How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in New York – NY

Step #1: State Licensing Requirements
The New York State Office of the Professions, a division on the New York State Education Department, is the first stop for any student interested in becoming a licensed physical therapist assistant. The Office of the Professions adheres to specific guidelines for all applicants before a license can be issued.

Students can apply to the Office of the Professions either in person or through the online portal. The Office does recommend that for efficiency and convenience all students consider applying online.

These are the steps that you will need to take in order to get licensed in New York in this profession.

  1. Educational degree received from an accredited online or campus based New York physical therapy assistant training program.
  2. Passage of the National Physical Therapy Assistant Examination (NPTAE).
  3. Pay all application and licensing fees.

Please also remember that a state license from New York is only valid for three years. During that time, physical therapist assistants are required to have 36 hours of continuing education before they are eligible for renewal. The licensing fee for a physical therapist assistant license in New York is $103.

Step #2: Accreditation Organization
In New York, there is only one organization which is approved for the recognition requirement: The Commission of Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association, or the CAPTE and APTA respectively.

Such an accreditation is highly important not only to educational value, but also in the workforce and in working with a licensed physical therapist. Most physical therapists will not choose to work with an assistant that does not have any accredited education. Likewise, it is required in New York that all students receive accredited education because it helps to verify that the education is legitimate and up to the standards created by the CAPTE.

Step #3: Passing the National Examination
New York State also requires that all students sit for the National Physical Therapy Assistant Examination, or NPTAE, as proctored by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy; also recognized as the FSBPT. Without certification to confirm that a student has passed this test, the state licensure process cannot continue.

The test administered by the FSBPT is crucial in that it allows the FSBPT, as well as the State of New York, to identify career professionals that are ready to begin working as physical therapist assistants. The examination will test the knowledge and education of each student, as well as determine how well they understand the major functions of the body and their relation to physical therapy. So, not only does this test determine competency, but it also helps students to be aware of what they are expected to know as a physical therapist assistant. There are several sections to the NPTAE test and a cumulative score of 600 points or more is usually necessary for certification and to be awarded a state license.

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