Become a Certified Physical Therapy Aide

Physical therapy aides work with physical therapists to provide a positive experience for patients undergoing physical therapy treatment. This 100% online course will teach you the concepts, skills, and practices to become a certified physical therapy aide. Upon successful completion, students will be eligible to take the American Medical Certification Association’s (AMCA) Physical Therapy Technician/Aide certification exam. The course also includes an externship starter kit with resources to secure a position as a physical therapy aide extern.

Kevin Feeley
BS in Electrical Engineering
HVCC Class of 2005

"Excelsior took all of my credits. I was able to jump right into upper-level courses."

Job Outlook for Physical Therapy Aides

Certified Physical Therapy Aide (Voucher Included) FAQs

Physical therapy aides are responsible to support the overall therapy environment. They usually manage the cleanliness and safety of the clinic or work environment and help prepare the equipment for each patient’s visit. Some common duties include:

  • Cleaning the treatment areas
  • Setting up therapy equipment
  • Washing linens
  • Helping patients move to or from a therapy area
  • Handling clerical tasks, such as answering phones scheduling patients and checking patients into the clinic

Physical therapy assistants work directly with patients to facilitate treatment. They may assist patients with exercise, massage, balance and other forms of therapeutic interventions. Physical therapy assistants often supervise the work of physical therapy aides.

The AMCA exam covers the following areas:

  • Patient care
  • Practice administration
  • Law and ethics
  • Patient preparation and positioning
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Safety and infection control
  • Therapeutic modalities

Each of these areas is critical to patient care, effective treatment, and limiting liability for the physical therapist or employer organization.

Changes in health coverage after then Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2014 have shifted many physical therapy activities from the healthcare setting and into the patient’s home. The shift to homecare has also opened opportunities for independent and even traveling physical therapy professionals.

Certified Physical Therapy Aide (Voucher Included) Objectives

Prerequisites and Requirements

There are no prerequisites to taking this course. This course is 100% online. Start anytime.


  • The Physical Therapy Profession
  • Medical Terminology
  • Organization of the Human Body
  • Principles of Pathology and Its Treatment
  • Infection Control
  • Body Mechanics
  • Positioning and Draping Patients
  • Transferring Patients Safely
  • Wheelchair Basics
  • Pressure Ulcers
  • Normal and Abnormal Gait
  • Ambulation Aids
  • Ambulation and Related Activities
  • The Skeletal System
  • The Muscular System
  • Treatment of the Skeletal and Muscular Systems: Exercise
  • Treatment of the Skeletal and Muscular Systems: Physical Agents
  • The Cardiovascular and Respiratory systems
  • The Nervous System
  • Treatment of the Cardiovascular, Respiratory, and Nervous Systems
  • The Rest of the Organ Systems
  • Communication in the PT Facility
  • Records and Charting
  • Legal and Ethical Concerns
  • Your Career Journey (Optional Lesson)


Holly Trimble
Holly Trimble earned a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Colorado, a master’s degree in pediatric physical therapy from Boston University, and a master’s degree in biology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. After working as a physical therapist for many years, Trimble transitioned into teaching. She has lectured on health-related topics to all age groups and works as an adjunct instructor of anatomy and physiology. She received an Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award and is the author of “College Success Now!”

Request More Information