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Is it worth it to become a physical therapist assistant before becoming an actual physical therapist?

I always wanted to be a physical therapist because i want to help people gain their ability back . #physical-therapist

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Alison’s Answer

Nope! Definitely not. If your goal is to become a PT, then work your way through the schooling that will help you get there. If you’re unsure if you want to take the time (years) and money (school is expensive!) to go through PT school and think you might be happy as a PT Assistant instead then it could be worth it. But look into job prospects in the area you want to live in for PTA’s before you commit to make sure jobs even exist. I my area (NY) no one really hires PTAs so they have a harder time finding jobs. Whereas PTs can find a job anywhere.
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Donna’s Answer

One thing to consider before you decide your schooling path is the difference between a PT and a PTA. PTA's must operate under the direction of a PT but they certainly have direct interaction with patients and are a part of their rehabilitation. Look at the American Physical Therapy Association website (apta.org) at their "Careers" tab that outlies the two credentials.
If you know you want to be a PT, I would not recommend a PTA certificate or degree and then hope to move into PT school. I suggest you look closely at both careers and then determine what direction is what you want. Do not neglect to investigate the job market as well for each. PT's are and will be in high demand, especially as the population ages. PTA's may have a more difficult time finding employment.
So do some research on schooling required and job market before you decide. Good luck!
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Zach’s Answer

Becoming a PTA is less schooling if you are trying to get into the workforce earlier. There are a couple of bridge programs that allows PTA's to transition to PT. The job outlook is very positive if you only decide to be PTA. If you are wanting to expand your education more then PT may be the right option for you.
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