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4 Steps Guide to Become a Physical Therapist

Have you been thinking about becoming a physical therapist to help people with their injuries?

With over 185,000 physical therapists currently in the United States, you’d be joining a community of talented people who care about others.

But where do you start? Are you wondering how to become a physical therapist?

We’ve put together a few tips to get you started on your path to becoming a physical therapist! Keep reading to learn more!

Earn Your Degrees

The first degree that you will need on your road to becoming a physical therapist is your Bachelor’s degree. There are many degrees that you can get if you plan to become a physical therapist:

  • Physics
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Exercise Science

These are just a few of the many degrees you can get on your road to becoming a physical therapist.

Once you complete your Bachelor’s degree, you have to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. When you go through this program, you will be learning about 80% of the time in the classroom while also gaining hands-on experience for the other 20% of the time. You will take many different courses throughout the three years it takes on average to get your degree.

Get Licensed

Once you get your degrees, you’re still not licensed to be a physical therapist! You have to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to get a license in your state where you plan to practice.

This exam is made up of 250 multiple-choice questions. Don’t worry if you fail the first time because you can take it up to three times per year. However, there is a fee every time you take it ranging anywhere from $100-$300 depending on the state.

Decide on Your Specialization 

When it comes to physical therapist training, you can choose to specialize in something other than just general physical therapy.

You can choose to be a Geriatric Clinical Specialist, get your LSVT Big Certification to specialize treating those with Parkinson’s, be a Neurology Clinical Specialist, or another specialty.

If you choose to specialize, you need either a physical therapist job to get direct hours in the specialty, completion of an APTA-accredited program, or pass a specific certification exam.

Choose Where to Work

As a physical therapist, there are so many different options to choose from for your career path. One of the most important choice you will have to make is where you want to work. There are many options:

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Workplaces
  • Fitness centers
  • Research centers
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Inpatient rehabilitation centers

Once you complete your residency hours, you can also choose to open your own practice as a physical therapist.

Everything You Need to Know For How to Become a Physical Therapist

Becoming a physical therapist is not as simple as it may sound. You’ll have to earn several degrees, gain clinical hours, pass exams, and complete specialty exams where necessary.

However, a physical therapist career is extremely rewarding on a daily basis. So, go for it! Take the leap and start your training!

If you enjoyed reading this article, check out more of our interesting reads on the blog.

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