EDUCATION OR LICENSING REQUIRED FOR PHYSICAL THERAPISTS, PHYSICAL THERAPY ASSISTANTS AND LICENSED ATHLETIC TRAINERS
All physical therapists must receive a graduate degree from an accredited physical therapist program before taking the national licensure exam that allows them to practice. Physical therapists have the most specialized education to help people restore and improve motion.
Today's physical therapist is required to complete a graduate degree - either a masters or clinical doctorate - from an accredited education program. A growing majority of programs offer the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Currently, 199 colleges and universities nationwide support 212 accredited professional physical therapist education programs; 96% now offer the DPT and the remaining programs are planning to convert. Resource: APTA.COM
To work as a PTA, an individual must graduate with an associate degree (two years, usually five semesters) from an accredited PTA program at a technical or community college, college, or university. Graduates must pass the national examination for licensing/certification/regulation in most states to be eligible to work. PTAs work under the direction of a physical therapist (PT).
The PTAs' duties can include assisting in instructing patients in exercises and activities of daily living (including physical modalities), using special equipment, collecting data on the patient's progress, and documenting and reporting on the patient's response. There are currently 330 institutions supporting 354 PTA programs across the country.
Licensed Athletic Trainers are highly educated and skilled professionals specializing in athletic healthcare. In cooperation with Physicians and other allied health personnel, the Athletic Trainer functions as an integral member of the athletic health care team in secondary schools, colleges and universities, sports medicine clinics, professional sports programs, and other athletic health care settings.
Our Licensed Athletic Trainers have at minimum, a Bachelor’s Degree, usually in athletic training, health, physical education, or exercise science. Our licensed Athletic Trainers are Board Certified and use the designation, ATC.
Athletic Training is recognized as an allied health care profession by the American Medical Association. Licensed Athletic Trainers (ATCs) have at least a bachelor's degree and have passed a national certifying exam. The State of Michigan also requires Athletic Trainers to be licensed. Our Athletic Trainers are State Licensed (designation AT) and board certified (designation ATC).