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How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Michigan – MI

Steps to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Michigan

Here is a list of the steps involved to become a physical therapy assistant in Michigan.

Step #1: Physical Therapy Assistant Licensing in Michigan
Completion of a physical therapy assistant training program is the first step to beginning a career in Michigan.  Like most states, Michigan expects that all physical therapy assistant students should be licensed in the state before they can begin to practice under the supervision of an active physical therapist. This requirement is not uncommon and adheres to the states mission of ensuring that all physical therapy assistants are educated, trained and ready to enter the workforce.


Michigan is currently a unique state in that they are in the process of revamping their licensing rules and procedures in conjunction with the Michigan Board of Physical Therapy. However, right now, a limited physical therapist license can be obtained from the Michigan Department of Community Health after all prerequisites have been met.

Step #2: The Jurisprudence Examination
Another thing that Michigan students have to be aware of is that their state requires them to take a jurisprudence examination before they can be licensed as a physical therapy assistant. Not all states require the jurisprudence exam; yet Michigan is a state that does and you need to be informed of this.

A jurisprudence examination is a test which is actually given by the state of Michigan as an extra step for them to be sure that you are competent and worthy of state licensure. In addition, a student can expect this exam to be similar in nature and in difficulty as the NPTE exam, or National Physical Therapy Examination.

Step #3: Understanding Certification Requirements
The state of Michigan is similar to other states in that they do require their students to be certified with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, or FSBPT. This organization is responsible for supplying all certifications in the physical therapy professional field.

The test required to become certified by the FSBPT is known as the NPTE test, or National Physical Therapy Examination. This is an extremely intensive examination which is meant to distinguish between those students which are knowledgeable in the profession and ready to enter the workforce, and those that need a little more educational practice before being ready to work.

The fee for the NPTE test is $370 and the test can be taken at any one of the more than 300 national facilities of the FSBPT.

Step #4: Understand the Accreditation Requirement
In addition to the NPTE test and the jurisprudence examination, the state of Michigan will not license any student who has not attended a nationally accredited school. The only accrediting organization over the physical therapy profession is the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, or the CAPTE.

It is important for you as a student to understand why accreditation from the CAPTE is necessary. CAPTE is a nationally recognized organization for upholding standards and ethics in the physical therapy field and they are also highly recognized for their contributions by the American Physical Therapy Association, or APTA.

What this means is that the accreditation of the CAPTE helps to ensure the state of Michigan that the educational degree or program you completed is valid and meets the minimum standards mandated by the CAPTE. Not only is this accreditation a requirement in Michigan, but it also stands out very well on a resume.


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