- What is a Sports Physical Therapist?
- How to Become a Sports Physical Therapist
A sports physical therapist is a healthcare professional who helps people recover from injuries and improve their physical abilities.
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Sports physical therapists (PTs) are healthcare professionals who work with athletes to prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries. A career in sports PT requires a solid understanding of human anatomy and physiology, kinesiology (the study of movement), and biomechanics (the study of mechanical forces on the body). In addition, sports PTs must be able to effectively communicate with athletes, coaches, and other members of a sports medicine team.
To become a sports PT, you will first need to earn a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from an accredited school. After completing your PT degree, you will then need to pass a national physical therapy examination administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Once you have obtained your license, you can then begin working as a sports PT. However, many employers may prefer that you have completed a clinical fellowship or residency in sports medicine before applying for a position.
What is a Sports Physical Therapist?
Sports physical therapists are healthcare professionals who work with athletes to prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries. They work with athletes of all levels, from amateur to professional, and are often an important part of a team’s medical staff. If you’re interested in becoming a sports physical therapist, there are a few things you need to know.
What is the job outlook for Sports Physical Therapists?
Finding a job as a sports physical therapist can be competitive. Employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 22 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for physical therapy services is expected to increase as the population ages.
What are the requirements to become a Sports Physical Therapist?
A sports physical therapist is a healthcare professional who helps people recover from injuries and improve their physical performance. In order to become a sports physical therapist, you must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited physical therapy program. You must also pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) and obtain a state license to practice physical therapy.
How to Become a Sports Physical Therapist
Sports physical therapists work with athletes to prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries. They work with all levels of athletes from professional to amateur. Most sports physical therapists have a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, but some have a master’s degree. Many physical therapists also become certified in sports physical therapy.
Step One: Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy
The first step to becoming a physical therapist is to get a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from an accredited college or university. A physical therapist assistant (PTA) can enter the field with an associate’s degree, but PTs must have a four-year bachelor’s degree.
The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) is the only accrediting agency for physical therapy programs in the United States. CAPTE-accredited programs are found at more than 200 colleges and universities across the country.
In order to be admitted into a physical therapy program, you will need to have completed certain prerequisite courses, such as anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics. You will also need to have taken some basic courses in mathematics and English composition. Some PT programs may require you to complete a certain number of clinical observation hours as well.
Step Two: Attend a Physical Therapy Program
once you have graduated from an accredited physical therapy program, you will be eligible to take the national licensure examination, which is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Once you have passed the licensure examination and met all other state requirements for licensure, you will be able to apply for a state license
Step Three: Take the National Physical Therapy Exam
After completing a physical therapy program, the next step to becoming a licensed physical therapist is to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE). The NPTE is a computer-based exam that tests your knowledge and skills related to physical therapy.
You will need to register for the exam with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). The cost of the exam is $485, and you will need to schedule an appointment to take the exam at a testing center.
The NPTE is comprised of two sections:
-A multiple-choice section that tests your knowledge of physical therapy
-A clinical simulation section that tests your ability to apply your knowledge and skills in a clinical setting
You will have four hours to complete the entire NPTE.
Step Four: Get Licensed in the State You Wish to Practice
After meeting all of the above requirements, sports physical therapists must obtain a license in the state in which they wish to practice. Each state has its own licensing requirements, but most states require passing the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).
Once licensed, sports physical therapists are required to complete continuing education credits on a regular basis to maintain their license. The number of credits required and the frequency with which they must be completed varies by state.
Step Five: Consider a Doctorate Degree
While a doctorate degree is not always required, some employers may prefer or require their sports physical therapists to have this terminal degree. Doctorate programs usually take three to four years to complete and require students to complete a capstone project or dissertation. Some programs allow students to specialize in a certain area of sports physical therapy, such as rehabilitation, research or education.
In order to become a sports physical therapist, you will need to earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Once you have completed your DPT, you will then need to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in order to obtain your state license. After you have obtained your license, you may then choose to pursue further training through a residency or fellowship program in sports physical therapy.