How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in South Carolina

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How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in South Carolina

As a physical therapist assistant, you can have a decent income in South Carolina.

You can expect to work in a variety of settings like rehab clinics and hospitals, but not only.

These professionals help patients recover.

If you want to know how long does it take to become a physical therapist assistant in this state, this article is for you.

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Earning the Physical Therapist Assistant License in South Carolina

The physical therapist assistants in South Carolina need a license from the state’s Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.

The Board wants these candidates to first graduate from a CAPTE-accredited program that awards these degrees:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (AAS)
  • Associate of Health Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (AHS)

There are a series of other steps to complete before being accepted, like:

  • Earning the CPR certification
  • Passing a drug screening test
  • Passing a background check
  • Having current immunizations
  • Getting health insurance

It’s also possible to be required to complete anywhere from 20 to 40 hours of observation in a physical therapist’s clinic.

Once you get accepted, you’ll complete a series of classroom education, combined with laboratory hours, and an internship.

Your typical coursework will cover:

  • Introduction to PT Intervention
  • Introduction to Kinesiology
  • Pathology for Physical therapist assistants
  • Physical Agents & Modalities
  • Physical Therapy Professional Preparation
  • Patient Assessment Technique
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Orthopedic Management
  • Neuromuscular Rehabilitation

The internship won’t be shorter than 560 hours.

You can seek an internship opportunity at these facilities if your school won’t help you:

  • Columbia Rehabilitation Clinic – Columbia
  • Roper St. Francis Rehabilitation Hospital – Charleston
  • Pelham Medical Center Physical Therapy – Spartanburg
  • Tidelands Waccamaw Rehabilitation Hospital – Tidelands
  • Peace Rehabilitation Center – Greenville
  • Trident Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – Charleston

After graduation, you can take the licensing exam called the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for physical therapist assistants.

The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) offers the exam which charges a $400 fee when you register for it.

However, before you can register, you need to apply for the test with the Board.

The application involves:

  • Filling out the application form
  • Paying the licensing fee – $120
  • Attaching a recent passport photo to the application
  • Signing and notarizing the application
  • Official school transcripts

The school transcripts can be temporarily replaced by the C-20 form.

The application can be completed online or by mailing the documents.

The NPTE is taken through Prometric who charges an additional fee f $70.

You need to score at least 600 by answering in 4 hours, 200 questions related to these topics:

  • Diseases/Conditions that Impact Effective Treatment
  • Physical Therapy Data Collection
  • Safety and120z Protection;
  • Professional Responsibilities;
  • Interventions
  • Equipment and Devices;
  • Therapeutic Modalities
  • Research

Many individuals use the online practice test and the candidate’s handbook that the Federation made available on its website.

Employment and Salary Information for Physical Therapist Assistants in South Carolina

In 2015, some of the best companies to work for as a physical therapist assistant in South Carolina, were:

  • Spartanburg Medical Center – Spartanburg
  • Centra Healthcare Solutions – Aiken
  • Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care – Spartanburg
  • Life Care Centers – Charleston
  • KershawHealth – Camden
  • Department of Veteran Affairs – Beaufort
  • Greenville Health System – Greenville
  • NE Physical Therapy – Columbia
  • Advanced Therapy Solutions, Kids! – Greenville
  • Sisters of Charity Health System – Columbia
  • Georgialina Physical Therapy – North Augusta
Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Charleston $53,049
Columbia $51,765
North Charleston $53,049
Mount Pleasant $53,049
Rock Hill $54,986
Greenville $53,064
Summerville $52,815
Goose Creek $52,971
Sumter $49,952
Hilton Head Island $52,153

Regional Salary in South Carolina

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Charleston-North Charleston, SC500$57,040$27.42$76,290$50,810
Columbia, SC340$63,030$30.3$81,720$48,290
Florence, SC80$67,860$32.62$87,950$46,800
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC420$67,550$32.47$83,770$49,500
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC70$63,240$30.4$80,690$46,260
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC140$61,790$29.71$79,800$47,740
Spartanburg, SC120$66,050$31.76$83,260$49,200
* 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.

Additional Information for Physical Therapist Assistants in South Carolina

On December 31 of every even-numbered year, your physical therapist assistant license expires.

The Board sends renewal applications in November that you’ll have to fill out and send back before the deadline, along with the renewal fee of $80.

Individuals have the option to renew by January 31 but in this case, the renewal fee is $150.

During each renewal period, you must complete 30 hours of continuing education, except if this is your first renewal.

These courses are automatically approved for this requirement:

  • American Physical Therapy Association sponsored courses
  • South Carolina American Physical Therapy Association sponsored courses
  • College coursework that is germane to physical therapy
  • American Medical Association courses that involve physical therapy
  • In-service hours (0.4 CEU maximum)
  • CPR (0.4 CEU maximum)
  • FSBPT and APTA physical therapy continued competency tools
    • Contact hour credits are assigned on a case by case basis

Make sure to keep correct track of these hours, as the Board will audit them at random.

The Board will also send you the documentation to help you track your completed continuing education hours.

USA Physical Therapist Assistant Schools by State

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