By Kat Sanders
The job outlook for physical therapists (PT) has never been better, what with the advances in medical science increasing the life spans of older people and improving the prospects of survival for accident victims and babies with chronic conditions and diseases. A PT is a god-sent blessing to people who need their services because of the immense contribution they can make in improving the quality of life of people who need rehabilitation or occupational therapy. They play a large role in regulating and minimizing their pain and in helping them get back to normal life or live as normally as possible.
A qualified PT must graduate from an accredited physical therapist education program (a Master’s or Doctoral degree) in accordance with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education and be licensed according to the requirements in the State he or she chooses to practice in. Besides this, they are required to continue their professional development through continuing education courses and workshops in order to maintain licensure.
Physical therapy job opportunities and physical therapy travel jobs are usually available in hospital and home settings for rehabilitative, therapeutic and orthopedic care. According to the US News & Career Report, the employment of PTs is expected to grow much faster than the average for all other occupations until the year 2014. While hospitals remain the largest employers of therapists, jobs are aplenty in private homes, nursing care facilities, offices of physicians and corporate offices (to develop exercise programs and teach safe work habits to employees in order to reduce injuries). Some therapists prefer to go into business on their own and freelance at various hospitals, adult day care centers, home health centers, rehabilitation centers and private homes, as and when their services are needed. Others choose to enter the field of consultation or teach in schools and colleges; a small number also choose to dedicate their lives to research.
If you’re looking to travel and see new places, a career as a traveling physical therapist could just be the opportunity you’re looking for. When your reputation is well established, you could gain employment in various parts of the country and work at jobs that pay well, provide you with decent accommodation, and make it worth your while with medical benefits, relocation allowances and other incentives.
You can expect to earn around $50,000 a year at the entry level and go on to make as much as $95,000 with experience and skill gained with the passing of the years. The average salary for physical therapists is around $78,000.
So if you’re good with people and are able to treat them with kindness and patience and help them cope with and get over their physical disabilities, you could check out the physical therapy profession – it could be your cup of tea.
This article is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of physical therapy assistant schools at her blog Physical Therapy Blog. To contact Kat, visit her website.