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What degree do I need to be an Animal Physical Therapist

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Debra’s Answer

Hi Bridget, being an animal physical therapist is considered a "specialty" - and therefore the minimum requirements are often to first be a veterinarian OR a physical therapist for people and then get certified to be an animal physical therapist. To be a physical therapist (PT) typically requires at least a Master's Degree. So we're talking getting a 4 year degree - probably in a science like biology or anatomy and then 3-4 years of vet school or 2-4 years for physical therapy school - depending on the school and state. Some require a clinical PT to have a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree. And THEN getting certified in animal physical therapy - which can be 6 months to maybe 2 years depending on how you do it (full time, part-time). According to one website, most animal physical therapist are PT's who have decided to work with animals instead of people. Also - be aware that this is the kind of job that requires passing national tests and/or state licensing tests... so requirements to be eligible to sit for licensure/certification exams can vary from state to state. It's always a good idea to speak with someone who does the job your aiming for... and get first hand knowledge and some one-on-one mentoring. You may want to contact a local vet or humane society and see if someone is available to meet with you to discuss options. Also, Vet techs are allowed to obtain licensure to be an animal physical therapy ASSISTANT. Here are some websites that offer more information about obtaining certification in animal physical therapy...best of luck!