What Education Do You Need To Be a Physical Therapist?

When what education do you need to be a physical therapist is what’s on your mind, we have the perfect article for you. That depends on which US state you live in. It is the responsibility of each state to regulate the licensure process for physical therapists. You may be wondering what your training and education must be to become a physical therapist.

Here you’ll find an overview of the education you’ll need and other factors that will help determine if you should pursue a career in physical therapy.

Pointing Requirements: what education do you need to be a physical therapist?

This is how to become a physical therapist. It will be a long journey, but it’s a great profession that is worth the work. If you’re interested in becoming a physical therapist, then you can certainly work your way up. There are two types of degrees for physical therapy. Let’s discuss different physical therapists degrees:

  • Undergraduate Educations
  • Graduate education or DPT program

Besides, these educational requirements for being a physical therapist, one should need others necessarily like:

  • Licensure requirement
  • Residency

Undergraduate Educations

  • With the physical therapist shortage on the rise, students are starting to consider their options for undergraduate study. Prospective therapists have a variety of choices when it comes to majors in college.
  • Some schools offer pre-physical therapy curriculums that focus more heavily on biology and physiology courses while other pt schools require prerequisites instead such as anatomy or exercise physiology classes before enrolling into studying PT at an accredited school which also has requirements like maintaining certain GPA standards if they want financial aid assistance.
  • Students who hope to become future physical therapists can choose between two different types of majors: one with many science subjects and another focusing more specifically on health topics including fitness training methods, personal wellness, etcetera.

Graduate education or DPT program

  • One of the most important physical therapists degrees is a doctor of physical therapy(DPT) degree. To get this degree after completing a bachelor’s or undergraduate degree, one must run through the DPT program. Traditionally, to get this three-year required program of DPT one must have the four-year required bachelor’s.
  • When it comes to occupational therapy, you want the best of the best. So if a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) is not training students in diagnosis and treatment procedures then they are not qualified enough. The coursework covers topics such as anatomy and therapeutic applications that allow for exercise methods to be applied through simulation courses like physiotherapy or personal wellness programs which can teach techniques from exercise physiology, health education, respiratory care etcetera
  • During the DPT program, the courses that a student has to take are:
  • Human Anatomy
  • Psychology
  • Cellular Biology
  • The Cardiovascular System
  • Physical Disability Studies
  • Communications

If you lack a bachelor’s degree, there is good news for you. A 3+3 degree program is designed to allow you to graduate in just six years with your bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Whereas most undergraduate programs offer a variety of majors, these accelerated-degree plans are specifically tailored toward the student who wants their education completed as quickly (and cost-efficient!) as possible. When researching different 3+3 physical therapy schools, make sure that they have the major or discipline that interests you since it will be required for graduation!

So,now it is clear to you the questions of how many years to become a physical therapist and what type of education is required to be a physical therapist.

Licensure requirement

It is not enough to graduate from an accredited program. To be able to practice as a physical therapist in your home state, you must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination and any jurisprudence exam required by that specific state. In order for your license to remain valid, continuing education courses may need completion within established timeframes set forth by each respective board of licensure with which you are affiliated.


For aspiring physical therapists, a clinical residency or fellowship can help them better understand how to work as an occupational therapist and gain a more focused understanding of the potential specializations in this field.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Pursuing a Career in Physical Therapy

1. How much should I expect a starting salary as a physical therapist?

You can make an average of $5,550 a month as the starting salary for physical therapists and with overtime, you should be able to get up to around $66,540 in your first year. A physical therapist’s salary may vary depending on some points.

2. What Time Does It Need to Get a Degree?

On average a physical therapy degree takes about four years to complete. And there are two degrees for physical therapists to achieve. But not all the time it would happen. It totally depends on the college and the physical therapist school that what time they would prefer to complete the program three or four. Most probably it takes a total of 7 or 8 years to complete all physical therapist degrees and to become a physical therapist.

3. Is Physical Therapy a demandable career?

The NRMP data from 2018 shows that there were 14,464 available positions for graduate-level trained PTs on its matchday, which is a total of 11% more than the number posted in 2017 and is likely due to the increase in geographic demand as well as expansions by hospitals and clinics. Physical therapy generates around $25 billion in revenue a year with around 220,000 physical therapists practicing nationwide and 9.8 million consumers paying for physical therapy services each year.

4. Can I Explore This Program Online?

Back in the day, to become a physical therapist would require a graduate degree from a physical therapy program. However, more physical therapy education is now offered online, which makes becoming a physical therapist much more attainable for those without a graduate degree.

Physical therapy schools require students to complete most of their classes in person, but they will also be able to practice the skills learned in these classrooms through clinical experiences. Students can expect a hands-on learning environment where one might work beneath licensed physical therapists to treat patients after receiving brief classroom training as part of the requirements for earning their degree. Physical therapy is a very important job and you must learn how to help people on an individual basis during this process

5. What kind of Work Environment & Conditions will get a physical therapist?

When you’re a physical therapist, your work environment will vary depending on what type of employer. If you want to be hands-on with patients and travel around the city every day, then working in their homes is for you! But if hospitals are more your style or likelier commute time suits best–most jobs require weekend hours at some point as well!–you can expect long days that may put pressure on both body and mind. You’ll need flexibility since this profession requires such an active schedule from one moment to another, but it also comes with benefits: caring for others always lifts our spirits too!


Do you want to know what education you need for a physical therapy career? The answer may surprise you. It is not what most people think! You will need an undergraduate degree and also specialized physical therapist training, which typically takes 2-3 years after college. Three main types of programs prepare students to enter the world of physical therapy: Doctorate degrees, Master’s degrees, and Bachelor’s degrees. Following the guidelines, you can figure out what will work best for your situation.

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