Careers (MP) Physical therapist or physiotherapy (often abbreviated to PT) is a health care profession that promotes mobility, function, and quality of life through examination, diagnosis, and physical intervention.
PTs’ are medical treatment specialists who diagnose and treat people of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related issues that limit their abilities to move and do daily functional activities. The job sits a #20 on the BLS Top 30 Jobs in 2020.
PTs’ examine patients and develop a process using treatment techniques (therapy using mechanical force and movement) to enhance the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prohibit disability. In addition, PTs work with people to diminish the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness programs.
Physical therapists provide care for people in various settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and assisted living. State licensure is required in each state wherein a physical therapist practices.
Physical Therapist Salary
The median annual wage for physical therapists was $81,030 in 2013 (79K in 2012), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The best-paid 10 percent made $113,340, even though bottom 10 percent made $56,280. The highest wages go to physical therapists employed in schools, home health care or nursing care facilities. The best-paid physical therapists live in the metropolitan areas of Laredo, Texas; Las Vegas; and Brownsville, Texas.
75th Percentile: $93,820
Median: $76,310 – $81,030
25th Percentile: $67,700
Physical Therapist Training
As stated by the American Physical Therapy Association, there were greater than 200 accredited physical therapy programs in 2013. Master of Physical Therapy or Master of Science in Physical Therapy degrees are no longer offered in the U.S., and PTs in training now receive a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Programs are typically three years, and usually require proof of a bachelor’s degree before admittance. Most DPT programs include courses that can range from biology to exercise physiology to finance.
There’s also a clinical part to these degrees. After graduating with a DPT, physical therapists might choose to complete a clinical residency or fellowship to gain more practical experience. There are also other certifications for PTs hoping to specialize. Physical therapists also need to get a state-specific license, and they’ll need continuing education coursework to keep their license.