Author Archives: Martin


Sports Physical Therapist Salary: A Guide On What To Consider

A sports physical therapist (PT) is a specialized version of physical therapist. It’s similar to a standard PT in that they focus on the rehabilitation, treatment, prevention, and evaluation of patients. However with a sports PT, patients are normally physically athletic individuals. A sports PT may also concentrate more on performance enhancement than a standard therapist.

Sports PT Focus

A sports PT frequently focuses on chronic injuries. They are typically neuromuscular skeletal in nature. A PT will usually make the final assessment when a person is ready to return to standard activity. Here is a video going through how a PT will deal with sports injury rehab:

Since most of the patients of a sports physical therapists are actively participating in sports, they need to continue with their activities with minimal interruption. A sports PT will typically provide screening, cardiovascular fitness, equipment recommendations, and different programs designed to return a person to their activity in a timely manner.

This type of therapist will often work with a team of doctors to determine and implement a program to get the patient back to his or her previous athletic ability.

Case Study: Sonia Considers Her Therapy Career

A few weeks after making the decision to go back to school, Sonia had lunch with Jill again. Sonia had done enough research that she had a lot of questions about becoming a therapist.

athletic physical therapy

She knew she would need a lot more answers, so she offered to buy Jill lunch in exchange for more information. Sonia had been debating on whether to study sports physical therapy. She was intrigued with the idea of working with athletes.

Helping All Age Ranges Not Just Athletes

Jill said she had considered the same thing, but ultimately made the decision to stay with general physical therapy because she wanted to help young children as well as the elderly not just professional sports teams. After thinking about it, Sonia made the same decision. There were simply too many people that needed her help, not just athletes.

Working On Athletic Performance Enhancement

sports physical therapist salaryOne of the trademarks of a sports physical therapist is the ability to work on performance enhancement. These therapists will measure different strengths and weaknesses of an athlete at the beginning of an activity and take notes of various deficiencies in strength, endurance, flexibility, and aerobic ability. After that, a training regimen can be created with follow-up by the therapist along the way to help monitor their progress on rehabilitation.

Sports physical therapy is a specialization of standard PT so the same education requirements apply. You will need a doctorate in physical therapy along with passing the national physical therapy exam. After that you will need to get a license to practice in the state of your choice.

What Salary To Expect

The amount of money that the sports physical therapist can make will vary depending upon the type of sports and teams with which they are associated. The therapist who works with a professional sports team or at a major university can make a lot more money. The average pro sports physical therapist salary in the US is around $70,000.

Sports physical therapists can work in a variety of different areas including sports teams, colleges, and even private schools. Some hospitals also have sports therapists working closely with doctors. Of course a sports therapist can also have their own practice. If you enjoy sports and would like to work with athletes on a regular basis to help them improve their performance and stay healthy, this may be a great career for you.

What is an Animal Physical Therapist?

Physical therapists can help more than just people. They can help animals as well. It used to be that after an animal had been injured or had undergone surgery that veterinarians would try to immobilize the animal to let the wound heal.

Unfortunately, this practice can restrict blood flow and reduce healing to the affected area. An animal physical therapist can help improve a pet’s recovery by increasing blood flow and collagen synthesis while reducing muscular atrophy.

Animal physical therapists can help improve muscle tone using a variety of methods including warm water hydrotherapy. These methods can also reduce healing time and make for a better long-term recovery.

animal-physical-therapist-salary changes 2009 to 2013There are times when an animal can benefit from having physical therapy. When that time comes, an animal physical therapist can work closely with a veterinarian to make sure they get the proper treatment.

If an animal starts having neurological symptoms or experiences pain, is overweight, out of shape, or simply has an ongoing limp, a PT can help improve the animal’s overall health.

While the veterinarian may legally be able to perform different types of therapy it is not typically part of their training. A licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant should be present.

Just because you’re using a veterinarian that is certified in canine massage or even canine rehabilitation, it does not mean they are qualified to do animal physical therapy.

Animals Need Physical Therapist Help Too

Sonia’s family had their dog Duke since the divorce. Sonia’s husband Bill had agreed to give her the dog since he really had no interest in him anyway.

Unfortunately as Duke aged, he started having a hard time getting around. When Sonia found out that physical therapists could take classes to help animals as well as people she was intrigued.

