Aspiring physical therapist assistants in Connecticut have a lot to look forward to as the current trend of increased employment opportunities in outpatient PT clinics, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities is expected to continue for many years to come. In fact, the Connecticut Department of Labor expects the number of jobs for physical therapist assistants in the state to increase by 37.4% during the ten-year period spanning 2012-2022. This rapid rate of growth earns PTAs the distinction of working in the fastest growing healthcare support profession in the state.
Physical therapist assistants in Connecticut are also very well compensated. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for Connecticut’s PTAs was $56,400 in 2014, compared to the national average of $52,160 for this profession. Additionally, physical therapist assistants in Connecticut whose salaries fall within the top 10% earned an average of $75,250 in 2014, demonstrating the strong earning potential that comes with gaining experience and specialty training in areas like geriatrics, orthopedics or neurology.
Steps to Earning a Physical Therapist Assistant License in Connecticut
To become a physical therapist assistant in Connecticut, you must meet the licensing requirements set forth by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Follow these steps to learn how to become a licensed physical therapist assistant in Connecticut:
Step 1. Graduate from an Accredited Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Your first step to becoming a licensed physical therapist assistant in Connecticut is to complete a program of study approved by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), the accrediting arm of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
Accredited and Board-approved physical therapist assistant programs are available at campus locations in the following cities:
You may find a complete list of CAPTE-approved programs in Connecticut on the APTA website.
The two-year program will prepare you for success in all aspects of your career as a physical therapist assistant, covering topics such as:
- Applied neuroscience
- Anatomy and physiology
- Clinical pathology
- Exercise physiology
- Behavioral sciences
- Professional ethics
- Patient care skills
- Rehabilitative agents
- Therapeutic Exercise
- Medical terminology
Successful completion of your program will earn you an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Physical Therapist Assistant.
Step 2. Submit an Application for Examination and Licensure in Connecticut
Once you have completed an approved physical therapist assistant program, you will begin the application process through the Connecticut Board of Health. The application for licensure will also serve as your application for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for PTAs, which you must pass in order to qualify for a PTA license.
Starting by completing an application for licensure and submit to the Board along with the following:
- A recent passport sized photograph, which you must tape to the top of your application
- A fee of $190.00, which must be in the form of a money order or bank check made payable to, “Treasurer, State of Connecticut”
- An official transcript that includes your graduation date
Applications should be sent along with payment and all supporting documents and materials to the following address:
Connecticut Department of Public Health
410 Capitol Ave., MS #12 APP
P.O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134
Phone: (860) 509-7603
Fax: (860) 707-1982
Step 3. Pass the National Licensing Exam
Once you have submitted the required documentation to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, you must wait to receive authorizations to test (ATT) from the department. This will allow you to register for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for PTAs, offered through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). Registration takes place on the FSBPT website. The exam’s registration fee is $400.
After you have registered with the FSBPT, you must schedule your examination date at a Prometric testing center. Prometric centers in Connecticut are found at the following locations:
- 68 National Dr, Glastonbury, CT 06033
- 444 Westport Ave, Norwalk, CT 06851
You must pay Prometric a $70.00 fee to take the exam.
You may study for the exam using the NPTE Candidate Handbook, as well as the online practice exam & assessment tool (PEAT). The exam will cover the following topics:
- Safety and Protection
- PT Data Collection
- Professional Responsibilities
- Equipment and Devices
- Therapeutic Modalities
To pass the national exam, you must score the scaled equivalent to a 600 on a scale ranging from 200-800.
Upon completing the exam, the Connecticut Department of Health will send you a letter indicating your test score and the status of your license.
Step 4. Start your Career as a Physical Therapist Assistant in Connecticut
If you achieve a passing score and receive approval from the Connecticut Department of Public Health, you will be sent a written notice to inform you that you are legally permitted to practice as a physical therapist assistant in the state. Additionally, you will receive a hard copy licensing document, which may not arrive until in the third week of the month following your licensure. You may use the Board’s online license verification portal to verify your license at any time.
Once you are licensed, you may begin applying to Connecticut’s many respected physical therapy outpatient clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and private practices.
One of the largest employers of physical therapist assistants in Connecticut is Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Centers, which has 15 locations throughout Connecticut. You may also consider these other employers as you begin looking for available physical therapist assistant jobs in Connecticut
- Physical Therapy and Massage of CT in Bristol
- Physical Therapy of Southern Connecticut in Derby
- Ludlow Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Fairfield
- ProEx Physical Therapy in Farmington
- Connecticut Physical Therapy Specialists in Granby
- Connecticut Physical Therapy in Hartford
- Hartford Hospital in Hartford
- New Britain Physical Therapy in New Britain
- Lord Chamberlain Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Stratford
- Peak Physical Therapy in Waterbury
Step 5. Renew your Physical Therapist Assistant License Annually
You must renew your license with the Connecticut Department of Public Health every year, starting 12 months from your initial licensing date.
Roughly 60 days before the annual expiration of your license, you will be contacted by the Connecticut Department of Public Health with information on how to renew your license. You must keep a current address with the department to ensure you receive the information.
Your license renewal will involve completing an application sent to you by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. You must submit a $60.00 fee with your application.
Physical therapist assistants in Connecticut do NOT have to meet any Continuing Education (CE) requirements as a condition for license renewal.