Steps to obtaining a US Physical Therapist License
- The US does not give national therapist licenses, as such the overseas PT chooses one state in which you wish to be licensed and work. In the probable event that the PT will work in another state a license for that state must be obtained before starting work
- Research about the chosen state’s licensure process. In the first instance visit the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy’s website at www.fsbpt.org.
By clicking on “Licensing Authorities”, this reveals the contact information for all 53 states and jurisdictions. Application instructions can then be downloaded from this site. Each state’s licensure board has its own set of rules and requirements for applying for licensure. Most states have similar rules and requirements are similar.
- Make contact with the chosen state board and take careful note of the licensure requirements. Normally the requirements are as follows:
- Application Form to be completed
- The board sends verification that the applicants qualifications broadly equate to the US degree in Physical Therapy according to this states requirements
- Receive ATT (authorization to test) for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).
- Pass the NPTE
Some states also require:
- Verification of eligibility to practice in country of education
- Passage of English proficiency examinations
- Period of board-approved, supervised practice either before licensure or immediately after licensure
- Finger printing and criminal background checks
- A United States Social Security Number (SSN). Note that this is becoming more prevalent