While it may be too late to help Duke, Sonia liked the option of studying animal physical therapy along with a regular degree.

Education and Salary

The educational requirements to become an animal physical therapist specializing in animals are very similar to the standard physical therapy degree. Ideally you should have a master’s degree in physical therapy and then complete the doctoral program. There are several different subjects that must be studied including neuroscience, pharmacology, pathology, physiology, and anatomy. The student will also take specialized classes about animals.

An average salary for an animal physical therapist is approximately $35,000. As you get more experience, around 3 to 4 years, your salary may get higher. Entry-level positions normally make around $30,000 per year.


Physical Therapists

Occupational Therapist Hard at Work

Occupational therapy (OT) uses a variety of treatments to help maintain, recover, and develop the daily living skills of patients with mental, physical, or developmental conditions.

Occupational therapists start with an evaluation with a client and possibly their family to help determine the client’s goals. Then they will create a custom intervention to help the person perform activities daily so that he or she can reach those goals.

What is the difference between physical and occupational therapy? Both of these professions are related to healthcare and help patients regain functionality in their tasks, but they have a different focus.

Occupational Therapist Job Description

The occupational therapist (often called an OT) focuses on modifying a patient’s physical environment and training them to use assistive equipment to help them accomplish their goals.

On the other hand, a physical therapist works to improve quality of life through
increasing mobility and health of the person.

occupational therapist worklpace

An example would be when an OT educates a person with limited mobility on how to
avoid falls and sets them up with special equipment to help them, such as a walker.
A PT, by contrast, will work to improve the person’s mobility with different therapies that they will work on while together, and then possibly while at home.

Sonia Considers Occupational Therapy

Sonia briefly considered occupational therapy when she was researching different schools. However since her friend Jill had studied physical therapy and offered to help her along the way, she thought that would be the best way to go.

While both professions have certain advantages, Sonya liked the hands-on aspect of being able to help a person improve their ability after surgery or some other injury. For her it just seemed like the best way to help people.

The average occupational therapist’s salary is 68,000 per year. If you’re willing to travel, the pay may be higher. Traveling therapists sometimes get additional benefits like free housing.

Health and wellness is a growing service for occupational therapist. It turns out there’s a connection between mental health, physical health, and wellness. It is possible to improve all three and increase the general wellness of the patient.

Therapists commonly work toward the prevention of injuries. They also help people with chronic disease.

Sometimes occupational therapists work with children, including infants and toddlers. They are able to assist families with psychosocial needs and help provide normal development, social skills, feeding, and play.

Some ways a therapist helps children is to create wellness programs to lower the rate of childhood obesity. They can work with students on handwriting. They also address psychosocial problems of children such as how to develop life strategies so they have better coping skills.

Therapists often work with adults who have various disabilities. Some areas they address might include education, coping skills, routine building, schedule maintenance, and social skills development.

A certified occupational therapist will typically have either a master’s or doctoral degree in occupational therapy. This should be from an accredited ACOTE school.

In order to practice as an OT in the United States, you must have at least a master’s degree and have passed the license examination. This will allow you to become a certified member of the National Board for Certification in occupational therapy. and

Your Physical Therapist Equipment List

Once you become a physical therapist (PT), you will have many tools at your disposal. These tools help PTs rehabilitate injuries, strengthen muscles, and help people get better.

A physical therapy table, bed, couch, and chair are commonly used equipment. A cushioned flat bench with a removable head support is also common. These benches can have between two and seven adjustable sections. This allows the patient to lie down on his or her back or stomach while receiving therapy. They can also be folded to serve as an exercise table or chair. This allows the patient to be comfortable while receiving therapy or being examined. The table can also be used during massage therapy.

Grip and exercise balls can also be helpful. There should also be plenty of exercise mats. Some therapy offices invest in weight machines to help patients build up strength while in therapy.

physical-therapist-equipment to perform tasksWobble boards are sometimes used in physical therapy. They can be helpful in rehabilitating people who have had knee, hip, or ankle surgery. Some people also use them in gymnasiums and different types of sports training to help prevent injuries.

In other cases, patients may use different types of weights for their hands and legs. Elastic bands can also be used.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) uses electric current to stimulate nerves. TENS can be used to reduce different types of chronic and acute pain. TENS can give a patient short-term relief without the need for medication. This machine generates low electrical impulses. These impulses can help block pain signals from reaching the brain. One belief is that TENS helps increase the levels of endorphins generated by the brain.

