✔️ Page updated: August 18th, 2023
This page has all of the information laid out in steps, including application forms, and fees to become a physical therapist assistant in Florida and get licensed.
The Florida Board of Physical Therapy (FBPT) regulates all applicants for Florida PTA Licenses. There are two ways to apply to become a licensed Florida PTA. The first is to apply by examination and the second is to apply by endorsement. Most people will need to apply by examination, but those who have already passed the NPTE and already hold a PTA license in another state may apply by endorsement.
Steps to Becoming a PTA in Florida
After completing a 2 year accredited PTA program here are the steps to obtain your PTA license in Florida:
- Contact your PTA school’s registrar office and have them send an official transcript or letter of completion to the FBPT (Transcripts will be required before a license can be issued but the letter of completion will allow you to take the NPTE exam)
- Complete the Florida PTA licensure application ($180 application fee. Applications are reviewed within 15 days and a status update will be provided by email and mail)
- Pass the Florida Laws and Rules Exam ($50 fee)
- Register with the FSBPT for the NPTE exam ($370 fee)
- Once you are approved for testing you will be sent the Authorization to Test (ATT) letter from the FSBPT which gives you instructions for scheduling your exam
- Schedule and pass your NPTE exam
- NPTE exam scores are received 7 days after the test is taken, and processed during the next 4
Total Cost of PTA License in Florida = $180 application fee + $50 exam fee + $370 exam fee = $600 in fees
Florida PTA License Application
For detailed information and instructions to become a PTA in Florida, see the board’s licensing info. To apply online, click the icon to the right.
Florida Physical Therapy Board Contact Info
Board of Physical Therapy
4052 Bald Cypress Way
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3255
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET
More PTA Info for Florida:
Learn how to become a physical therapist assistant in 7 steps completing all education and licensing requirements.
Step 1. Graduate with a Physical Therapist Assistant Degree
To graduate with a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) degree in Florida, individuals must meet certain requirements as set by the state board. Firstly, it is important to choose a PTA program that is accredited by CAPTE which is recognized by the Florida Board of Physical Therapy. You can enter your zip code below to see programs near you.
You can also use these resources to research CAPTE Accredited PTA Programs:
Program options for obtaining a PTA degree in Florida include both associate’s degree programs and bachelor’s degree programs. Associate’s degree programs typically require around 70-80 credit hours, while bachelor’s degree programs generally require around 120 credit hours.
Students pursuing a PTA degree must complete a combination of general education courses, core PTA courses, and clinical rotations. Some of the common courses include anatomy and physiology, therapeutic exercise, kinesiology, rehabilitation techniques, and clinical pathology. The number of clinical rotation hours required may vary depending on the program.
Upon completion of the required credit hours and courses, as well as the clinical rotation hours, students will be eligible to graduate with a Physical Therapist Assistant degree in Florida. This degree prepares individuals to work alongside physical therapists in providing patient care and improving the quality of life for individuals with various health conditions.
Step 2. Submit the Florida Application for Licensure by Examination
Once you have completed the necessary educational requirements and are ready to apply for a PTA license in Florida, you will need to submit the Florida Application for Licensure by Examination. This step is crucial in the licensure process and requires careful attention to detail.
To begin the application process, visit the Florida Board of Physical Therapy website and complete the online application. Along with the application, you will need to pay the required application fee. It is important to note that payments for the application fee can only be made online.
Next, you will need to have your official transcripts sent directly from your educational institution to the Florida Board of Physical Therapy. Official transcripts must indicate completion of a Prevention of Medical Errors course, which is a mandatory subject for licensure.
Additionally, you will need to register for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) and the Florida Jurisprudence Exam. The NPTE is a national exam that measures the knowledge and skills needed to practice as a physical therapy assistant, while the Florida Jurisprudence Exam tests your knowledge of laws and regulations specific to the state.
Once you have submitted the application, paid the fee, and arranged for your official transcripts and exam registration, you will need to wait for approval or denial from the Board. This process may take a few weeks, so it is important to plan accordingly and to regularly check for status updates on your application.
Step 3. Pass the Florida State and National Licensing Exams
In order to obtain a PTA license in Florida, passing two exams are required: the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistant (NPTE-PTA) and the Florida Jurisprudence Exam.
