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How to Become a Physical Therapist in New York

Are you someone that likes to exercise and works well with others? Are you interested in a job that allows you to help people while furthering your career? If the answer is “yes” to these two questions, you should consider becoming a physical therapist in New York.

Physical therapists help individuals suffering from illnesses or injuries manage their pain and improve their movement. PTs provide rehabilitation therapy services to all different types of individuals and all different types of injuries.

If you are considering a career in physical therapy, keep reading to learn more about your job responsibilities, the type of setting you can work in, and the job qualifications in order to work as a PT in New York.

What do Physical Therapists do?

There are many different ways physical therapists treat their patients. They can use massage, stretching, and exercise as tools for recovery. Physical therapy includes a lot of physical contact and know-how about the appropriate use of hot and cold treatments, muscle stimulation, and medical devices and equipment. These techniques, or modals, form the basis of what therapists do when working with patients.

Aside from actually performing treatments, physical therapists listen and observe their patients in order to make the proper diagnoses. They spend a lot of time evaluating and modifying their treatment schedule in order to fit the patient’s goals and ability level. PTs are not only responsible for communicating to the patient what needs to be done, but they are also responsible for educating family members about what to expect during recovery.

PTs have multiple treatment specialty options. They can treat in pediatrics, geriatrics, sports, massage, among others.

Where do Physical Therapists Work?

If you can think of a setting, physical therapists can most likely work there. They can work in private offices, hospitals, hospitals, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities / nursing home, in the home, adult day care facilities, or in the school. A lot of physical therapists decide to run and own their own practice. This takes a lot of time and effort to grow your own business.

The demand for physical therapists is on the rise partly because of the large number of baby boomers needing physical therapy treatment as they age.

Physical therapists can work for healthcare staffing agencies, like Horizon Healthcare Staffing. We place therapists in all the types of settings listed above. We offer ongoing, per diem, permanent, or temporary positions. Check out our physical therapist jobs in New York page for job opportunities.


How to Become A Physical Therapist in New York

In order to practice as a physical therapist in New York, you must first obtain either a doctoral degree in physical therapy (DPT) or a master’s degree in physical therapy (MPT). Both programs typically take 2 -3 years to complete and require a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Physical therapy programs include courses in anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, and pharmacology. Physical therapy students must also complete clinical rotations. These clinical rotations allow student to gain valuable on the job experience before embarking on their career.

After you have graduated from an accredited physical therapy school, you must then obtain your PT license. In order to get you license you must first pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE). If you are looking for a particular field of practice, you must also pass a board certification exam. Once you have obtained your license, you must then stay up to date with continuing education courses.


Physical therapy is a rewarding career. It pays well and you get a chance to really make a difference in someone’s recovery. The journey to becoming a physical therapist may be long, but it is definitely worth it. Good luck on your adventure to becoming a physical therapist in New York!

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