Continuing education (CE) hours allow physical therapists (PTs) to maintain competency, meet licensure requirements, and enhance patient care. As the landscape of physical therapy and pain science continues evolving, such courses keep PT practitioners at the forefront of their field. Read on to learn more about required hours, course opportunities and access, and maximizing impact upon course completion.

Understanding CE in Physical Therapy

CE for licensed physical therapists and physical therapist assistants involves ongoing learning activities designed to support the maintenance and enhancement of professional skills and knowledge. Physical therapy courses encompass a broad range of activities including workshops, seminars, conferences, and online courses. The scope aims to ensure that PT practitioners stay current with the latest practices, research, tools, and technological advancements in physical therapy, thereby improving patient care.

PTs must adhere to professional standards and regulatory board requirements by completing various CE hour requirements, depending on their state. Every physical therapist must complete a minimum number of CE units, or CEU courses, to retain their license. In doing so, PT professionals ensure they comply with board requirements, avoid disciplinary action, and progress in their careers.

The Spectrum of Educational Opportunities for Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants

Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants going through course completion have many opportunities to choose from, depending on their schedule and interests. Here are examples of different types of physical therapy CEU courses you may take:

  • Live courses and workshops: An in-person class gives you access to networking opportunities and hands-on learning. Whether you take a live course on treatment delivery or a workshop on ethics, you’ll be able to meet like-minded professionals in the field while engaging in the course.
  • Online courses: When you have a busy schedule, you may be unable to attend a PT CEU course on a specific date. Online courses provide enhanced flexibility and convenience, allowing you to access education right from your clinic.
  • Specialized certifications and advanced training programs: You may also take CEU courses to develop specialized knowledge and skills. For example, you may train to become a specialist in evidence-based acute care, or you may want to take courses on working with older adults to begin narrowing your services.


In any scenario, ensure that you take your physical therapy CEU courses from professional associations that can count toward your required hours.

Trends in CE for Physical Therapy

As you complete your hours in PT CE, you’ll find that quite a few topics tend to emerge across online and in-person courses. Here are some common trends in the industry right now:

  • Telehealth: Online healthcare experiences through platforms like Weave allow clients to schedule appointments, text their providers, fulfill payments, view lab results, and more for better care engagement.
  • Manual therapy: This form of therapy covers numerous evidence-backed techniques for treating musculoskeletal pain and various disabilities.
  • Patient-centered care: Patient-centered care focuses on patients’ needs while empowering them to succeed in their treatments.
  • Interdisciplinary learning: When you choose course hours in other specialties, you gain more experience across disciplines, enhancing your practice’s ability to treat a range of patients.


Staying ahead of these trends can help you deliver better patient care while ensuring your organization offers the best possible experience.

Choosing the Right CE Courses as a Physical Therapist Assistant or PT

Here are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing CE courses:

  • The format
  • Hours credited
  • Overall learning outcomes
  • The time commitment
  • Costs
  • Professional benefits

Maximizing the Educational Impact

CEU courses are necessary for licensure renewal and offer ideal opportunities for career advancement. To maximize your educational impact, you should apply the new information and skills gained from the classroom to your clinical practice. You may also use new networking contacts to progress your career or business.

Weave: Supporting Continuing Education, Physical Therapy Career Progression, and Organizational Growth

As a PT, you should proactively seek CE opportunities that align with your professional development goals so you can embrace lifelong learning for organizational growth and enhanced care. At Weave, we provide healthcare software for professional growth and streamlined practice management. Get a demo of Weave today to see how our online platform can support your career and practice. 

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