How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Ohio

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How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Ohio

This article will guide you through the steps of becoming a physical therapist assistant in Ohio.

This occupation is in high demand and there is little indication that the demand will lower.

Earning Your License as a Physical Therapist Assistant in Ohio

In this state, physical therapist assistants must obtain a license from the Ohio Occupational therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Trainers (OTPTAT) Board.

To earn a license, you’ll need some formal education from a program that was accredited by CAPTE.

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The OPTAT Board keeps a list of such programs on its website.

The approved programs usually end in a degree like these:

  • An academic associate’s degree—the associate of science (AS)
  • An occupational associate’s degree—the associate of applied science (AAS)

While the admission requirements might vary, the structure of the program is the same, being formed of coursework, lab work, and clinical experiences.

The names of the classes will also vary, but the topics will generally cover:

  • Medical Terminology & Documentation
  • Functional Anatomy for PTA I and II
  • Introduction to Physical Therapy
  • Introduction to Patient Care
  • Kinesiology I and II
  • Introduction to Disease
  • Therapeutic Interventions I
  • Neurological Therapeutic Interventions
  • Physical Agents I and II
  • Clinical Preparation
  • Clinical I, II, and III
  • Manual Therapy Techniques
  • PTA Professional Issues
  • Musculoskeletal Therapeutic Interventions
  • Special Populations in Therapeutic Interventions
  • Practice Clinical Simulation
  • Orthotic and Prosthetic Fitting Therapeutic Interventions
  • Special Topics in PT Practice
  • Licensure Exam Prep

In most states, you’ll apply for the license after you graduate, but in Ohio, you can do so close to the graduation date.

To apply, you’ll need to:

  • Submit the initial license application online
  • Submit the Certification of Applicant
  • Submit your fingerprints for a criminal records check
  • Attach a passport-sized, 2×2 inch photo to the Certification of Applicant
  • Submit a Certification of Entry-Level Education directly from your educational institution
    • You can submit an Entry-Level Education Pre-Completion Form when applying before graduating
  • Register for the Ohio Jurisprudence Exam
  • Register for the National Physical Therapist Exam (NPTE) for PTAs
  • Submit the application fee of $100

The background check is done by both the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Both exam registrations are done with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).

The Federation charges an extra $400 for the exam.

The application is sent to the Board in Cleveland and you have 1 year to complete all the steps.

Those who are approved to take the NPTE will need to register and schedule the test with Prometric who charges $70 extra for it.

There are 200 questions on the test, the passing score is 600, and the topics cover:

  • Physical Therapy Data Collection
  • Diseases/Conditions that Impact Effective Treatment
  • Interventions
  • Equipment & Devices & Therapeutic Modalities
  • Safety and Protection
  • Cardiovascular/Pulmonary & Lymphatic systems
  • Integumentary System
  • Metabolic & Endocrine Systems
  • Gastrointestinal System
  • Genitourinary System
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Neuromuscular & Nervous Systems

The jurisprudence exam lasts for 1 hour and has 50 questions that cover:

  • Chapter 4755. of the Ohio Revised Code
  • Chapters 4755-21 to 4755-29 of the Ohio Administrative Code (collectively referred to as the Ohio Physical Therapy Practice Act)
  • Legislative Intent and Definitions
  • Powers and Duties of the Board
  • Licensure and Examination
  • Patient Care Management
  • Disciplinary Actions
  • Consumer Advocacy

The scores are sent directly to the Board.

Physical Therapist Assistant Employment and Salary Information in Ohio

Most licensed physical therapist assistants work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and a variety of clinics.

These facilities include:

  • Encore Rehabilitation Services – Warrensville Heights
  • RehabCare Group – Akron
  • Brookdale – Westlake
  • Cleveland Clinic – Solon
  • Southwest General Health – Middleburg Heights
  • Warren Physical Therapy – Warren
  • Physiotherapy Associates – Montgomery County
  • ProHealth Therapy – Sandusky
  • Functional Pathways – Cincinnati
  • Mercy Health – Youngstown

Salaries are higher in certain cities compared to others, even when the experience is not taken into account.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Columbus $55,108
Cleveland $55,293
Cincinnati $54,628
Toledo $54,069
Akron $53,634
Dayton $54,304
Canton $53,559
Youngstown $53,058
Lorain $54,393
Hamilton $54,405

Regional Salary in Ohio

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Akron, OH320$64,660$31.09$84,660$49,840
Canton-Massillon, OH170$60,270$28.98$79,210$49,610
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN820$65,620$31.55$84,400$49,440
Cleveland-Elyria, OH1,150$65,920$31.69$84,440$50,180
Columbus, OH1,140$66,390$31.92$89,360$49,260
Dayton, OH370$63,530$30.54$84,450$49,760
Lima, OH100$59,710$28.71$82,050$48,580
Mansfield, OH50$61,480$29.56$89,730$47,730
Springfield, OH60$65,090$31.3$82,200$50,340
Toledo, OH410$65,180$31.34$85,160$49,600
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA370$56,470$27.15$69,480$44,760
* 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 Ohio

In Ohio, on January 31 of odd-numbered years, the licenses of the physical therapist assistants will expire.

To renew, individuals need to complete a minimum of 12 contact hours of continuing education, except if this is their first renewal.

You’ll need to keep track of the contact hours through aPTitude, FSBPT’s free service, or through the Board’s tracking form.

You can complete this requirement by attending courses, workshops, seminars, or conferences.

The accepted ones are offered by these organizations:

  • Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • Ohio Physical Therapy Association

If you want to use other continuing education providers, you need to apply with the Ohio Physical Therapy Association.

USA Physical Therapist Assistant Schools by State

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