9 Physical Therapist Certifications for Specialization

ABPTS Specialist Certification: Sports Physical Therapy

What is a physical therapist certification?

To practice their profession, physical therapists must complete a rigorous postsecondary education. Physical therapists who are interested can further their specialization by earning a certificate in a particular field after completing the necessary doctor of physical therapy degree and obtaining state-based licensure. Physical therapists can obtain a number of legitimate certifications, but the ones that confer board certification status are the most prestigious.

9 physical therapy certifications to consider

Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy certification

Physical therapists who want to specialize in treating patients with cardiac or respiratory illnesses can obtain the Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy (CCS) certification. Physical therapists with CCS certification assist patients with mobility regaining after heart attacks, COPD, or other heart or respiratory conditions.

The following requirements must be satisfied by CCS physical therapists in order to earn this certification:

Clinical electrophysiologic physical therapy certification

Physical therapists who have earned the Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Clinical Electrophysiologic Physical Therapy (ECS) certification are equipped with the knowledge and abilities to use cutting-edge diagnostic tools to spot and investigate diseases of the nerves and muscles. Compared to other specialties, this one is more clinical and diagnostic and less patient-driven in terms of study and research and therapy and recovery.

You must fulfill the requirements listed below in order to be eligible for this certification:

Geriatric physical therapy certification

For physical therapists who want to work with the elderly, the Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy (GCS) certification is available. The majority of GCS physical therapists assist elderly patients in managing everyday physical strain and age-related injuries or pain so they can continue to lead normal, active lives. Physical therapists with the GCS have additional training in treating injuries that typically affect the elderly population.

You’ll need the following to obtain this specific physical therapy certification:

Neurologic physical therapy certification

Physical therapists can become board-certified clinical specialists in neurologic physical therapy (NCS) to learn how to treat patients with neurological conditions, diseases, or injuries. This specialization is highly sought after. While some NCS physical therapists instruct aspiring physical therapists in degree or certification programs, the majority of them work with patients.

You’ll need the following to be eligible for board certification in neurologic physical therapy:

Oncologic physical therapy certification

A relatively new certification is the Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Oncologic Physical Therapy. Physical therapists who pursue and earn this certification have the training and expertise necessary to aid cancer patients in regaining their mobility throughout or after cancer treatment. Some oncological physical therapists within this discipline further their specialization and work with a particular clientele, such as children or the elderly.

You must: if you want to become a board-certified oncologic physical therapist.

Orthopedic physical therapy certification

In order to treat patients with musculoskeletal disorders, diseases, illnesses, or injuries, OCS physical therapists must hold the Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy (OCS) certification. There are opportunities in both the clinical field and the teaching field with this in-demand physical therapy specialization. To develop successful treatment plans for their patients, OCS physical therapists frequently collaborate with other medical professionals.

Obtaining licensure as a board-certified orthopedic physical therapist requires:

Pediatric physical therapy certification

Physical therapists can treat children thanks to the Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy (PCS) certification. Most of the time, PCS physical therapists have additional opportunities to focus on pediatrics and work with newborns, young children, or teenagers. Some treat children of any age who present with a particular type of illness or physical trauma, rather than specializing by age or disease.

You must: if you want to become a board-certified pediatric physical therapist.

Sports physical therapy certification

Physical therapists are prepared to treat athletes after sports-related injuries by earning the Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy (SCS) certification. Sports physical therapists frequently focus on a particular sport or athlete. Many professional sports organizations employ SCS physical therapists to routinely evaluate, identify, and treat their athletes. Compared to some of the other specialties mentioned, this one is more saturated and has fierce competition.

Becoming a board-certified sports physical therapist requires:

Womens health physical therapy certification

Physical therapists can assist women, especially those who are pregnant or recently gave birth, manage the common illnesses and injuries that go along with pregnancy and reproduction by earning the Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health Physical Therapy (WCS) certification. As more women seek out physical therapists to help specifically with postpartum injuries, this field is expanding quickly.

The following qualifications are necessary to become a board-certified physical therapist for women:


What are the different certifications for physical therapy?

Currently, ABPTS offers board-certification in 10 specialty areas of physical therapy:
  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary.
  • Clinical Electrophysiology.
  • Geriatrics.
  • Neurology.
  • Oncology.
  • Orthopaedics.
  • Pediatrics.
  • Sports.

What is the difference between a DPT and PT?

A physical therapist, also known as a PT, is a qualified healthcare professional who has completed a graduate program to assist patients with mobility restoration and pain management. The entry-level professional degree for physical therapists is now a DPT, or Doctor of Physical Therapy.

What is the highest paying PT specialty?

According to the Physical Therapist Alliance, sports medicine is one of the highest paying specializations in physical therapy if you like working with athletes.

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