The requirements for obtaining a physical therapy license or a physical therapy assistant license vary by state. There are some similarities like graduating from school and passing national and state examinations, but there are differences, too. To better understand the similarities and differences in the state qualifications for licensure, three state's requirements have been outlined below.

Becoming a Licensed Physical Therapist in California

In California, to apply for a physical therapy license, you must be a graduate from a physical therapy program and be able to present a Certificate of Completion Form (also known as P1E) when you mail in your application. You must also pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), and the hour-long multiple-choice California Law Examination (CLE). California has an application processing fee of $125.00 and an initial license fee of $100.00. To achieve a physical therapy assistant license in California, the applicant must graduate with a Physical Therapy Assistant associate's degree from an accredited school and pass the examinations.

Getting a Florida Physical Therapy License

Florida, like California, requires the physical therapist applicant to be a graduate of a physical therapy school. However, a physical therapy assistant applicant must have an associate's degree in science. A Certificate of Completion Form or the official transcripts from the school must be sent in with the license application. The national examinations must be passed along with the state's own examination. In Florida's case, this examination is called the Florida Laws and Rules Exam. The examination fees for a physical therapist in Florida total at $205.00. Unlike California, Florida requires physical therapist applicants to complete an online Prevention of Medical Errors Course. Plus, in Florida to maintain your license (for both physical therapists and physical therapist assistants), it is required that you complete continuing education credits.

Physical Therapist License Requirements in Nebraska

The fee for a physical therapy license in Nebraska usually amounts to $133.00. The license fee for a physical therapist assistant is usually around $90.00. An applicant for a license in Nebraska must be a graduate of an accredited school and be able to provide transcripts proving their completion. A driver's license, birth certificate, or marriage certificate must also be presented as proof the applicant is 19 years of age or older. The applicant also needs to provide proof of citizenship, lawful permanent residence, or immigration status information. The applicant must have scored at least a 600 on the National Physical Therapy Examination (or a 600 in the National PTA examination if applying for licensure as a physical therapy assistant). Both physical therapist applicants and physical therapy assistant applicants in Nebraska are also required to take the state exam, Jurisprudence (NE Law) Examination, and pass with a score of 600.

As you can see, each state has its own unique requirements. It is best to look up the requirements of the state you wish to practice in and go from there. Good luck!