Become a Physical Therapist in New York

The New York State Board for Physical Therapy is the governing body responsible for enforcing legislation regarding the licensing of Physical Therapists in the state of New York. The New York State Practice Act states that a person must hold a valid license in the state of New York in order to use the title “Physical Therapist.” We will discuss some of the steps taken for an individual to become licensed to practice Physical Therapy in the state of New York.

It is interesting to point out that the law in New York specifically states that an individual must be at least 18 years old to practice Physical Therapy in the state. While it would be nearly impossible for a person to complete all of the required Physical Therapist education before the age of 18, New York is unique in its proclamation of an age requirement necessary to practice as a licensed Physical Therapist.

While the New York law states that an individual only needs a Bachelors degree to practice, a new physical therapist will need to complete a graduate program of study in order to take the national examination required for licensure, discussed below. If considering a career in Physical Therapy, you can expect to complete a Bachelors degree in a field of your choice, complete all necessary prerequisites for entry into a graduate-level Physical Therapy program accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), apply to the program of your choice, hopefully be accepted, and complete what is usually a 3-year full time program of study. Upon completion of this program, most graduates will earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. While there are a few schools that still offer a Masters program in this discipline, there are currently less than 5 in the entirety of the United States, with more than 200 offering a Doctor of Physical Therapy program of education. You will expect to complete a number of unpaid clinical hours as part of your program of study.

As part of the application process, a potential Physical Therapist must have the registrar’s office (from their Physical Therapy education institution) send a completed Certificate of Professional Education to the New York State Education Department. New York requires that Physical Therapist applicants pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) offered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. New York requires a $ 294 fee for a first-time applicant for licensure as a Physical Therapist.

The application for Physical Therapist licensure in New York requires that you identify any misdemeanor of felony convictions and pending criminal charges. In addition, it is required that you not be in default on any educational loan guaranteed by the state of New York, and be no more than four months in arrears on any child support judgments. You must also be of “good moral character” as defined by the state of New York. Your application must be notarized.

Collin Clark is a medical recruiter specializing in Physical Therapists. He is an expert on Physical Therapist requirements and the education needed to become a Physical Therapist.

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