Physical Therapist Assistant

A Physical therapist assistant student working with a client.


Physical therapist assistants (PTA) work under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist to help people of all ages address a variety of health issues and medical diagnoses, with the ultimate goal of restoring optimal function and well-being. As a PTA, you need great communication skills and must enjoy working with a variety of people, while also being able to move yourself and patients safely, operate treatment and mobility equipment, problem-solve effectively, and work collaboratively with other members of the health care team. A successful PTA exhibits empathy and understanding for patients with all types of illnesses and disabilities while demonstrating competency in knowledge and clinical skills. A career in physical therapy is challenging but also very rewarding. Common areas of employment include schools, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, outpatient sites, home health, private practice, pediatric and long-term care settings.

The ECC Physical Therapy Assistant Program encompasses five semesters over two years, including a 10-week summer semester, after which graduates are eligible to take the required state licensure examination. Graduates are awarded an Associate in Applied Science degree (AAS) in physical therapist assisting, which prepares the graduate for entry level employment in the physical therapy environment.


The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Elgin 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: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 847-214-7289 or email

Program Highlights

Prepare for Immediate Employment

Associate of Applied Science

Planning to Transfer

Learn more about earning a Bachelor’s degree, earning summer credits for transfer or dual admissions with a university by visiting University Transfer & Partnerships.