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Associate Degree

Physical Therapist Assistant
Program in Orlando, FL

Learn More Today

16 Mo.

Program Length

73

Credits

Hybrid

Format

CAPTE

Accredited1

Associate Degree

Physical Therapist Assistant
Program in Orlando, FL

Your new career as a PTA in Orlando is possible

AccreditationCAPTE accredited,1 Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Transfer creditUp to 54 approved credits
FormatHybrid delivery; complete gen eds online, with some PTA courses offered online and most on campus in Orlando. Apply what you’ve learned in hands-on clinical practicums.
BenefitsPathways to continue advancing your education (BS, MBA); no waiting list!
QuickPathsTransfer credit, stackable credentials, and adaptive learning technology build a faster pathway to a higher education with Herzing University
Physical therapist assistant helping patient regain balance while walking

Over 90%

Satisfaction rate

Our overall student satisfaction rate, according to the 2023 Herzing Graduate Survey.

Over 90%

Satisfaction rate

Our overall student satisfaction rate, according to the 2023 Herzing Graduate Survey.

Physical Therapist Assistant

Find your calling as a physical therapist assistant in Orlando

The Associate of Science/Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant degree is a 73-credit undergraduate program which prepares you for a career as a PTA. 

The Orlando campus degree program provides students with fundamental knowledge and skills in basic patient care, therapeutic modalities, orthopedic patient care, kinesiology, and much more.

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Career-focused curriculum

Discover the crucial knowledge and skills required to succeed in your work and build a foundation for continued career growth.

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Flexible schedule

Hybrid delivery allows you to complete some coursework online on your schedule. We work hard to help you maintain school-life balance.

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Experienced faculty

Get face-to-face instruction from experienced and credentialed faculty with real-world success in the field.

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Lifelong support

We support your ongoing career advancement by providing comprehensive, personalized student services with lifelong career coaching.

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Rolling admissions

No application deadlines to worry about. Apply when you’re ready and prepare to get started soon.

Learn More Today

Available at our Orlando ground campus location:

Orlando, Florida

Herzing's physical therapist assistant degree program at the Orlando Campus begins twice a year—January and July, and we accept 24 students each time without a waiting list. In order to become a PTA candidate, you will need to schedule an interview with the Admissions team by calling (407) 641-5227.

Curriculum

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Curriculum

In Herzing’s well-recognized associate degree program, students gain a foundation in natural sciences, social sciences, mathematics, and humanities as well as specific career knowledge, skills, and capabilities. They also participate in planned clinical and laboratory experiences that provide a hands-on approach to classroom learning. Graduates are prepared to take the National Licensing Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs).

Features of the Herzing PTA program curriculum at our Orlando campus:

  • Complete your general education requirements online prior to starting core classwork.
  • Clinical experiences include four integrated clinical experiences and a clinical practicum prep course prior to starting your first full-time terminal clinical.
  • Multiple licensure preparatory resources and assessments are integrated throughout the curriculum. This includes several industry resource guides and mock exams.
ProgramMonthsiCredits
Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant1673
1. Average number of months for students to complete program
 

Required Support Course

8.00 semester credit hour is required.

Required Courses

All courses, 45.00 semester credit hours, are required.

General Education Prerequisites

The following general education prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C (70%) or better for a student to be continued in the PTA program: Anatomy and Physiology I and Anatomy and Physiology I Lab Anatomy and Physiology II and Anatomy and Physiology II Lab All other general education courses must be passed with a grade of D (60%) or better to be continued in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. A student who is dropped from the PTA program for failing to achieve the minimum grade specified in the general education courses, but who otherwise meets the academic standards of the University, may transfer to another Herzing degree program and/or may reapply to this program in a future cycle.

Required Courses in General Education

Students enrolled in this associate degree must complete a minimum of 18.00 semester credit hours in general education (◊includes 6.0 credit hours from Anatomy and Physiology listed in above required) distributed among the following disciplines. Refer to the General Education section of this catalog for Herzing University courses that would satisfy these requirements.* 9.00 Semester Credit Hours in Communications 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Humanities (must include 3 semester credit hours of cultural diversity) 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Social or Behavioral Science 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Mathematics ◊Science Semester Credit Hours are satisfied through Anatomy and Physiology requirement listed above. * Transfer students may transfer courses that are within 1.00 semester credit hour of the courses listed above to meet these discipline requirements. Any resulting deficiency in the total of 24.00 semester credit hours required in general education may be made up with general education electives from any of the listed disciplines.

Personal and Professional Development Courses

2.00 semester credit hours are required.

Requirements

To become a physical therapist assistant in the state of Florida you’ll need to first earn your degree and take a few more steps:

  1. Education – enroll in a PTA program. You must earn an associate degree from a program like Herzing’s to become eligible for licensure/certification.
  2. Earn experience in a clinical environment. Participate in hands-on laboratory and clinical experiences, gain real world practice and prepare for the real thing.
  3. Get certified. After graduating you will be required to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam for physical therapist assistants (NPTE-PTA) before practicing as a PTA in Florida.
  4. Find your first job. After earning your certification you will be ready to begin your new career.

