Becoming a Physical Therapist in Texas – TX

As the population in the United States becomes more active, the need for services such as Physical Therapy becomes more necessary.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts growth of this field to be at least 27 percent by the year 2016.  Salaries vary from state to state and are dependent on the type of setting the therapist is in (i.e. hospital, private clinic, and industrial medicine).  In the state of Texas, two metropolitan areas (Laredo and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission) are identified as the highest paying areas for Physical Therapy at $51.67 and $44.36 per hour, respectively (Bureau of Labor Statistics). 

How to Become a Physical Therapist in Texas

Those who want to become a physical therapist in Texas must first earn an undergraduate degree in a healthcare related field and then earn a graduate degree from a physical therapy program. All graduates, regardless of degree level, are then required to sit for the national licensure examination, a computer based test that is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.   Additionally, state licensure is achieved through application to the Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners.   This license allows you to practice in the state of Texas under the guidelines of the state’s Physical Therapy Practice Act.  Please note that fees do apply for both the national examination and the licensure process.  

Step by Step in Becoming a Physical Therapist in Texas

  1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree from a four year university (suggestions for a major include biology, chemistry, kinesiology, or exercise science)
  2. Complete a master’s degree from a physical therapy graduate program
  3. Pursue a doctorate in physical therapy (optional)
  4. Apply for the national licensure examination through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.  Go to http://www.fsbpt.org and select National Physical Therapy Exam. 
  5. Apply for state licensure in Texas through the Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Examiners.  Go to http://www.ecptote.state.tx.us and click on Apply for a License and follow the instructions accordingly.  You will be required to provide a photo, your name, address, social security number, driver’s license number, name/location and school code from your institution as well as information related to your degree.  A passing score on the Jurisprudence Exam and proof of passing the national exam will also be required. 

If you are currently a licensed Physical Therapist in another state, you can achieve Texas licensure and the ability to practice in the state by completing the appropriate steps as established by the Executive Council on their website.   The information needed is similar to that of a new application, with proof of a valid license in good standing in another state required. 

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