The NPTE-PTA is a comprehensive exam that assesses a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of physical therapy principles and practices. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering various topics, such as clinical data, therapeutic interventions, and safety and protection. The scoring criteria for the NPTE-PTA are based on the candidate’s ability to demonstrate competence in these areas.
After taking the NPTE-PTA, candidates can access their exam scores online through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) website. It is important to note that scores are not provided immediately after the exam. The FSBPT reviews the exams to ensure the scoring accuracy, and candidates will receive an email notification when their scores are available.
In addition to the NPTE-PTA, candidates must also pass the Florida Jurisprudence Exam, which covers state-specific laws, rules, and regulations related to physical therapy practice in Florida. This exam ensures that candidates are familiar with the ethical and legal aspects of practicing as a PTA in the state.
Passing both exams is mandatory for obtaining a PTA license in Florida. Candidates should thoroughly prepare by reviewing the exam topics and studying the necessary content. By successfully completing these exams, individuals can move forward in the licensure process and begin their careers as licensed PTA professionals in Florida.
Step 4. Begin a Career as a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant in Florida
Florida offers numerous opportunities for licensed physical therapist assistants (PTAs) to work in top rehabilitation centers and hospitals. Here are some of the leading facilities that offer PTA jobs in the state:
1. Florida Hospital Sports Medicine and Rehab – Located in Oviedo, this renowned institution provides state-of-the-art rehabilitation services. They have a dedicated team of PTAs who work alongside physical therapists to deliver high-quality patient care.
2. Heart of Florida Therapy Center – Situated in Davenport, this center offers a wide range of rehabilitation services, including physical therapy. PTAs here contribute significantly to the patients’ recovery process, assisting them in regaining mobility and improving their quality of life.
3. Kissimmee Physical Therapy Center – Located in Kissimmee, this center specializes in providing comprehensive physical therapy services. PTAs play a vital role in assisting the physical therapists in delivering effective treatment to patients with various musculoskeletal conditions.
4. Health First Medical Rehab – Situated in Palm Bay, this facility offers a comprehensive range of rehabilitation services, including physical therapy. PTAs here work under the direct supervision of licensed physical therapists to ensure optimal patient care and outcomes.
5. UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital – Located in Gainesville, this hospital is known for its outstanding rehabilitation services. PTAs play a critical role in the multidisciplinary team, assisting physical therapists in delivering evidence-based care to patients with complex medical conditions.
Working as a licensed physical therapist assistant in Florida provides a rewarding career path. PTAs work closely with physical therapists, helping patients regain their functionality and independence. With a strong demand for PTAs in the state, these top rehabilitation centers and hospitals offer excellent opportunities for professional growth and development.
Step 5. Complete 24 Hours of Continuing Education to Renew Your License Every Two Years
In order to renew your physical therapy license in Florida, one of the requirements is to complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years. This ensures that physical therapists and physical therapist assistants stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in their field, providing the highest quality of care for their patients.
The 24 hours of continuing education must include specific courses. This includes 2 hours of medical error courses, 1 hour of HIV/AIDS courses, and 22 hours of general hours. These courses are crucial for maintaining patient safety and enhancing the skills and knowledge of healthcare professionals.
Continuing education courses can be obtained from approved providers, such as the Florida Physical Therapy Association (FPTA) and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). These organizations offer a wide range of courses that fulfill the requirements set by the Florida Board of Physical Therapy.
The renewal cycle commences 90 to 120 days before the license expiration date. It is highly recommended to take advantage of the MQA Online Services Portal for convenient online renewal. This user-friendly platform allows physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to renew their licenses, check the status of their applications, and receive updates regarding their licenses.
Renewing your physical therapy license in Florida demonstrates your commitment to professional development and maintaining high standards in patient care. By completing the required 24 hours of continuing education, you contribute to improving the quality of life for individuals in need of physical therapy services.
Why Be a PTA in Florida?
Aside from Florida being the sunshine state, there are many other reasons a PTA may want to reside and work in Florida, here are a few:
- A PTA salary in Florida is on the high end of PTA salaries in the U.S.
- There are many great PTA schools in Florida if you are still looking to begin your education
More PTA Info for Florida: