Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs help people of all ages and help people who have movement difficulties due to injury or disease get back to doing the things in their lives that they want and need to do. Unlike a physical therapist, the PTA cannot evaluate a patient, but can provide vital and ongoing assessment and treatment interventions toward specific short- and long-term goals.

Care provided by a PTA may include therapies designed to improve mobility, strength or function; to relieve pain; to prevent or limit disability; and to promote overall wellness and fitness. 

Generally, PTAs are employed wherever physical therapists work. Hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home and public health agencies, schools, private physical therapy practices, and the armed forces are major employers.


The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at the University of Alaska Anchorage 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: