Physical Therapy Career


A physical therapy career deals with restoring and maintaining overall health and fitness of individuals suffering from disabling conditions such as arthritis, back pain, fractures, heart disease, head injuries, and injuries from accidents.  They treat patients by helping them relieve pain, restore function, improve mobility, and decrease permanent disability.

Physical therapists assess patients’ medical histories then develop treatment plans to help the patients reintegrate into the community or workplace if possible.  You need compassion and patience as well as an interest in health.

How to become a physical therapist

You need to have a degree in an accredited physical therapy program.  Taking classes in areas such as physics, biology, and anatomy beforehand will be helpful.  It is also important to gain experience and take a master’s or doctoral degree.  You will then need to obtain a license.  To maintain licensure, you have to have continued education and attend workshops to learn new techniques.

Physical therapy career types, Description, Information

You need to decide whether you would specialize in a certain area of practice such as pediatrics, neurology and orthopedics, or would treat a range of conditions.  You could work in a hospital or clinic of other physicians.  You could also put up your own private clinic.  Teaching jobs is also a growing employment option as well as becoming caretakers for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

Qualifications: Courses, Training, Certification

You will study specialized courses such as biomechanics, human growth and development, examination techniques, therapeutic procedures, manifestations of disease aside from the basic courses of biology, physics and chemistry.  This takes three years with another year for supervised clinical experience.

Tuition is quite expensive, especially since master’s and doctoral degrees are preferred by employers.  Fortunately, scholarship funds are available from private organizations and government sources.  The American Physical Therapy Association annually funds scholarships for student members.  The AMBUCS also awards scholarships ranging from $500 to $6,000.

You need to get state and national license by passing licensure exams.

Schools, Colleges, Universities offering Teaching Degrees

Schools have prerequisites such as the completion of certain courses such as physiology and general education classes like social science.  Some even require you to have an undergraduate degree.  You can apply to physical therapist schools through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service.

Physical Therapy Top Colleges and Universities

University of Virginia in Charlottesville

Stanford University in California

Physical Therapy Job Opportunities, Salaries and Recruitment

The opportunities for a physical therapy career are seen to increase through 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  You may have high earnings especially if you are in private practice and have regular clients.

Your salary depends on the employment setting.  Salaries range from less than $40,000 to more than $86,000.  The American Physical Therapy Association states that median annual earnings of physical therapists were $68,000 in 2004.

Category: Sports Careers

Comments (2)

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  1. senthil says:

    Suggest various prospects or various jobs after finishing Physiotherapy Degree

  2. deborah says:

    Sir,
    since India is best for medicine,the best college for Physiotherapy is also found in India and that is none other than Christian Medical College, Vellore.

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