Physical Therapist Assistant

About the Program

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) curriculum prepares graduates to perform physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist (PT). Students benefit from a small class size and faculty team of PTs and PTAs with diverse experience in orthopedics, geriatrics, wound care and pediatrics.Students will take advantage of leading-edge equipment, apartment and hospital room labs and have the ability to complete 15 weeks of hands-on clinical practice in facilities throughout Iowa and Nebraska. As part of our service to the community, program students work under the supervision of a licensed therapist to teach fall prevention to assisted living residents, backpack safety to preschoolers and cooking skills to young adults who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.

Articulations are in place and students have great opportunities to transfer to four-year schools to complete a bachelor’s degree in Health Science or Health Care Services/Business.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Iowa Western Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by CAPTE, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Career Information

The Physical Therapist Assistant program is designed to place students into the workforce upon completion of the two-year Associate of Applied Science degree. Physical therapist assistants are employed in hospitals, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, rehabilitation centers, schools and long-term care facilities. The Occupational Outlook Handbook projects a 41% increase in this exciting field through 2022, due in part to a growing population and expansion of home health and skilled nursing services. Upon graduation from the program, students are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and become a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant.

Salary Information

Salary: Omaha-Council Bluffs MSA
Average: $39,242
Entry Level: $27,622
Experienced: $45,053

* Salary information from as reported by the US Dept of Labor

Just the Facts

Program Start Term: Spring Only
Program Length: 3 Semesters, 2 Summers
Award: A.A.S.
Accreditation: *Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education Program Capacity: 24
Part-Time or Full-Time: Full-Time Only
Program Courses Offered: Day
Program Locations: Council Bluffs Campus