This guide is for those who want to become a physical therapist assistant in New Mexico.
You’ll learn more about the training you must undergo, employers, and the average salary in this state.
Article Table of Contents
Earning Your License as a Physical Therapist Assistant in New Mexico
In New Mexico, a physical therapist assistant needs a license.
The licenses are issued by the New Mexico Physical Therapy Board.
To obtain the license, you first need to complete a program from a school offering a CAPTE-accredited degree in this field.
The Board must also approve this program.
Some of the most common degrees for physical therapist assistants are:
- Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (AS)
- Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant Program (AAS)
- Associate of Occupational Sciences in Physical Therapist Assistant (AOS)
Some students choose to get a bachelor’s degree because it offers more career options.
Generally, the schools have different enrolling requirements and the structure of the coursework.
Among the enrolling requirements, these are the most common:
- Having up-to-date immunizations
- Holding CPR certification
- Having health insurance
- Passing a drug screening test
- Passing an official background check
- Undergoing a physical examination
The curriculum should focus on topics such as:
- Physical therapist assistant techniques
- Administrative procedures
- Therapeutic exercise
- Communications for the health professions
- Fundamentals of disease
- Growth and development
- Introduction to Kinesiology
In New Mexico, future physical therapist assistants are required to complete an internship of at least 640 hours, in different facilities.
Once you graduate you need to take and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for physical therapist assistants.
You can’t take the exam without applying for it.
Your application process and documents will include:
- The $225 fee to the Board
- The application form found on the Board’s website
- You need to download it and fill it out
- A passport photo not older than 12 months
- It needs a signature in ink, in the bottom right corner
- Official school transcripts
- The jurisprudence exam found on the Board’s website
- It has 50 questions that you must answer
You’ll have to send all these papers to the Board found in Santa Fe.
Candidates have the option to obtain a temporary license until they pass the exam.
The temporary permit costs an additional $35.
To take the exam, you need to register with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
The test with 200 questions is organized at the Prometric testing centers.
The Federation charges $400 for the exam and Prometric charges another $70.
The topics of the exam cover:
- Safety and Protection;
- Physical Therapy Data Collection
- Professional Responsibilities;
- Equipment & Devices; Therapeutic Modalities
- Diseases/Conditions that Impact Effective Treatment
To pass, you need a score of at least 600.
You can use the candidate’s handbook and the online practice test offered by the Federation, to improve your chances of passing.
Physical Therapist Assistant Employment and Salary Information in New Mexico
In New Mexico, in 2015, some of the best employers were:
- Paramount Rehabilitation – Albuquerque
- Aegis Therapies – Albuquerque, Las Cruces
- Reliant Rehabilitation – Artesia, Lordsburg
- Artesia General Hospital – Artesia
- Nor-Lea Hospital District – Lea
- MTX Therapy Services – Tucumcari
- Gila Regional Medical Center – Silver City
- Aureus Medical Group – Truth or Consequences, Carlsbad
Your salary will be higher on average in cities like Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, or Santa Fe.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Regional Salary in New Mexico
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Las Cruces, NM||110||$50,920||$24.48||$74,080||$28,480|
|Santa Fe, NM||40||$56,930||$27.37||$77,730||$38,550|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Physical Therapist Assistant License Renewal Information in New Mexico
Every year on February 1, your license as a physical therapist assistant will expire.
For renewal you’ll need:
- To complete 30 contact hours of continuing education
- An application form you must fill out
- To pay the renewal fee of $120
You must keep accurate records of the classes you take in case of an audit from the Board.
The website of the Board also keeps a list of approved classes you can take for the continuing education requirement.