There are approximately 20 physical therapy schools in California that offer either Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant programs, and two of them were ranked in the top 15 physical therapy schools in the country (USC & UCSF). Other notables are the California State Universities of Fresno, Northridge, Long Beach and Sacramento.
It is anticipated that the demand for Physical Therapists (and PTAs) is expected to grow at a much faster rate than the average job market. The growing need for therapeutic rehabilitation for specific ailments such as stroke and heart attack and the continuing increase of the elderly population are two of the reasons for this expected growth.
Physical Therapy Schools In California
The Sacramento State University website estimates that the annual full-time salary for a new Physical Therapist graduate is conservatively around $68,000 (this may assume employment is based in California). Salaries in California for Physical Therapists are typically higher than in most other states.
The Physical Therapy Board of California website states that anyone applying for a Physical Therapist license to practice in the state of California must have graduated from a nationally accredited college or university, recognized by the Council on Post Secondary Accreditation and / or the U.S. Department of Education. They must have completed the appropriate physical therapy curriculum from one of those recognized institutions and preferable from one of the physical therapy schools in California.
This curriculum must include both instructional coursework as well as practical clinical & research experience, and must include at least the following:
- Fundamental physical therapy sciences such as anatomical, biomedical, neurobiological, physical, physiological, and social & behavioral sciences.
- Practical clinical research and application in related sciences including gerontology, human development, kinesiology, neuroscience, and pathology.
- Experience actually treating physical therapy related conditions.
- Ethical, legal, and financial theory of the practice of physical therapy.
The Physical Therapy Board of California also requires that each license applicant must have full time clinical experience of at least 18 weeks which must have been with a number of different patients, i.e., working 18 weeks with the same patient doesn’t qualify.
To practice physical therapy in California, you can be a graduate from any state that is properly accredited. You do not have to graduate from one of the physical therapy schools in California.
Once you’ve passed the national exam and have your certificate, you must also pass the California Law Examination (CLE) which pertains to practicing physical therapy in the state of California. This is an hour long multiple choice examination.
The state of California also requires an Application Processing Fee, an Initial License Fee, and if you are not a California resident, a Fingerprint Card Processing Fee.
Top Cities For Physical Therapy Jobs In California
Based on population and the number of medical facilities, these are the cities that will have the best employment opportunities after graduating from one of the physical therapy schools in California.
|Los Angeles||Moreno Valley
|San Diego||Ontario||Simi Valley|
|San Jose||Rancho Cucamonga||Vallejo|
|San Francisco||Santa Clarita||Inglewood|
|Long Beach||Oceanside||Elk Grove|
|Fresno||Garden Grove||Costa Mesa|
|Santa Ana||Santa Rosa||West Covina|
|Huntington Beach||Fullerton||Daly City|
Map of California by County
To see the complete list of physical therapy schools in California, click here.
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