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The PT License Process in Texas

By Luna
The PT License Process in Texas

How do you get your PT license in Texas? It's worth researching since the average salary for a physical therapist in the state is an impressive $91k per year, with top PTs making as much as $130k. What's more, demand for physical therapists in Texas is projected to grow 20.4% from 2018 to 2028, with 1150 PT job openings annually throughout the state. And since we're in the business of helping physical therapists as best we can, we're sharing how to become licensed in the Lone Star state. Here are the basic steps:

Step 1: Earn your Physical Therapy degree

Step 2: Apply for a license with The Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners

Step 3: Pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE)

Step 4: Maintain and renew your license

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Step 1: Earn your Physical Therapy degree

To become a licensed Physical Therapist in Texas, 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, there are 19 CAPTE accredited schools in the state of Texas.

Typically, DPT programs take three to four years to complete. Most programs require a bachelor's degree for admission, with typical prerequisite classes being in the subjects of anatomy, biology, chemistry, physics, and physiology. 

Step 2: Apply for a license with The Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners

The Texas board of Physical Therapy Examiners regulates the licensing of physical therapists in the state. To obtain your PT license, you must first apply for it online. Before doing so, be prepared to provide the information shown below. You cannot save a partially completed online application and return to it later.

  • Your name and address information
  • Your social security number and driver license information
  • The name, location, and school code for the school that granted your DPT degree
  • Credit card or e-check information to pay the application fee

Applicant fees are non-refundable, so make sure you meet all the requirements before applying.

Next, you must submit all of the following information to the Board:

  • Official transcript - Contact the registrar at your school and have them email your official transcript directly to the Board. Transcripts in PDF form are accepted if emailed directly from the registrar's office to exam@ptot.texas.gov.
  • Passport-type photo - A recent, 2 in. x 2 in. passport-type photo must be submitted to the Board either digitally or by mail.  
  • Letter of completion - If you are not a graduate of a Texas CAPTE-accredited program, you must request that your DPT school's Program Director mail a Letter of Completion to the Board.
  • Fingerprinting - The state of Texas requires a fingerprint background check.
  • Take the TX Jurisprudence Assessment Module (TX JAM) exam - To take the TX JAM exam, you must register online via the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT.) Before taking the TX JAM, be sure to review and study the TX Legal Standards, Ethical Behavior, and APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) Core Documents. You're given two hours and 20 minutes to take the exam. There are 75 questions, and test-takers must answer 80% of the questions correctly to pass. 

Step 3: Pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE)

Once the Board receives all the above items for your application, you may schedule your National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) exam date through FSBPT. Take note of the NPTE eligibility requirements as well as the key dates and deadlines. Upon successful registration, you'll receive an emailed Authorization to Test letter (ATT) from FSBPT (it's also available online via your FSBPT account.) Your ATT letter will direct you to contact Prometric (the official testing center) to schedule a time to sit for the exam. 

The test is a multiple-choice exam consisting of 250 questions. One of the best ways to prepare for the NPTE is by taking a practice exam

After completing your official National Physical Therapy Exam, FSBPT will report your score to the Board one week after your test date. You can see if you passed the exam by logging into your FSBPT account.

To track your overall progress toward licensure, check the Board's Applicant Status Lookup page

Step 4: Maintain and renew your license

Your physical therapy license in Texas is valid for two years. To renew it, you must:

  • Take and pass the Texas Jurisprudence Assessment Module (TX JAM) exam 
  • Complete a minimum of one continuing competency unit (CCU) of Human Trafficking Prevention Training 
  • Complete 30 CCUs of continuing education
  • Submit fingerprints (if not already) for a criminal background check

You may renew your license at any time in the three months before its expiration date with no change in your expiration date. You may renew online or by mail

These are the steps required for obtaining and renewing your physical therapy license in Texas. For additional help, we recommend you contact the Texas 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.

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