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How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Hawaii – HI

Steps to Becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant in Hawaii

The state of Hawaii does not regulate Physical Therapy Assistants and does not require a license to practice.  All that is needed for those with ambitions for a physical therapy career is an Associate degree from an accredited Physical Therapy Assistant training program.  Fortunately, there is one such program in Hawaii for students, and online programs are available to provide a wonderfully convenient option.


The American Physical Therapy Association has created a list of minimum qualifications need for all entry-level Physical Therapy Assistants.  These skills include the ability to understand medical records, implement physical therapy intervention techniques while maintaining optimal safety and privacy of patients, respond and adjust interventions to meet the ability of individual patients, use a variety of teaching methods, collect and record data in writing on every patient contact, and have CPR certification.

In addition to a degree and the above necessities, PTAs must have a certain level of physical strength and fitness.  A primary function of the job is helping patients maneuver limbs and joints safely, and this requires a lot of movement on your part.  Furthermore, as PTAs are working with patients all day, it is essential to have a good degree of sensitivity and easy rapport with the general public.  As the title implies, Physical Therapy Assistants work under the supervision of Physical Therapists in clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, and even in-home environments. 

The average salary for a PTA in Hawaii can range from $50,000 - $70,000.  This varies according to what type of city and health care setting in which PTA finds work.  Physical Therapy Assistants in Hawaii are not required to earn continuing education hours, but to advance their career they may learn specialties in pediatric, musculoskeletal, or cardiopulmonary physical therapy, among others.   Additional training and schooling can lead a PTA to employment as a licensed Physical Therapist.

The American Physical Therapy Association is the only professional association representing the physical therapy trade, and has a chapter in Hawaii. It is a great resource for Physical Therapy Assistants looking for information, additional training, networking, and job search assistance.  The APTA also offers information on educational scholarships for students.


Physical Therapy Assistant Schools