How much training does it take to become a physical therapist in Colorado
A physical therapist works to relieve pain and restore mobility, helping people of all ages to resume their daily activities. For physical therapists in Colorado, salaries and opportunities are on the rise for 2010 and 2011. The state of Colorado has a solid, long-term potential in terms of jobs in the healthcare field (physical therapy, included). This potential is measured by Colorado's booming population growth, reasonable living and business costs, a solid work ethic, high-quality universities and a variety of recreational activities for visitors and residents. If you're considering starting your training to become a physical therapist in Colorado – keep reading to find out what it takes.
Colorado, unlike many other states is a direct access state, in terms of physical therapy. This means that physical therapists are able to care for patients without a referral from a doctor or other healthcare professional.
EducationIn order to practice physical therapy in the state, Colorado residents (or those who have recently moved to Colorado) will need to earn a post-baccalaureate degree by attending an accredited PT program. Anyone hoping to become a physical therapist in the state will need to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Many PT hopefuls in Colorado start out their career as a physical therapist assistant (PTA), which teaches them more about physical therapy until they are able to become an LPT (Licensed Physical Therapist).
Further EducationIndividuals wishing to further their career (beyond the scope of becoming a PTA) will need receive a Master's degree or Doctorate in Physical Therapy from an accredited PT school. The state of Colorado is home to two physical therapist education programs that have been accredited by the state licensing board – both programs take three years to complete. In order to be admitted to the program, students will need to have earned a bachelor's degree, completed the prerequisite coursework, successfully passed the GRE and meet the minimum required GPA.
LicenseAfter completing the accredited program, graduates will need to apply for a license at the Colorado Office of Licensing Physical Therapy (a sector of the Department of Regulatory Agencies). Each application requires the applicant to provide personal information, state of previously-held license (if applicable), name of the school/degree attained, screening questions and pay a $50 application fee.
Anyone who has applied for a license to practice physical therapy in Colorado must also pass the NPTE or the National Physical Therapy Examination. Applicants must pay the required fees, which include $150 for the exam score verification, $80 for a score transfer to Colorado (if applicable), and $55 for an individual score report. Those who pass the exam are automatically authorized, qualified and licensed to practice physical therapy in the state of Colorado.
Starting a career in physical therapy is a great opportunity to help others learn how to live mobile lives, which can make a huge impact on many lives. If you think a job in physical therapy is right for you – get started with the state requirements, now – in order to get a jump start on your career, right away!