How to Become a Physical Therapist in Illinois (IL)

Physical therapists are specialists in evaluating and treating disorders of the human body primarily by physical means.  A physical therapist examines, treats, instructs the patients how to alleviate the pain from disease or injury. Patients may include accident victims, people who have back pain, fractures, neck sprain, ankle injuries, head injuries, arthritis, and heart disease. The field requires good communication and problem-solving skills, and the ability to perform rigorous physical activity. Patient of all age is treated by the physical therapist right from infant to the very old. Physical Therapists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, athletic facilities, schools and private practices.

 Association Group Responsible for providing license

In Illinois, Physical Therapy Professions are licensed by Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The application process is dependent on whether you are new student, a licensed physical therapist in another state or country.

Application process

For people from United States


Eligibility: He or she is at least 18 years of age and of good moral character.

Applicant must be a graduate of a CAPTE accredited physical therapy educational program, approved by the Illinois Board of Physical Therapy.

The Board should receive a degree in physical therapy from an institution that has been approved for training by the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Application must be sent to:

Continental Testing Services Inc.

P.O. Box 100
La Grange, Illinois 60525-0100

Foreign Trained Applicants: If the applicant has received education outside US at a school which is not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), the applicant must submit a credential evaluation. The evaluation must be prepared by a Board approved agency.

Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) –

Application must be sent to:

Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

ATTN: Division of Professional Regulation

P.O. Box 7007
Springfield, Illinois 62791

A person whose first language is not English shall submit certification of passage of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Test of Spoken English (TSE) as defined by rule prior to taking the licensure examination.

The Department reserves the right and may request a personal interview of an applicant before the Board to further evaluate his or her qualifications for a license.

Instructions for Registering Online for National Physical Therapy Examinations

Illinois Board of Physical Therapy is using the FSBT website to allow candidates to register online for NPTE. The website the candidate will follow to get registered is

Once the Illinois Board determines the eligibility based on the educational qualification and other guidelines it will be intimated that candidate can appear for the online examination. The FSBT will send the candidate an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter.

The ATT letter would contain the all important information about the exam schedules

Verify Illinois Licensure: It can be viewed on the official website


For applicants from other states who hold a current license in another jurisdiction

The Department may, in its discretion, license as a physical therapist without examination, on payment of the required fee, an applicant for a license who is a physical therapist, as the case may be, licensed under the laws of another state if the requirements for a license of physical therapists in the state if it meets the requirement of the state. The Department may waive the English proficiency examination by rule.

Illinois Law (Jurisprudence) exam: This exam is mandatory for all the candidates to get a license of physical therapist in Illinois. Any applicant failing the examination three times in any jurisdiction will not be allowed to sit for another examination. The applicant has to present satisfactory evidence to the Board of appropriate remedial work so that he may be allowed to sit further in the exam

Information about jobs and salary

Job in State: As per data of May 2012 there are jobs 9,070 in IllinoisState.

Salary: The average mean wage is $77,680. The bottom 10% is at $49,030 and the top 10% is earning a handsome amount of $113,130.

Links for reference

Official Website:

Exam Websites:  ,