October 29, 2023

The 6 Best Physical Therapy Certifications of 2024

Continuous learning and gaining new physical therapy certifications is vital for anyone looking to advance their career in physical therapy. With the ever-evolving field of healthcare, it's essential to stay up to date with the latest techniques and technologies to provide the best possible care to patients.

That's why we've put together a comprehensive list of the 6 top physical therapist certifications you can obtain to enhance your skills and take your career to the next level.

What are Physical Therapy Certifications

Physical Therapy Certifications are credentials that licensed physical therapists can obtain to demonstrate expertise in a particular practice area. These certifications involve additional education and training beyond the minimum requirements for a physical therapy certificate.

Some certifications require passing an exam or accumulating some clinical experience. Earning certifications in physical therapy can provide an opportunity for career growth by expanding a therapist's skill set and increasing their credibility.

Certifications can enable PTs to specialize in specific practice areas, such as geriatrics, sports, or pediatric physical therapy. They can also demonstrate a higher level of competence and commitment to the profession to employers and patients.

Additionally, obtaining a physical therapist certification in a particular area of physical therapy can increase the therapist's expertise and assure patients that they receive the highest care and treatment.

Physical therapy certifications can lead to increased job opportunities, higher salaries, and recognition within the healthcare community. In a constantly evolving industry, physical therapist certification can help PTs stay up-to-date on the latest research and techniques and provide the best possible care for their patients.

Level-Up Your Practice with These Physical Therapy Certifications 


Physical therapy is constantly developing, and many certifications can help professionals stay up-to-date and enhance their skills. These certifications for physical therapists can provide PTs with specialized knowledge and expertise in sports medicine, manual therapy, and geriatrics.

By obtaining these certifications, therapists can increase their value to patients and potential employers while improving job satisfaction.

So why not invest in your future as a physical therapist today and start exploring your options for advanced certification?

So, let's explore some of the best physical therapy certifications of 2023.

1. Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT) Certification 

Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT) certification involves intensive training in manual therapy techniques for the musculoskeletal system, focusing on orthopedic conditions. 

By becoming a COMT, you will have a deeper understanding of diagnosing and treating complex musculoskeletal conditions and a more remarkable ability to provide effective exercise programs for your patients. 

The certification process is rigorous, but the knowledge and skills you gain will be invaluable in your career as a physical therapist.

Treatment skills of COMT

The COMT certification program enhances healthcare professionals' examination and treatment skills. This program provides participants comprehensive knowledge on differentiating musculoskeletal disorders through appropriate examinations. 

By obtaining a COMT certification, healthcare professionals not only enhance their skills but also improve their ability to diagnose medical conditions accurately.

Evidence-based techniques of COMT

When it comes to treating patients, clinical reasoning and evidence-based techniques of COMT should be top of mind for healthcare professionals. Clinical reasoning is the process of analyzing patient data, symptoms, and history to make a diagnosis and decide on the best course of treatment.

Evidence-based techniques, on the other hand, rely on scientific research to inform treatment decisions. By combining these two approaches, healthcare professionals can ensure that they are using the most effective and proven techniques to help their patients recover.

2. Advanced Manual Therapist (ACOMT) Certification 

The Advanced Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (ACOMT) certification is a demanding program designed to provide therapists with the advanced skills and knowledge necessary to treat complex musculoskeletal conditions. 

This certification is recognized as the highest level of manual therapy certification in the United States. Advanced manual therapy techniques can greatly improve patient outcomes, including joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, muscle energy techniques, and myofascial release. If you are considering pursuing the ACOMT certification, be prepared to dedicate significant time and effort to becoming a skilled manual therapist.

Reflective Reasoning and Examinations in Pain Science of ACOMT

One of the key benefits of ACOMT is its emphasis on reflective clinical reasoning. This approach encourages physical therapists to think critically about their practice, assess the patient's needs, and tailor the treatment plan to achieve optimal results. 

ACOMT's focus on reflective clinical reasoning enables practitioners to refine their existing skills and develop new ones, culminating in advanced expertise that leads to better patient outcomes.

Furthermore, ACOMT gives clinicians an advanced understanding of the latest pain science research. Pain management is a critical aspect of manual therapy, and ACOMT training equips practitioners with the knowledge and skills to work with patients with complex pain management needs.

