- Number of Physical Therapy Assistants in Alaska: unknown, but there were 399 physical therapists and 338 physician assistants in 2010
- Annual Mean Wage for Physical Therapy Assistants in Alaska: unknown, but physical therapists averaged $91,992 and physician assistants averaged $94,681 in 2010
- Biggest Physical Therapy Assistant Schools in Alaska: There are no CAPTE-accredited physical therapy assistant programs in Alaska, however the University of Alaska and Alaska Pacific University offer programs in related fields
Although Alaska currently has no Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)-accredited physical therapy assistant degree programs, there is a small population of physical therapists and physician assistants who received their degrees out-of-state and made their living upon returning to Alaska’s healthcare industry. The total number of physical therapy assistants in Alaska is unknown; however, of those working in closely related occupations, there were 399 physical therapists and 338 physician assistants in the state, and professionals in these fields made annual average respective salaries of $91,992 and $94,681as of 2010, according to LaborStats.Alaska.gov.
Even though there are no CAPTE-accredited physical therapy assistant programs in Alaska as of fall 2012, there remains a high demand for qualified physical therapy assistants nationwide, and some of Alaska’s prominent universities offer related healthcare courses and degrees. Alaska Pacific University, for instance, provides associate degrees in arts and sciences with concentrations in human services and health-related liberal arts. And the University of Alaska, which already offers a doctorate degree in physical therapy, is currently considering adding a physical therapy assistant program. The University of Alaska also offers many online bachelor’s and associate degrees in subjects like rural social work and nursing.
The state is committed to further encouraging higher learning initiatives through a partnership with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), with a focus on distance education, and also the Internet Course Exchange (ICE), which allows participating schools to collaborate and swap distance education courses, both especially beneficial programs for Alaska’s rural residents. And keep in mind that even though there are no provincial accredited programs for physical therapy assisting, Alaska residents are still required to have an associate degree or higher and state licensure to practice in one of the state’s healthcare facilities.