The unit is typically applied to the skin using electrodes. The battery-operated unit is then able to modulate intensity, frequency, and pulse width.

TENS is normally used at a frequency above 5 Hz and with an intensity that helps produce motor contraction. [1] The great part about the TENS unit is that it is low risk and non-invasive. Unfortunately, there is still some controversy regarding how effective the units are for managing chronic pain. Some studies have shown benefit for chronic musculoskeletal pain while others have said it is not as effective.

Tools That Sonia Needs

As part of her research, Sonia started reading through a Physical Therapist Equipment List. The physical therapy table looked really interesting.

With all of its moving parts, she could see that the table could be adjusted in many different ways to help a patient get comfortable.

The exercise equipment was interesting too. She had spent a lot of time at the gym over the past few years trying to get back in shape and she was familiar with a lot of the equipment that was used.

What interested Sonia the most was the TENS unit. She would never have imagined that people would use electricity to help relax muscles in the body. Of course in the movies it was sometimes used as a form of torture, and she didn’t realize it was good for much else.

These new tools would obviously take some time to learn. However, Sonia knew that it would be worth the time in order to help people get better.

Cold and heat are the most common types of noninvasive and nonaddictive therapies used. Some therapists will alternate between hot and cold to prepare for different types of exercise therapy.

It is always a good idea to consult with your therapist before using cold and heat therapies. These methods should be used as directed by your physician.

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy is a method of drawing the blood to the target tissues which increases the blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients to those areas. It can be useful in removing waste from the cells. It can also work to relieve pain, improve range of motion, and even help relax muscles.

There are several different forms of heat including heat compresses and chemical packs. It is important to make sure you always wrap the packs in a towel to reduce the risk of burns.

Cold Therapy

Cold therapy is often used to reduce inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms. The different types of cold packs include ice cubes, iced towels, frozen vegetables, and of course commercially available cold packs. Normally the duration for cold therapy is no more than 15 minutes.

Always make sure with any therapy that you never apply the heat or cold directly to the skin. It is beneficial to use a towel or some sort of cover to prevent burns and nerve damage.


There are many different tools available on a physical therapist’s equipment list. Some are simple while others are state-of-the-art. One thing that is certain, you will never have a shortage of tools at your disposal as a professional physical therapist.


What is a Physical Therapist?

Are you thinking about becoming a physical therapist (also known as a PT)? These miracle workers of the modern age work with people who have suffered injury or disease. They help their patients by reducing pain and improving overall physical function. This area of the medical industry is growing as Baby Boomers age and need more care.

An Introduction to the Field

Occasionally referred to simply as PTs, play a crucial role in the rehabilitation and treatment of patients who require assistance with improving their movement and managing their pain due to an illness, injury, or chronic condition.

They work with patients of all ages who are struggling with functional problems caused by neck and back injuries, strains, sprains, fractures, amputations, arthritis, injuries caused by work or sports, neurological disorders (such as cerebral palsy or stroke), or other conditions.

Educated on a variety of techniques to provide patient care, including exercises and training in functional movement, which may require the use of equipment such as crutches, canes, and wheelchairs. They also learn special movement techniques for the muscles, joints, and other soft tissues to decrease pain and improve movement.

The specific type of work a practitioner  performs is dependent upon the individual patient. For example, a patient who has suffered a sports injury requires different care than a patient trying to recover their mobility after a stroke. Physical therapists may also work with patients to improve or maintain their mobility by creating fitness and wellness programs that promote a healthier, more active lifestyle. In some cases, a physical therapist may specialize in a specific type of care, such as geriatrics or orthopedics.

As a valuable member of the healthcare team, they oversees the work of assistants and aids and consulting with other healthcare specialists, such as surgeons.

Duties included in the job

Typically, a physical therapist is responsible for:

Reviewing a patient’s medical history, as well as any notes or referrals from other healthcare workers, including doctors.
Diagnosing a patient’s movements and functions using a variety of methods, such as listening to their complaints or watching them stand/ walk.

Creating an individualized care plan for a patient that details the patient’s goals and the expected outcomes of the care plan.
Utilize a variety of stretching methods, exercises, hands-on therapy, and therapeutic equipment to help the patient improve their mobility, relieve pain, prevent additional pain or injury, and facilitate overall health and wellness.

