How do you get a physical therapy license in Delaware? It's a great question, considering the demand for PTs in Delaware is rising. It's estimated that the state will require hundreds of additional physical therapist jobs over the next decade. The average annual salary for a PT in Delaware is currently $81,850 and will likely rise due to demand -- so yes, it's worth looking into becoming licensed in this state. Since we're in the business of helping physical therapists as best we can, here are the basic steps on how to make it happen:
Step 1: Earn your Physical Therapy degree
To become a licensed PT in Delaware, you must obtain a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. Schools must be accredited through CAPTE (Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.) Currently, the only accredited school in Delaware is the University of Delaware. However, their Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is currently ranked #1 in the nation by US News and World Report. The school offers a 2.5-year DPT degree and postgraduate education, including six residency and fellowship programs and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Biomechanics and Movement Science. But if you received a PT degree from any other CAPTE-accredited university, it's acceptable. (Note: A transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy is not acceptable in Delaware.)
Step 2: Apply for your Delaware PT license
Once you have obtained your physical therapy degree, you can apply for a license to practice in Delaware through the Examining Board of Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers (which is a part of Delaware's Division of Professional Regulation.) Written applications are no longer accepted, so you must apply online. To do so, create a DELPROS user account. DELPROS stands for Delaware Professional Regulation Online Services. Once your account is set up, you can submit your application along with your official transcript and application fee (currently $173.) In addition to submitting the application and fee in DELPROS, you must also submit a criminal background check (CBC) and a current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification. Note that you must apply for your PT license first before moving on to the next step, taking the National Physical Therapy Exam. This is because the Board must certify that you're qualified to take the exam.
Step 3: Pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE)
The NPTE exam determines if you're qualified to practice as a PT in Delaware. This exam is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT), and the cost is currently $485.
To register for the test, you'll create an online account. Once the Delaware Examining Board of Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers approves you for testing, you may then arrange to take the NPTE. Upon successful registration, you'll receive an emailed Authorization to Test letter (ATT) from FSBPT (it's also available online via your Customer Dashboard.) Your ATT letter will direct you to contact Prometric to schedule a time to sit for the exam.
In Delaware, your PT license expires in odd-numbered years on January 31. You'll be sent a renewal notice several weeks before your license expires. You'll need to earn at least 3.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) during each renewal period to renew successfully. One CEU is equivalent to 10 hours of contact time. You must have 0.2 units of ethics and 0.1 units for a CPR class for each renewal period. You can easily renew your license online through your DELPRO account.
These are the steps required for getting and keeping your physical therapy license in Delaware. For additional help, we recommend you contact APTA Delaware, the state chapter of The American Physical Therapy Association. They are an excellent resource for all PTs in the state. From all of us at Luna, we wish you the best of luck and look forward to a possible partnership with you in the future.