3. Dry Needling (DN) Certification

With modern-day advancements, physical therapy has continually progressed, and dry needling (DN) is one of the new specializations making waves in the industry.

Dry needling has quickly become one of the most sought-after specializations for physical therapists. This technique involves the insertion of thin needles into muscle knots or trigger points to release tension and pain. DN certification sharpens your anatomical knowledge, enabling you to provide a precise and effective technique, significantly relieving pain.

With DN certification, physical therapists can offer an innovative approach to patient care, combining their expertise and evidence-based practice.

Getting certified in dry needling offers a range of benefits for physical therapy practitioners. The technique is becoming more prevalent within the industry.

4. Pelvic Health (PH) Certification 

Pelvic health issues are much more common than you might suspect, affecting men and women of all ages. However, many healthcare professionals are undertrained in this area despite these issues' prevalence. Being a certified physical therapist in this domain, a PT can treat patients having pelvic floor issues.

We'll explore the importance of obtaining a pelvic health (PH) certification to treat patients with pelvic floor dysfunction effectively.

This physical therapy certification is essential to provide optimal patient care and meet their needs; a comprehensive understanding of pelvic floor anatomy, treatment planning, and proper collaboration with healthcare providers is paramount.

Specialized Knowledge In Pelvic Floor Anatomy

Specialized knowledge and training in pelvic floor anatomy are necessary when diagnosing and treating symptoms of pelvic pain, genital and colorectal conditions, pregnancy, sexual dysfunction, urinary incontinence, and much more. 

The PH certification provides the latest clinical reasoning and research based on assessment and evidence-based techniques. These can range from bladder retraining, internal pelvic floor muscle evaluation, exercise therapy, and proactive education about lifestyle changes.

Pelvic Health (PH) certification is essential for healthcare professionals to deliver high-quality care to patients with pelvic floor dysfunction.

By pursuing this essential physical therapy certification, healthcare professionals can make a significant impact on improving their patients' experience and overall quality of life.

5.Orthopedic Proficiency (OPC) Certification 

As a physical therapist assistant (PTA), you have an incredible opportunity to help patients improve their mobility and function. You must possess the knowledge and technical skills to properly assess and manage different musculoskeletal conditions to excel in this role. One way to attain the expertise necessary to become a movement expert is to earn an Orthopedic Proficiency Certification (OPC) credential.

Now, we will delve into what OPC entails and why it is the ideal choice for PTAs seeking to advance their careers.

OPC is a postgraduate physical therapy certification program offered by Evidence In Motion, a leading provider of evidence-based education for healthcare professionals. The program comprises advanced musculoskeletal evaluation and treatment coursework, including the latest pain neuroscience research and movement science developments.

Understanding of Advanced Exercise Programs

The OPC program emphasizes comprehensive exercise prescriptions to optimize patient outcomes. It educates PTAs on developing tailored exercise programs that target specific muscle groups and incorporate functional movements to enhance patients' overall physical performance. As an OPC-certified clinician, you will be able to help your patients move more efficiently and safely, reducing their risk of future injuries.

6.Vestibular (Cert. VT) Certification 

As part of their professional development, clinicians can pursue various physical therapy certifications to deepen their expertise and equip themselves with the tools and techniques needed to address the unique needs of different patients.

One such physical therapy certification is the Vestibular (Cert. VT) Certification, which equips physical therapists with the skills they need to diagnose and manage vestibular impairments and concussions.

Vestibular Rehabilitation Techniques Improve Patients' Quality of Life

Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise-based therapy program to improve vestibular disorder symptoms and impairments. This technique is useful in helping patients with balance and dizziness problems to improve their level of function and reduce their quality of life limitations.

One of the ways vestibular rehabilitation achieves this is by helping the patient's brain compensate for changes in the vestibular system, which a variety of conditions, such as head injury, concussion, or degenerative disorders, can cause. Through VT certification, physical therapists can master this rehabilitation technique and incorporate it into their treatment plans, providing better patient outcomes.

Benefits of Physical Therapy Certifications 

If you are a physical therapist, becoming certified in your field can open doors to new opportunities and advance your career options. Physical Therapy Certifications allow you to specialize and become an expert in your area of interest while increasing your value and credibility in the industry.

