Job OverviewPhysical therapy is one of the most satisfying careers in the medical field. The practice as a whole deals with the treatment and improvement of patients suffering from various physical disabilities and impairments, while some of the jobs that fall under this category deal with education, research and consultation.
As a physical therapist, you will encounter many heartbreaking situations involving patients that require extensive physical and emotional assistance for the purpose of aiding their recovery. The great part is that you get to be responsible for providing your skill and expertise every step of the way in order to make the recovery process possible – a challenge and privilege that not many physicians can enjoy.
SalaryThe wages of a physical therapist are also not to be ignored. Even if you enjoy your job, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t receive a fair remuneration for your efforts, and with average figures ranging between $70,000 and $85,000 in the United States, going through all the training and gaining then necessary experience to become a qualified physical therapist is definitely worth all your time and effort.
The pay will also improve over time, as the job itself requires a certain degree of experience, knowledge and creative thought, a successful physical therapist being required to accurately evaluate the case of each referred patient and formulate accurate treatment plans while often having to think outside the box in order to find solutions to various, special problems.
TrainingWith wages expected to grow at an alarming rate in the next few years, physical therapist jobs are sought by many people as a solution for the future. The good news is that becoming a physical therapist is not as difficult as many would expect, and there are actually several ways you can reach that goal:
- First of all, you need to make sure that you have what it takes to comply with all the requirements of being a physical therapist. This means the ability to work with dysfunctional people and provide emotional support while focusing intensely on providing viable treatment methods and evaluating the long term progress of your patients.
- Biology, exercise science and psychology are among the best majors you can choose for a career in physical therapy. You will need a bachelor’s degree and a GPA of more than 3.0.
- A post-graduate physical therapy program will require your full focus after you finish your undergraduate studies. Most schools offer support for obtaining a doctor or master degree in physical therapy, and the coursework will generally include subjects such as anatomy, biomechanics or neuroscience.
Reviews & AdviceWhile becoming a licensed physical therapist is not considered as difficult as other careers in the medical fields, there’s still a lot of practical work you will be required to do.
According to those who have already went through the process and came out successful, the best way of ensuring the success of your career is by following a medical residency program. After that, applying for a clinical fellowship or finding a job as a physical therapist as soon as possible is the best way of continually focusing on the improvement of your practical training over the following years.
As you gain more experience, the material benefits will also increase, and you can gradually feel much more confident about the practice than you did in the beginning.