Our goal is to empower you to earn the education needed to get your first job and excel in your new career as a physical therapist assistant.

Orlando PTA helping elderly patient regain mobility on exercise ball

Careers

A high-demand occupation

Physical Therapist Assistants provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. Opportunities are best for physical therapist assistants who hold an associate degree and are licensed.

About 72% of physical therapist assistants work in the offices of other health practitioners and in hospitals. Physical therapists are expected to increasingly use assistants to reduce the cost of physical therapy services. Once a patient is evaluated and a treatment plan is designed by the licensed physical therapist, the PTA can provide many parts of the treatment, as approved by the therapist.

Physical Therapist Assistants may advance to administrative positions. These positions might include organizing all the assistants in a large physical therapy organization or acting as the director for a specific department such as sports medicine.

Other assistants go on to teach in an accredited PTA academic program, lead health risk reduction classes for the elderly, or organize community activities related to fitness, wellness and risk reduction.

Physical Therapy Assistant Associate Degree Program

Work Environment

The hours and days that physical therapist assistants work vary with the facility. About 28% of all PTAs work part-time. Many outpatient physical therapy offices and clinics have evening and weekend hours, to coincide with patients’ personal schedules.

Physical therapist assistants need a moderate degree of strength because of the physical exertion required in assisting patients with their treatment. In some cases, PTAs need to lift patients. Frequent kneeling, stooping, and standing for long periods also are part of the job.

What’s the difference between PTA and OTA?

There are a few key differences between PTA vs. OTA: the types of movement they deal with, the types of tasks they complete, types of patients they see and skills needed to succeed. No matter which career you choose, your goal is to help patients regain mastery over movement.

Advancement Opportunities

Physical therapist assistants may advance to administration positions. These positions might include managing all the assistants in a large physical therapy organization or acting as the director for a specific department such as sports medicine. Experienced assistants can also go on to teach in an accredited academic program, lead health risk reduction classes for the elderly, or organize community-run fitness and risk reduction activity programs.

Waived Enrollment Fee

Now Through June 30th

Meet our Healthcare Leadership

"Since 2009, I have served as the Program Director for the PTA Program at the Orlando campus. My education includes a Bachelor’s of Science in Child and Family Studies and Master and Doctorate degrees in Physical Therapy. I hold certifications in Neurodevelopmental Treatment, Kinesiotaping, Craniosacral Therapy, and Sensory Integration Therapy. A specialization of mine is treating pediatric patients. Currently serving as an Assembly Representative for the Florida Physical Therapy Association, I am passionate about teaching and ensuring that future generations of therapists advocate for their patients and for the physical therapy profession."

Amy Vernon - PTA Program Chair

Amy Vernon
DPT, MSPT

PTA Program Chair

Learn more about our Physical Therapist Assistant Degree

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) work under the direction of a physical therapist to help people return to daily activity which may encompass movement related recreational pursuits, work, or sports. PTAs also offer patients injury prevention strategies related to fitness and movement.

Choose a PTA program if you are comfortable with physical contact, have the strength to support a patient’s full bodyweight if needed, and can be a strong motivator for patients completing challenging or uncomfortable exercises.

Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) work under the direction of an occupational therapist to help people of all ages who have a disability, condition or injury which interferes with their ability to carry out daily self-care, school or work tasks. OT/OTAs work on cognition as well as the physical aspect of care.

Choose an OTA program if you love to work with patients of all ages, can solve problems creatively, and enjoy helping people regain their independence and build confidence.

Discover further detail on the primary difference between an OTA vs. PTA.

If you are a good communicator, are a passionate learner, and love to inspire and motivate other people, you could be an excellent physical therapist assistant.

Learn more about what makes a great physical therapist assistant from a physical therapist who’s worked in the industry for many years.

With Herzing University you are never alone. Our goal is to provide an affordable education for everyone. Financial aid options include:

  • Student loans & secured loans. Loans offer a way to pay for all or part of your tuition.
  • Scholarships. View the different scholarships we award to eligible students.

The following items may be included in the tuition/resource fee (some contingent upon good standing):

  • APTA student membership fee
  • CPR certification
  • Initial background check
  • Initial MN licensure application fee
  • National Exam fee
  • Mock exam fees to prepare for licensure
  • PTA program uniform
  • E-books and electronic resources

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) work with patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, who have injuries or health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform daily activities. The PTA works under the supervision and direction of the physical therapist (PT) to implement a treatment plan that will help those individuals regain their functional abilities and live healthier, fuller lives.

Find out more about what a physical therapist assistant does and what you can expect in your career as a PTA.

You may complete general education and other core coursework online. However, the most important part of the program is your hands-on training with experienced faculty supporting you every step of the way.

