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Physical Therapy Assistant Licensing

Become a Physical Therapy Assistant...

Physical Therapy Assistant Resources...

Physical therapy assistants, or PTAs, are licensed in all states except Hawaii and Colorado. In order to be licensed, you will need to take the National Physical Therapy Assistant Exam. Other legal requirements will include CPR certification and evidence of good character and legal standing. You may be asked things like whether you have ever had a license revoked or whether you have any criminal history as an adult. Your state may also mandate AIDS training or other specific classes that you must take in addition to your basic physical therapy assisting coursework.

For many people, the most difficult part of the licensing process is the exam. There is a lot of flexibility in the testing process, though -- examination dates are ongoing. Your state or jurisdiction will determine whether you are eligible. You will get examination application materials from your state; after you have received an authorization to test, you will register on the site of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. You will have the opportunity to take two practice exams beforehand through the FSBPTs PEAT (Practice Exam and Assessment Tool). You will get a performance report and also some references if you need to look up anything. By this time, hopefully you will feel comfortable with the process and will be able to pass on a first attempt. Currently more than four in five candidates are successful the first time around.

State licenses must be renewed periodically; typically this is every two years. Check your own state board for mandates regarding continuing education. Often, some units can be earned through self-study over the internet. The FSBPT is a good resource for continuing education activities.