By: Tess Hogan
Physicals Therapists help to improve movement and manage pain of those who are injured or ill. They are an important part of rehabilitation, treatment, and prevention of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries.
Certifications Necessary to Practice
Physical Therapists are required to have a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree and be licensed.
Much of their time is spent on their feet, actively working with patients. Physical Therapists have to assess patients and make a plan to help improve their movement, relieve pain, and increase strength. They also perform and document an initial exam. Another part of their daily tasks is evaluating the effects of treatment at various stages and adjusting treatments to achieve the maximum benefits. They also identify goals, progress, and plans for reevaluation. Lastly, they record prognosis, treatment, response, and progress in the patient's chart or on the computer.
Most physical therapist education programs require that applicants earn a bachelor's degree before being admitted into a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. In the US, you must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from an accredited physical therapy education program and pass a state licensure exam before being able to practice as a physical therapist. Most doctoral programs have a required minimum undergraduate GPA for entrance, such as a 3.0. Many programs also require applicants to complete prerequisites in physiology, anatomy, chemistry, psychology, and physics.
The average salary for a physical therapist is between $60,000 - $100,000. The median salary in 2014 was $82,390 which is $39.61.
Skills Necessary to be Successful
Typically, Physical Therapists work in private offices and clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes.
The job outlook for Physical Therapists is 34% from 2014 - 2024, faster than many other careers.
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