscience
  • Clinical pathology
  • Biomechanics
  • Pathology I
  • Modalities I
  • Procedures
  • Clinical Kinesiology
  • Principles of Rehabilitation

After you complete your degree, you can start the application process to get certified.

You will need to take the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for PTAs, provided by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT)

The documents you have to submit include:

  • $150 exam fee – paid to the Board
  • The application form
  • The exam questionnaire – filled out
  • A recent passport-type photos
  • Certified school transcripts submitted by your school
  • $32.75 fee for a criminal background check
    • Must pay an extra $20 for the fingerprint process

The documents need to be sent to The Maryland Board of Physical Examiners found in Baltimore.

To get a physical therapist license, you will take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for PTAs.

This test is open book and includes the below topics:

  • 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 need to get a score of 600 to pass the examination.

There is also a $400 exam fee you have to submit to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).

The test lasts for 4 hours, features 200 questions, and requires preparation in advance.

You may prepare with the candidate handbook offered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).

Before taking the exam, you have to pay a fee of $70 to Prometric to schedule your test.

In this state, you also have to pass a jurisprudence exam.

This exam is open book and you need a score of 90% to pass it.

The test will feature questions related to the Maryland State Physical Therapy Laws and Regulations.

If you pass both exams, you will be issued a copy of your physical license in about 3 weeks.

Physical Therapist Assistant Employment and Salary Information

In Maryland, the biggest employers are:

  • Centra Healthcare Solutions – Clinton
  • Flagship Rehabilitation – Sandy Spring
  • Aegis Therapies – Frederick
  • NovaCare Rehabilitation – Fort Washington
  • The University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center – Towson
  • Greater Baltimore Medical Center – Baltimore
  • ATI Physical Therapy – Laurel
  • The People Link Corp. – Elkridge
  • Western Maryland Health System, Inc. – Cumberland
  • Big regions have better prospects for new physical therapy assistants.

You will find it easy to get your first job once you have a license.

The salary for physical therapy assistants grows based on experience, location, and also the type of degree you hold.

Annual Salary Range:
$47K
$57K
$69K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Baltimore$57,427
Columbia$57,333
Germantown$60,357
Silver Spring$62,186
Waldorf$62,019
Ellicott City$57,389
Frederick$60,003
Glen Burnie$57,427
Gaithersburg$62,019
Rockville$62,111

Physical Therapist Assistant License Renewal Information

In this state, you have to renew your current license every 2 years, otherwise, it expires.

The renewal date is based on the last number on your license:

  • An even number indicated you must renew in an even-numbered year
  • An odd number indicated you must renew in an odd-numbered year

The renewal request needs to be sent before May 15.

To get it renewed, you have to take 20 extra education hours.

If you have less than 12 months left until your first license renewal, you don’t need to continue your education.

USA Physical Therapist Assistant Schools by State


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