How to Become a Physical Therapist in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Physical Therapy Governing Board governs physical therapists and physical therapy assistants in the state of New Hampshire. This board is a branch of New Hampshire’s Office of Licensed Allied Health Professionals and is responsible for issue licenses, discipline, and regulating the practice of physical therapy throughout the state. The board is made up of five members who serve a maximum of two consecutive, three-year terms. The board consists of two physical therapists, one physical therapy assistant, and two public members.

The field of physical therapy has been growing consistently in New Hampshire in the last decade. Physical therapy and physical therapist assistant jobs have increased by more than 30% during that time. The average annual incomes for physical therapists and physical therapy assistants in New Hampshire are $76,130 and $48,270 respectively. In order to become a physical therapist or a physical therapy assistant in New Hampshire, you must follow these steps:

Step 1 – Finish Your Degree in Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy:

  • Franklin Pierce University is the only institute in New Hampshire that offers a degree in physical therapy
    • The only degree offered for physical therapy at Franklin is Doctor of Physical Therapy

Physical Therapist Assistant:

  • There are two colleges in New Hampshire that offer an associate’s degree that will qualify you as a physical therapist assistant:
    • Mount Washington College
    • River Valley Community College

If you do not attend a college or university in New Hampshire, you must get your degree from a board-approved institution in order to be licensed in New Hampshire.

Step 2 – Finish Clinical Experience

You must complete some sort of clinical experience, regardless of the degree that you are earning. The length and breadth of your clinical experience will depend on the degree you are earning and the school you are attending.

Physical Therapy:

Clinical education at Franklin Pierce University is takes place over three years. The first two years consist of four separate experiences, while the third is a full-time experience that stretches over 32 weeks. You may be required to conduct your experience in a different state, depending on what openings are available.

Physical Therapist Assistant:

The clinical requirements for physical therapy assistants are less arduous than those for physical therapists. Clinical experiences will vary between colleges, but there is generally at least 12 weeks of clinicals, sometimes with sessions during the summer. At Mount Washington College, there is an extra six-week period of clinical experience that you must complete before graduation.
Step 3 – Pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE)

You must take and successfully pass the National Physical Therapy Examination before you can apply to be a physical therapist or a physical therapy assistant. The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) administers the NPTE for all applicants. The test for physical therapists contains 250 multiple choice questions, 50 of which are not included in your grade. The test for physical therapy assistants consists of only 200 questions, 50 of which are not included in your grade. The passing grade for both tests is a 600/800 and the testing fee for both is $370.

Step 4 – Take the New Hampshire State Board Examination

You must also pass the New Hampshire Jurisprudence Exam before applying to be a licensed physical therapist or a physical therapy assistant. This is an open book examination

Step 5 – Apply for Licensure

The application process for both physical therapists and physical therapy assistants is the same:

  • Submit a request for the application packet
  • Submit transcripts from all universities and colleges attended to the board

The more intricate details of applying for licensure in New Hampshire will only be sent to you when you request for an application packet.

Step 6 – Maintain Licensure 
Your physical therapy or physical therapist assistant license is valid for two years and must be renewed by December 1st of even numbered years. In order to maintain your physical therapist or physical therapy assistant license, you must fulfill these requirements:

  • You must complete the appropriate number of continuing education hours, based on your initial licensing date. This will be made clear by the board after you successfully earn your license
  • The board will provide renewal applications by November 1st of your renewal year

Congratulations! You are now qualified to be a physical therapist or a physical therapy assistant in New Hampshire.