The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has found that the increased demand for therapeutic and rehabilitative services seen in recent years can largely be attributed to an aging population that is more often availing themselves of physical therapy when recovering from injuries or surgical procedures, as well as to address general infirmity and neurological problems. This is as true in Wyoming as it is in the rest of the nation. In fact, in 2014, 14% of Wyoming’s population was over 65 years of age, but by 2030, senior citizens are expected to make up 31% of the state’s total population according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. During the ten-year period leading up to 2022, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the number of PTA jobs in Wyoming to increase by 10.7% to keep pace with the growing demand.
Wyoming’s physical therapist assistants have the opportunity to provide treatment to patients in over thirty hospitals throughout the state, including specialized rehabilitation hospitals. PTAs also work closely with physical therapists in independent PT practices and other specialized outpatient settings, sports and fitness facilities, assisted living facilities, universities, and more.
Licensed PTAs in Wyoming earned an average annual salary of $49,470 as of 2014, which was higher than what PTAs earned in the neighboring mountain states of Montana and South Dakota, according to the BLS.
Steps to Becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant in Wyoming
Becoming a physical therapist assistant in Wyoming starts by qualifying for a PTA license through the Wyoming State Board of Physical Therapy. Follow the steps in this guide to learn how.
Step 1. Earn an Associate’s Degree through a CAPTE-Accredited PTA Program
To qualify for a PTA license through the Wyoming State Board of Physical Therapy, you’ll be required to earn a physical therapist assistant associate’s degree through a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Wyoming’s one CAPTE-accredited school is located in Cheyenne and offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS)-Physical Therapist Assistant .
You are required to have twenty documented observation hours in a clinical setting prior to applying for the PTA program. You will be expected to supply documentation of observation hours signed by a supervising healthcare practitioner when applying.
The curriculum consists of 71 total credits, which can be completed in the span of two years with a summer semester included. The curriculum will include, but is not limited to, coursework in the following:
- Medical Terminology
- Human Physiology
- Therapeutic Procedures
- Therapeutic Exercise
- Human Life Span Development
- Functional Kinesiology
- Cardiac Rehab
- Anatomy and Physiology
The program will also involve participating in two clinical practicums, both of which are completed in the second year. The practicums consist of eight weeks of classroom study and eight weeks of an internship on a clinical site. Each practicum will be held at a different clinical site.
Through clinical sites approved for practicums are located throughout Wyoming, you may also opt to participate in internships through partner clinics located in Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, and Oregon.
Step 2. Submit an Application for Licensure and Complete the Jurisprudence Exam
Application for Licensure:
After you complete the Associate of Applied Science degree for PTAs, you must submit a signed and notarized application for licensure by mail to the Wyoming State Board of Physical Therapy.
Along with the application, you must submit:
- A passport photo
- Proof of lawful presence in the US
- Two letters of recommendation from professionals
- The Wyoming jurisprudence examination
- Transcripts forwarded directly from the registrar of the CPTE-accredited school you attended
- A licensing fee of $190 paid by money order or cashier’s check
After the application is submitted, you will also be required to submit fingerprint cards for a background check, which will be mailed to you after the application is received.
The Wyoming jurisprudence examination is an open-book, twenty-five question exam on Wyoming state rules and regulations that govern the practice of physical therapy. You can download the exam here. You must score a 75% on the jurisprudence exam to be eligible for licensing.
After completing the exam, you will need to submit it with the signed, notarized application for licensure and all required documentation to the Wyoming Board of Physical Therapy:
State of Wyoming
Board of Physical Therapy
Emerson Building RM 104
2001 Capitol Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Step 3. Register for and Pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for PTAs
After you submit your application to the Wyoming State Board of Physical Therapy with all required documentation, you will be eligible to register for the National Physical Therapy Exam for PTAs, administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
Additionally, you must have either completed or be enrolled in the final semester of a CAPTE accredited associate’s degree program in order to register.
Click here to enroll in the NPTE-PTA. A fee of $400 is required to register for the exam, payable online by credit or debit card.
After registering, assuming you have met all requirements, you will receive an Authorization to Test letter (ATT). You will then receive instructions to schedule your test through Prometric, a testing service that will proctor the exam. For Wyoming PTA candidates, an NPTE-PTA test center is located in Casper, Wyoming; additional details about the test location and time will be provided by Prometric as the date of the exam approaches.
The NPTE-PTA is a 200-question, four hour exam. It is scored on a scale from 200-800, but it is a pass/fail exam. Any score at or above 600 is considered a pass; a score lower than a 600 is a failing score, and you will have to retake the exam in order to receive a PTA license. For more details about the topics covered on the exam and how to prepare, take a look at the Candidate Handbook.
The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy also provides a practice tool, The Practice Exam and Assessment Tool (PEAT). The cost of the practice exam is $99 for PTAs, with an optional cost of $55 for printed supplemental materials. Because you must score at or above a 600 on the NPTE-PTA, the practice exam is highly encouraged.
Step 4. Get your Career Started as a PTA in Wyoming
Careers for PTAs are available at various medical centers throughout Wyoming, including but not limited to hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and physical therapy clinics. Listed below are some of the top PTA employers throughout the state of Wyoming. These outpatient clinics were listing employment opportunities through the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services as of November 2014 (These examples are shown for illustrative purposes only and should not be interpreted as job offers or as a guarantee of employment):
Physical Therapy Clinics in Wyoming:
- Physical Therapy Center of Wyoming (Cheyenne, WY)
- Fusion Medical Staffing (Casper, WY)
- MAS Medical Staffing (Thermopolis, WY)
- Therapynow (Riverton, WY)
- Rehab Solutions (Wheatland, WY)
- North Platte Physical Therapy (Sundance, WY)
- Bridger Valley Clinic (Lyman, WY)
- High County Physical Therapy (Laramie, WY)
Step 5. Keep your PTA license Current by Meeting Continuing Education Requirements
In order to keep your PTA license current, you must earn continuing competence units (CCUS) throughout your career by attending educational conferences and courses in the field of physical therapy.
After passing the NPTE-PTA, your license will be current for two years. The licensure/certification reporting cycle runs from October 2nd- October 1st.
Over the course of the two year reporting cycle, PTAs must obtain thirty CCUs in order to renew their license. Fifteen of the thirty CCUS must include attendance at courses or conferences provided by either the APTA and its state chapters, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy and its subsidiaries, the International Association for Continuing Education Trading, or the Wyoming Department of Health and Department of Education. The Wyoming State Board of Physical Therapy details these guidelines in chapter six of the rules and regulations.
The FSBPT provides links to resources to help PTAs gain these CCUs.
In order to prove completion of the CCUS, you must provide a signed statement listing the courses and conferences you have attended.
After the renewal period and the CCUS have been submitted, the board will notify you thirty days later if you are compliant with requirements.
A waiver of continuing competence requirements may be granted because of illness, disability or active service in the military.