How Long Does it Take to Become a Physical Therapist?

If you’re considering a career in physical therapy, you likely want to know how long it takes to become a physical therapist. The answer to that question depends on the type of degree you pursue and the type of physical therapy you plan to practice.

Most physical therapists hold a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. The typical path to a DPT degree involves earning a Bachelor’s degree and then completing a Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which typically takes three years. However, some universities offer combined Bachelor or DPT programs, which can reduce the total time required.

Physical therapists who want to specialize in a particular area, such as sports medicine or neurology, may decide to pursue a residency after graduation. Residencies typically last from one to three years, depending on the specialty.

In addition to the academic component of becoming a physical therapist, you will also need to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). The NPTE is a comprehensive exam designed to test your knowledge and skills related to physical therapy. After passing the NPTE, you will need to be licensed by the state in which you plan to practice. Licensing requirements vary from state to state but usually involve passing a state-specific exam and completing a certain number of hours of supervised clinical practice

Overall, the process of becoming a physical therapist can take anywhere from five to eight years, depending on the route you pursue. If you’re ready to make the commitment, a career in physical therapy can be hugely rewarding. Physical therapists can make a positive impact on people’s lives by helping them to improve their overall health and well-being.

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