There are four physical therapy assistant schools in Indiana. They include two public postsecondary institutions and two privately owned universities, which award degrees on six campuses across the state.
These schools have the accreditation that state authorities require. Their curricula provide the necessary instruction and training for graduates to apply for Indiana licenses.
The future appears bright for PTAs in the Hoosier State. The number of jobs will soar by about one-third during the decade ending in 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
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A division of the state Professional Licensing Agency, this board protects consumers by regulating physical therapists and their assistants. The officials draft and enforce rules regarding education, testing, licensing, and continuing education.
The committee also conducts investigations into charges of illegal or unethical behavior. Practitioners who violate laws and professional standards of conduct may face disciplinary action.
Licensed physical therapists are among the committee’s members.
Completing a high school education or earning a GED is the beginning of the process to become a physical therapy assistant in Indiana. Taking college-prep classes in health and science may prove helpful in applying for admittance to postsecondary institutions with competitive admissions policies.
The state Physical Therapy Committee mandates that a prospective practitioner attend a school with a PTA program approved by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The organization, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, imposes criteria concerning courses and clinical experiences.
The next step after earning an associate degree is to submit a license application. The Professional Licensing Agency requires school transcripts, a professional background check, and payment of a fee.
Also needed is a passing score on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) registers applicants for the exam online, charging a fee of about $500. When state officials approve a license application, the FSBPT issues an “authorization to test” letter allowing the student to schedule a session at a Prometric Computerized Testing site. Prometric also charges a fee.
The NPTE covers diseases and conditions, physical therapy data collection, interventions, safety and protection, professional responsibilities, research, equipment and devices, and therapeutic modalities. Testing sites are in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Lafayette, Merrillville, Mishawaka, and Terre Haute.
It is possible to obtain a temporary permit while waiting to take the exam. Those who choose this option work under the supervision of licensed physical therapists.
Every other year, practicing professionals must renew their licenses. They have to receive 22 hours of continuing education, including two hours in a class teaching ethics and Indiana laws.
We selected the schools below based on the programs that they offer, accreditation, student population, graduation rate and reputation.
View our Ranking Methodology to learn more about how we rank schools.
A private liberal arts school founded by nuns in 1890, USF offers a 108-credit-hour program that lasts four semesters.
General education requirements include College Algebra, General Psychology, and Rhetoric and Composition. Students also take PTA technical courses and a class called The Franciscan Tradition. They apply their skills in PTA and high-fidelity simulation labs, as well as during four clinical assignments.
Graduates can pursue bachelor’s degrees in health and exercise science or health services. Saint Francis has articulation agreements with two universities that award doctorates in physical therapy.
This privately owned, nonprofit institution is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It provides a 62-credit-hour program for future PTAs.
Students may attend classes full time or part time. Support courses, some of which may be taken online, concern literature history; natural and social sciences; religion, philosophy, and ethics; fine arts appreciation; global awareness; and cultural differences.
Among the technical courses are Kinesiology, Introduction to Physics, and Clinical Leadership. Students learn techniques for clinical, medical, cardiopulmonary, and neuromuscular rehabilitation. The student-to-teacher ratio in lab classes is 9:1.
Established 1801, this is Indiana’s oldest college. It is a public institution, in a rural area midway between Terre Haute and Evansville, that has been training PTAs since 1972.
In addition to the standard coursework, students take English Composition I and II, Interpersonal Communication, Concepts of Wellness, General Psychology, and either Developmental Psychology or Principles of Sociology.
The curriculum features a total of 680 hours working full time in three kinds of clinics. Following those rotations, students give presentations about their experiences in a seminar.
The biggest public postsecondary institution in Indiana, ITCC awards PTA degrees on its Lake County, Muncie, and Sellersburg campuses.
The curriculum totals 69.5 credit hours in five semesters. Along with the usual technical classes, courses include English Composition, Student Success in Healthcare, Physical Science, Kinesiology, Foundations of Public Speaking, Introduction to Interpersonal Communication, Administrative Aspects of the PTA, College Algebra, Treatment Interventions for Special Populations, and Introduction to Sociology. Students take part in three clinical assignments.
Each applicant must take a placement examination, pass a background check, submit to drug testing, and have a physical examination.
The following schools reward graduates with associate of science degrees after two years or less of full-time study. In some cases, a longer part-time option is available. Programs consist of lectures in classrooms, hands-on training in labs, and real-world experience in clinics. There are general education and PTA technical classes.
Standard coursework includes anatomy, pathophysiology, medical terminology, patient care skills, therapeutic techniques, and rehabilitation methods. Programs vary with the remainder of the curricula. Students serve actual clients during clinical assignments in hospitals, outpatient facilities, and nursing homes.
The median pay for a PTA here is over $55,350 per year or about $26.60 an hour—just a bit less than the U.S. averages of around $58,000 or $28.
For practitioners in the top 10%, incomes are about $76,450 or $37.65 in Indiana, and more than $79,800 or $38.35 nationwide. The state’s bottom 10% make nearly $39,000 or approximately $18.75, more than the national averages of almost $33,800 or about $16.25.
Indiana had 2,180 PTAs in 2016. The federal BLS agency expected the figure to rise to 2,880 within 10 years. That would be a job expansion of 32 percent, even better than the predicted 31 percent across the country.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerOneStop
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