How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in North Carolina – NC

Step #1: How to get a licensed in North Carolina

It is an absolute requirement in the State of North Carolina to have an active physical therapist assistant state license. The application process and issuance of the license can be obtained from the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners. The Board is also responsible for renewing all state licenses and proofing all continuing education credits.

This Board sets forth rules and regulations pertaining to obtaining a license as a physical therapist. Their job is to ensure that all licenses and renewals are only given to those students which have completed all prerequisites.

Listed here are the requirements of applying for state licensure in this state:

  1. Graduation from a course of education, which is recognized by the CAPTE of the APTA. These North Carolina physical therapy assistant training programs are two years in duration.
  2. Passing score on a jurisprudence exam.
  3. Passage of the National Physical Therapy Assistant Examination (NPTAE).
  4. All licensing fees must be paid in full prior to license issuance.

Renewing of the North Carolina license will be needed every two years. A physical therapist assistant must have at least 20 hours of continuing education from the recognized organization. The courses may include studies of advanced physical therapy, clinical education, clinical practice, and ethics study. In addition to these types of courses, the Board does also recognize several other approved categories of education.

The state licensing fee in this profession and the associated renewal fee of the license in North Carolina is $100 and $130, respectively. The application fee is $150.

Step #2: CAPTE Recognition

It is important that all students in North Carolina be aware of the recognition requirement. This means that when a student is attending school for a physical therapy degree, the school that they attend must meet national recognition standards. North Carolina currently recommends attending a school which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Accreditation from this organization helps to ensure the Board that the classes a student has taken are authentic and legitimate in the field of physical therapy. Without this type of accreditation, there is no verification for the education being sufficient.

Step #3: North Carolina Jurisprudence Examination
North Carolina is one of the states that enforce a jurisprudence examination on all potential physical therapist assistants. This test is used to conduct testing of state laws and regulatory issues of physical therapy in North Carolina. It is very important that a student be aware of such laws and regulations in order to pass this test effectively.

Step #4: Taking the NPTAE

The next thing to do in the state licensing process is to take the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination (NPTAE). The NPTAE test is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). It is a cumulative review of the education a student has received in physical therapy.

It will cover particular systems of the body, diseases and disease processes, as well as how physical therapy relates to the issues. This test goes into great detail about the profession and is designed to confirm that a student is ready to work as a physical therapist assistant.

Once the examination is successfully completed, the FSBPT will issue certification stating that the student is now certified by the FSBPT to perform the work of a physical therapist assistant. This certification is also mandatory in order for the state licensing process to continue.

In North Carolina, the fee for this test is $350.

Step #5: What are the Annual Earnings in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the annual state average earnings for a physical therapist assistant are $64,000.


Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, www.fsbpt.org
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, www.apta.org
North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners, www.ncptboard.org

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