Here are some advantages of holding physical therapy certifications:

Specialization and Career Advancement 

Physical therapy certifications can help you specialize in a specific area of PT, such as pediatrics or sports therapy. Specializing in an area of interest allows you to develop more expertise and become an expert on that subject.

Increased Competitive Edge

With so many therapists in the field, standing out from the crowd is important. Holding certifications adds value and credibility to your credentials, making you a desirable candidate to employers and patients. Earning specialized physical therapy certifications can enhance your competitive edge and boost your earning potential.

Enhanced Patient Outcomes

Certifications in physical therapy can improve the level of care you provide to your patients. By staying up-to-date with the latest research, certifications help you apply evidence-based practices to your treatment plans. It ensures that patients receive the most effective and efficient treatment possible.

Industry Trends to Help You Decide on Your Physical Therapy Certification

The physical therapy field is constantly evolving, and certifications are becoming increasingly popular as a way for therapists to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and specialize in specific areas of practice. According to a recent study by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), physical therapists with a certification are highly likely to land a better PT role.

Here are some of the key trends in physical therapy certifications:

  • Growth in specialization: Therapists are increasingly seeking certifications in specific areas of practice, such as geriatrics, sports, or pediatric physical therapy. This is due to the growing demand for specialized care and the desire of therapists to develop expertise in a particular area.
  • Focus on evidence-based practice: Certification programs are increasingly emphasizing evidence-based practice, which means that they are based on the latest scientific research. This ensures that therapists are using the most effective techniques to treat their patients.
  • Rise of online learning: Online learning platforms are making it easier for therapists to obtain certifications at their own pace and convenience. This is making certifications more accessible to a wider range of therapists.
  • Increased focus on patient outcomes: Certification programs are placing a greater emphasis on patient outcomes, which means that they are designed to help therapists improve the quality of care they provide to their patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Most Popular Physical Therapy Certifications?

Some of the most popular physical therapy certifications include:

  • Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT) Certification
  • Advanced Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (ACOMT) Certification
  • Dry Needling (DN) Certification
  • Pelvic Health (PH) Certification
  • Orthopedic Proficiency (OPC) Certification
  • Vestibular (Cert. VT) Certification

How Do I Choose the Right Physical Therapy Certification for Me?

There are many factors to consider when choosing a physical therapy certification, such as your area of interest, your career goals, and your budget. It is important to do your research and choose a program that is accredited and reputable.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Physical Therapy Certification?

The cost of getting a physical therapy certification can vary depending on the program, but it typically ranges from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Physical Therapy Certification?

The amount of time it takes to get a physical therapy certification can also vary depending on the program, but it typically takes between a few months and a year.

Enhance Your PT Practice Every Day 

As a physical therapist, you likely already know your job has its fair share of challenges. You may work with patients with significant pain or mobility issues and sometimes struggle to stay organized and efficient.

However, you can enhance your PT practice daily, from pursuing additional certifications to adopting new tools and technologies.

Here and now, we'll share some helpful tips and tools that can help you stay at the top of your game and provide the best possible care to your patients.

  • One of the best ways to enhance your PT practice is to pursue additional certifications. These can help you develop expertise in a particular practice area and give you more credibility and clout in the healthcare industry. For example, you may consider becoming certified in orthopedic physical therapy, neurologic physical therapy, or geriatric physical therapy, depending on your interests and career goals. Pursuing these physical therapy certifications can also give you new insights into treatment techniques and strategies you can apply daily.
  • Another key way to enhance your practice is to adopt new tools and technologies to make your work more efficient and effective. One such tool is PtEverywhere, a powerful practice management platform for physical therapists. With PtEverywhere, you can streamline your scheduling and billing processes, manage patient records more easily, and even offer telehealth services to your patients.

Finally, don't forget to take care of yourself. As a PT, you may be so focused on your patients' care that you neglect your well-being. However, it's essential to take breaks when needed, exercise regularly, and find ways to reduce stress and burnout. When you are feeling your best, you can provide the best possible care to your patients.

You can try out PtEverywhere today! Sign up for a demo and reap the results.