Just like in most healthcare professions, becoming a physical therapist require licensing and some certifications in order to be called and recognized as a licensed physical therapist. Some aspiring physical therapists may only focus on the national licensing examination but in countries like the United States, states licensing especially for physical therapists is also important. Some states do not allow a physical therapist to practice or work in the state despite passing the national licensure without a state license.
After obtaining the necessary educational requirements to become a physical therapist, the next step to consider is passing the licensure requirements. For physical therapists, the main examination to take is the NPTE or the National Physical Therapy Examination. This exam should not be taken lightly since a lot of aspiring physical therapists failed this exam. Passing the NPTE can be considered as one of the best accomplishments you can accomplish as a physical therapist since it does not only provide you the title as a licensed PT but it also proves that you have the skills and knowledge as a quality and reliable PT or physical therapist.
Examinees are given 5 hours to finish the NPTE. The licensure exam are available or given in more than 300 testing centers in the US. After passing the National Physical Therapy Examination, examinees must also take the state licensure examination depending on the state or country they want to work in. States may have different state licensure examination requirements and procedure so make sure to inquire on the specific state you are planning to get employed before deciding what license to take.
State licensing boards or authorities for physical therapists require candidates to earn a degree that has been accredited and approved by the APTA or the American Physical Therapy Association before they can qualify for the state licensure exam. Aside from the accredited degree, aspiring physical therapists must also get passing score from the NPTE. Other states may have additional requirements aside from these two major requirements.
The NPTE is not an easy examination so intensive review, focus and preparation are very important in order to pass the exam. Re-take of the exam is allowed but it will cost you time, additional money and effort since both national and state licensure exams are given only twice a year and re-takers must start from the very beginning again when processing application. Study the content outline of the NPTE Candidate Handbook in order to know the areas and topics that will be included on the exam.