Thoughtful woman looking at glass wall of post-its
Career Development April 21, 2017

By Sam Elhindi

How to Go from Assistant to Therapist | PTA to PT and OTA to OT

How to Transition from PTA to PT

One cannot overstate the value and importance of PTAs in the physical therapy discipline. Physical therapy assistants play a critical role in our healthcare system and in the lives of the patients and clients that they care for. However, there may come a time when a PTA will start to consider what the process of becoming a PT looks like.

Can a PTA Become a PT?

First of all, it's important to answer the question, 'can a PTA become a PT?' The answer is: Yes! A PTA can most certainly become a PT. While encouraging, this answer often begs another question: 'why start your career off as a physical therapy assistant and not a physical therapist?'The answer to this question simply depends on you. Some practitioners want the invaluable experience of a PTA before becoming a PT, while others prefer to jump straight in as a practicing PT. Whatever your scenario or reasons may be, we have created a short, yet comprehensive guide to help you decide the best path for you or, if you're already a PTA, how to make the transition from PTA to PT as easy as possible. Here's what we will cover: 

  1. The differences between assistants and therapists in each discipline
  2. The bridge programs that are available for easier transitions
  3. Tips for success as you pursue your dreams
  4. How to travel therapy may help you achieve your goals



Contact Us!

We're here to help.

* Indicates Required Fields


By clicking "SUBMIT" I agree to receive emails, automated text messages and phone calls (including calls that contain prerecorded content) from and on behalf of {{site_name}}, its parent, AMN Healthcare, and affiliates. I understand these messages will be to the email or phone number provided, and will be about employment opportunities, positions in which I’ve been placed, and my employment with AMN companies. See privacy policy or cookie policy for more details.

Allied Industry News

Where Allied travelers go for allied news and information, compiled by industry experts at Med Travelers.

infograph for top therapy trends in 2022


Top Trends in Allied Therapy Travel in 2022

Allied therapy travelers can expect plentiful job opportunities in 2022, among other travel therapy trends. See what’s changing in the months ahead.

Read Article
Top 10 Apps for Travel Therapists


Top 10 Apps for Travel Therapists

There are multiple mobile apps and websites available to assist travel therapists with everything from scanning, to driving directions, accommodations, and hiking.  Here’s a run-down of our favorite free or low-cost apps for busy travel medical professionals.

Read Article


The 12 Best Jobs in Health Care for 2022

Is your allied health job ranked among the Best Health Care Jobs? U.S. News’ 2022 list highlights the top health care professions, with several changes this year.

Read Article