Choosing a career path can be a daunting task for anyone. A great option is physical therapy. Becoming a physical therapist can be a very rewarding and lucrative career. Not only can individuals find a stable and enjoyable position, but they can also provide the help patients need to get back on their feet.
Jobs as a Physical Therapist
When considering a career in physical therapy, it is important to review the physical therapy employment opportunities available. A quick search through job boards and local healthcare facilities’ career pages can provide this information. With the growing need for these practitioners, it is not difficult to find a suitable placement.
Physical therapists provide a needed service for the community. When a person is injured or ill, there may be damage or pain that restricts their movement. A physical therapist will evaluate patients and provide a care plan that will help improve their movement and manage their pain.
Physical therapists even provide preventive care, rehabilitation, and treatment for chronic conditions. They do this by working hands-on with the patient to help them work through issues of pain and learn proper motion exercises. The physical therapist will usually prescribe specific exercises to help with their condition and offer education to continue healing and prevent further complications.
Educational Programs for Physical Therapy
Becoming a physical therapist does take some significant education and training. However, the rewards far outweigh the cost and effort required. To become a physical therapist, individuals must earn a doctor of physical therapy degree from an accredited institution. These programs are typically three years. However, getting into such a program has requirements of its own.
Most programs for physical therapy require that applicants already have received their bachelor’s degree in a related field. These fields can include kinesiology, biology, or other related programs. It is best to review the requirements for the specific program planning to enter.
Some educational institutions offer a 3+3 program for physical therapy. These programs offer a combination of the bachelor’s program and doctoral degree. These programs offer 3 years of specific undergraduate pre-physical therapy courses and 3 years of professional physical therapy coursework.
Licensing for Physical Therapy
After the completion of the educational portion, those wishing to practice will need to be certified and licensed through the state they wish to provide service. Unfortunately, there is no set standard for licensing between states. Each state has its own set of rules regarding this process.
In general, most graduates can begin their path to licensure by applying with the state licensing board. The state will provide the detailed steps required for this process. However, each state does require applicants to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam or the NPTE. Once successfully passing the NPTE, applicants must follow any additional requirements their state requires.
Once all steps are taken, applicants must then maintain and renew their license to continue working in that state. At this moment, applicants are physical therapists and are able to work in their respective states.
Future Job Growth Expectancies
Currently, Physical Therapists earn a median salary of $95,000. These earnings help to prove that the time and effort put into this program will pay off in the end. Job growth in this industry is looking to be very good. Employment is projected to grow by 17% in 2031. There are approximately 15,000 new jobs every year.
Although being a physical therapist may not seem like the most glamorous job, it is one of the most rewarding careers. Unlock your future today and become a physical therapist.
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