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How do I get an Associate's Degree in Physical Therapy?

To get an associate’s degree in physical therapy you will typically need to have a high school diploma or equivalent certification. You should look for colleges or universities that offer programs in physical therapy, specifically a program that results in an associate’s degree, and apply for the college you are interested in attending. Once admitted to the school, you will then need to complete any coursework and assignments necessary to complete your program and receive your degree. After you get an associate’s degree in physical therapy, then you may want to consider continuing on to receive a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education.

An associate’s degree in physical therapy is a degree that can be earned in about two years of course work, and will usually qualify someone to work as an assistant physical therapist. In order to receive this type of degree, you will likely first need a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) certificate. This is typically required of any school that offers an associate’s degree in physical therapy, such as a college or university. You will want to find such an institution and ensure you meet any other requirements for attendance, which may include submission of an application and an essay about yourself.

Once you are admitted to a school that offers an associate’s degree in physical therapy, you will then be able to attend classes and begin work on your degree. The classes you take will usually depend on the particular school you attend, though you should expect classes on biology, functional anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, physical therapy methods, and rehabilitation psychology. You will need to complete any required courses before you can receive your degree.

After you finish your courses and receive your associate’s degree in physical therapy, then you may want to consider options for further pursuits. An associate’s degree will typically qualify you to work as an assistant physical therapist, but to work at a higher level, and higher pay grade, you will typically need a bachelor’s degree. Fortunately, an associate’s degree in physical therapy will often function as the first two years of work toward a bachelor’s degree, and you may find it easy to continue working on a higher level degree. You may also be able to use your associate’s degree to find work in physical therapy in a variety of locations including public hospitals, veterans hospitals, and sports facilities.

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Heavanet
Post 2

@raynbow- It depends on your goals and plans whether or not you should pursue an associate's degree in physical therapy, or if you should just continue on to receive a higher degree. Do you need to begin working soon? Do you have the money to get a higher degree? And do you want to be a certified physical therapist? There are pros can cons to both approaches. Your answers to these questions will help you decide which path to take.

Though the pay isn't as good as it would be if you were a certified physical therapist, you will get a good salary and valuable experience as a physical therapist's assistant. This position would also be a good job to help you pay for the rest of your schooling while you pursue more education in the field.

Raynbow
Post 1

Is it a good strategy to start with a physical therapy associate's degree and then plan to work your way up to a higher degree? I have heard that the pay for a physical therapist assistant isn't very good.

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