The clinical and laboratory portion of the Herzing associate degree program curriculum is crucial to building the real-world skills necessary to succeed as a physical therapist assistant.

Herzing’s goal is to best prepare you for career success, and we pride ourselves on delivering a personal, individualized education to help you flourish as a practicing PTA.

The Herzing University physical therapist assistant program takes 16 months to complete as scheduled full-time (with approved transfer credit).

After earning your associate degree you’ll need to sit for the NPTE-PTA exam to earn your certification/license and truly become a physical therapist assistant. There are typically 4 test dates per year – you may view future exam dates for the NPTE-PTA here.

If the timing is right, you may be able to earn your degree and get certified in around 2 years.

When compared to the average United States occupation, physical therapist assistants are in very high demand.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 2022-2032 the projected increase in PTA employment is 26% - compared to the national average across all occupations.* The BLS notes there should be many job opportunities in nursing homes, home healthcare facilities and outpatient orthopedic facilities.

Given the above average projected increase in employment, now is a great time to earn your degree, get certified and enter a rapidly growing field in healthcare.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, physical therapist assistants across the US earn an average salary of $65,860 per year ($31.66 per hour).*

Pay can vary depending on where you practice, your level of experience and the type of medical facility you work for. Discover more about how much physical therapist assistants make, including a state-by-state breakdown.

Classes as part of the Herzing curriculum include topics in:

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Kinesiology
  • Pathology
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Orthopedic patient care
  • Neurologic patient care
  • Principles of practice
  • Basics of patient care
  • Specific population care
  • Modalities
  • Clinical preparation
  • Clinical placements

General education is also a requirement in an associate degree program, including courses in English, Science, Mathematics and Humanities (you may be able to transfer prior college credit).

Locations

Program Finder

Physical Therapist Assistant Degree Programs

Showing 1 program for the Online campus

On Campus| Online

This associate of science in physical therapist assistant program prepares students to take the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination (NPTAE) and be eligible for licensure/certification as a physical therapist assistant under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist. Students are provided a foundation of general education, including courses in English, Science, Mathematics and Humanities, as well as the technical education for the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to work in a healthcare environment as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Theoretical instruction is complemented with clinical experience in a variety of healthcare settings in order to provide a broad, holistic, and reality-based understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a professional physical therapist assistant. Students will participate in planned clinical and laboratory experiences that will complement classroom learning and will stress health promotion as well as rehabilitation of the disease process across the lifespan.

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Disclosures

Disclosures

1. The Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program at Herzing University Orlando is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA, 22305-3085, telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org.  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Amy Vernon, Program Chair, at (407) 478-0500 or email pta@herzing.edu.

Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

View Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals

Physical Therapist Assistants must complete academic and clinical education programs and pass the national licensure examination in order to be eligible to obtain licensure in most states. 

Brookfield Physical Therapist Assistant Program

2023-2024 PTA Student Financial Fact Sheet - Brookfield

The Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program at Herzing University Brookfield is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Avenue., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA, 22305-3085, telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.orgIf needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Jeff Sischo, Program Chair, at (262) 649-1710 or email pta@herzing.edu.

Summary of Herzing University - Brookfield, Wisconsin Campus PTA Student Outcomes

 Two-Year Average
2022-2023 Graduation Rate (students who complete the program in 150% of the time)72.7%
2021-2022 Licensure Exam Pass Rate (percentage of graduates passing national board exam – first-time / all-time)75% / 81.25%
2021-2022 Employment Rate (percentage of graduates who sought employment and were employed as PTAs within one year of graduation)100%

Orlando Physical Therapist Assistant Program

2023-2024 PTA Student Financial Fact Sheet - Orlando

The Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program at Herzing University Orlando is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Avenue., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA, 22305-3085, telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org.  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Amy Vernon, Program Chair, at (407) 478-0500 or email pta@herzing.edu.

Summary of Herzing University - Orlando, Florida Campus PTA Student Outcomes

 Two-Year Average
2022-2023 Graduation Rate (students who complete the program in 150% of the time)90.25%
2021-2022 Licensure Exam Pass Rate (percentage of graduates passing national board exam – first-time / all-time)79.4% / 91.18%
2021-2022 Employment Rate (percentage of graduates who sought employment and were employed as PTAs within one year of graduation)96.5%

Since 2009, I have served as the Program Director for the PTA Program at the Orlando campus. My education includes a Bachelor’s of Science in Child and Family Studies and Master and Doctorate degrees in Physical Therapy. I hold certifications in Neurodevelopmental Treatment, Kinesiotaping, Craniosacral Therapy, and Sensory Integration Therapy. A specialization of mine is treating pediatric patients. Currently serving as an Assembly Representative for the Florida Physical Therapy Association, I am passionate about teaching and ensuring that future generations of therapists advocate for their patients and for the physical therapy profession.

Amy Vernon - PTA Program Chair

Amy Vernon DPT, MSPT, PTA Program Chair

Healthcare Program

Orlando Campus

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