Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapy is a dynamic profession that helps people improve mobility, relieve pain, prevent or limit permanent physical disability and promote overall fitness and wellness.

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. PTAs help people of all ages who have medical problems, or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTAs work in a variety of settings including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health, nursing homes, schools, sports facilities, and more.

Care provided by a PTA may include teaching patients/clients exercise for mobility, strength and coordination, training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes, or walkers, massage, and the use of physical agents and electrotherapy such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation

To work as a PTA, an individual must graduate with an associate degree (two years, five semesters) from an accredited PTA program. Graduates must pass the national examination for licensing to be eligible to work.

Accreditation for the PTA Program

Effective November 14, 2018, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA, 22305-3085; phone: 703-706-3245; email: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Anna Marie Prado, PTA, M.Ed., Program Director at (704) 216-7180 or email at

Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates that the program is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in technical/professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.

Initial Accreditation Considerations for Prospective Students

For the charter PTA class, the initial accreditation decision of the PTA program by CAPTE will be made at the Spring meeting of CAPTE, which is ordinarily prior to graduation but may occur within thirty (30) days after the graduation date. Graduates of the PTA program will be eligible to sit for the licensure examination in July 2021.

Program Chair
Anna Marie Prado

Anna Marie Prado


North Campus

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage for PTAs in North Carolina was $61,500 in May 2019.

The expected employment of a PTA is projected to grow 26% from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average.