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The PT License Process in Massachusetts

By Luna
The PT License Process in Massachusetts

How do you get your PT license in Massachusetts? It's worth researching since the median salary for a physical therapist in the state is over $92k per year, with some making nearly $122k. Moreover, demand for physical therapists in Massachusetts is projected to grow 9.9% from 2018 to 2028, with 470 PT job openings annually. And since we're in the business of helping physical therapists grow their practice, we're sharing how to become licensed in The Bay state. Here are the basic steps:

Step 1: Earn your Physical Therapy degree

Step 2: Apply for a license through Professional Credential Services, Inc.

Step 3: Pass the required exam for Massachusetts

Step 4: Maintain and renew your license

Let's get started!

Step 1: Earn your Physical Therapy degree

To become a licensed Physical Therapist in Massachusetts, you must obtain a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited school. Schools must be accredited through CAPTE (Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.) As of this writing, the current list of accredited schools in Massachusetts are: 

Before enrolling in a DPT program, you must first earn a bachelor's degree, ideally with a major in health sciences. A Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program typically takes three to four years to complete.

Step 2: Apply for a license through Professional Credential Services, Inc.

While The Board of Registration in Allied Health Professionals regulates all healthcare professions in Massachusetts (including Physical Therapy,) Professional Credential Services, Inc. (PCS) processes the applications for PT licensure in the state.

When you're ready to apply to become a licensed Physical Therapist in Massachusetts, you must submit a completed Application for a Massachusetts PT License form via the mail. Note that the application requires additional items listed below: 

  • A valid social security number.
  • A notarized affidavit affixed with a recent passport-type photograph.
  • An official transcript and a Certification of Completion of Educational Requirements form, both to be mailed directly in a school-sealed envelope to PCS from your school's Registrar.
  • A notarized Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Acknowledgement Form.
  • A completed Payment Form for the $226.00 application fee. (Note that personal checks are not accepted.)

The forms mentioned above and instructions are found on the PCS Physical Therapy License Application page. When all application materials are complete, send them to:

Professional Credential Services, Inc.

Attn: PT/PTA Coordinator

PO Box 198689 

Nashville, TN 37219-8689

Step 3: Pass the required exam for Massachusetts

To practice as a PT in Massachusetts, you will need to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE.) This exam is offered through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT.) The NPTE exam is a multiple-choice test consisting of 250 questions. One of the best ways to prepare for the NPTE is by taking a practice exam. When you're ready to take the official exam, take note of the NPTE eligibility requirements as well as the key dates and deadlines. You may register and pay online for the test via FSBPT's Customer Dashboard

Once you've registered for the exam, you'll receive an emailed Authorization to Test (ATT) letter from FSBPT (which is also available online on your Customer Dashboard.) Your ATT letter will direct you to contact Prometric to schedule a time to sit for the exam. 

FSBPT will score the examination and submit your score directly to PCS. PCS will notify you of the examination results. You may also check your examination status at FSBPT.

Applicants may obtain additional information, ask questions about application processing, and receive status updates by contacting PCS at (877) 887-9727 or emailing customerservice@pcshq.com

Step 4: Maintain and renew your license

Your license to practice Physical Therapy in Massachusetts is good for two years, and it expires on your birthday. Shortly before your PT license expires, you'll receive a notice in the mail with instructions on the renewal process. As of this writing, the cost is $100 to renew. If you renew after your expiration date, there's an additional $57 late fee.

 Currently, Massachusetts does not have a continuing education requirement for renewing your PT license. However, it's in your best interest to stay educated and progressively improve your Physical Therapy skills.

These are the main steps required for obtaining and keeping your physical therapy license in the state of Massachusetts. For additional support, we recommend you contact APTA Massachusetts, the state chapter of The American Physical Therapy Association. This organization is an excellent resource for all PTs in the state. From all of us at Luna, we wish you the best of luck. Remember – we're always hiring and would love for you to join our team.