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Becoming a Physical Therapist in Iowa

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Iowa physical therapists (PTs) can earn an impressive salary. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average PT salary in Iowa is approximately $70,100, at an average hourly pay of around $33.70. These amounts are the starting salary averages for PTs in Iowa, but you should remember that dedicated experience, continual knowledge and education in the field contribute considerably to a person's income potential, as well as, the marketability.


Heart disease is one of the top causes of disability and hospitalization in 2011, among residents in Iowa. In 2007, Iowa reported 9,200 deaths (33.9 percent) that were directly related to heart disease – approximately 6,840 of those deaths were due to heart attack. Moreover, heart attack survivors and those who suffer from other heart problems will generally need physical rehabilitation after an attack or injury or as a preventative measure. This is one of the many health concerns that doesn't just affect Iowa residents, but it also can have an impact on the career outlook for PTs in Iowa, as well.

PTs in Iowa: Salary Information

Starting salaries, within the state of Iowa can vary according to the city where you practice. For instance, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, PTs who practice in Cedar Rapids can earn around $71,290 per year, while those who live and work in Des Moines can make $66,590 and Davenport PTs can make approximately $73,660 per year.

How to Become a Physical Therapist in Iowa

Becoming a PT in the state of Iowa requires a license from the board. Two types of form license application methods exist in Iowa including Licensure by endorsement AND Licensure by examination. Licensure by Examination is the method that new graduates must take after completing PT degree programs in the state of Iowa. Licensure by Endorsement is an option for PTs who transfer from another state with similar license requirements.

PTs in Iowa: Requirements

Obtaining a license to practice physical therapy in the state of Iowa requires students to graduate from a PT degree program, at the Bachelor's degree level or above. In order to get a physical therapy license "by examination", Iowa students need to provide:

  • A $120 licensing fee
  • A completed application provided by the Iowa Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy – sent to the board
  • Transcripts from the applicant's PT college program
  • NPTE (National Physical Therapy Exam) scores – students are eligible to take the exam three times per year, if necessary, before needing additional training

Licensure by endorsement may be obtained by providing the Iowa Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy (IBPOT) with the following items:

  • A $120 licensing fee
  • A completed application provided by the Iowa Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy – sent to the board
  • Transcripts from the applicant's PT college program
  • NPTE (National Physical Therapy Exam) scores – students are eligible to take the exam three times per year, if necessary, before needing additional training
  • A statement from employer that proves the applicant has completed at least 2,080 hours of practice in the last two years OR proof of 40 hours of CEUs (Continuing Education Units) over the past two years
  • Copy of current license from other states where the applicant has practiced