Assess the patient’s progress and record, while also modifying the care plan and instituting new treatments when needed.
Provide patient and family education regarding what to expect and how to cope with any challenges throughout the recovery process.

Where do they typically work?

In 2014, approximately 210,900 were working in the United States. The industries they were most frequently employed in include:

Offices of physical, speech, and occupational therapists or audiologists: 34%
State, local, and private hospitals: 27%
Home healthcare agencies: 12%
Residential care and nursing home facilities: 7%
Physicians’ offices: 5%

In their work environment, PTs spend most of their time on their feet while working with patients. They are at risk for back injuries due to often lifting and moving patients. These risks can be reduced by learning and using appropriate body mechanics and lifting techniques.

Getting an education in the field

As of 2015, there were over 200 programs for the job accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). All offer a DPT degree program.

Typically, the DPT program is completed in 3 years. However, most programs do require that applicants hold a bachelor’s degree, as well as meet specific educational requirements (for example, chemistry, anatomy, biology, and physics classes) before they can be admitted. There are some programs that admit college freshman into a 6- or 7-year program that allows them to graduate with both a bachelor’s degree and DPT. Most DPT programs require that applicants apply through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS).

Career programs frequently include classes on anatomy, physiology, biometrics, pharmacology, and neuroscience. Additionally, students are required to complete a minimum of 30 weeks of clinical work, during which they receive supervised education in various areas, such as orthopedic care and acute care.

After graduation, they may apply to and complete a clinical residency program that usually lasts around 1 year and offers additional training and experience in specialized areas of care. Those who opt not to enter a residency program may opt to specialize further by completing a fellowship in an advanced clinical area.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

While licensing requirements differ by state, all require the therapist to hold a license and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. In addition, some states require a criminal background check and law exam. To keep their license, most states require continuing education courses. To determine the specific requirements for your state, check with the state board.

After gaining work experience, some PTs elect to become board-certified specialists through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Certification is available in 8 specialty areas, including geriatric, orthopedics and sports physical therapy. To become board-certified, one must pass an exam and complete a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical work or complete the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) accredited residency program in the specialty area.

Crucial qualities, skills and requirements

A strong attention to detail: To properly diagnose a patient’s condition, provide care that effective and safe, and evaluate treatments, a physical therapist should have strong observational and analytic skills.


Should have a desire to help others and be able to empathize with their condition.

Interpersonal skills:

Spend a significant amount of time interacting with their patients, which is why they should enjoy working with others, as well as be able to provide patient motivation, explain treatment plans, and listen to patients’ concerns.


Due to a need to customize treatment plans according to a patient’s specific needs, a PT should be flexible and able to adjust care plans as needed.


Often using their hands to provide therapeutic exercises and manual therapy, which is why they need to be comfortable massaging and physically assessing patients.

Physical stamina:

Should be capable of spending long periods of time on their feet as they work to help patients perform exercises and demonstrate proper techniques.

Salaries and average pay

As of May 2015, the median annual wage for PTs was $84,020, meaning half of PTs earned more than this amount and half earned less than this amount. The highest 10% earned over $119,790, while the lowest 10% earned less than $57,060.

The median annual wages for PTs in the top industries in which they work were:

Home healthcare services: $91,400
Residential care and nursing home facilities: $91,140
State, local, and private hospitals: $85,360
Physicians’ offices: $83,420
Offices of occupational, physical, and speech therapists and audiologists: $80,000

For details on sports related income check out the sports physical therapy salary page.

The Prospected Job Outlook

It is projected that the employment of PTs will increase 34% from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than other career fields. The demand for PTs will largely come from the increased number of baby boomers, who are staying active longer in life. Additionally, older people are at higher risk for stroke, heart attack, and mobility-related injuries that require rehabilitation by a physical therapist.

Also, chronic conditions, such as obesity and diabetes, are more prevalent today than in recent years. More PTs will be needed to help these patients manage the effects of their condition and maintain their mobility.

At the same time, advances in medical technology have increased the number of outpatient surgeries performed to treat injuries and illnesses. Additionally, technological and medical advancements are expected to allow a larger number of trauma victims and newborns with birth defects to survive, which may also require rehabilitative care. PTs will play a crucial role in helping patients recover from surgery.

On a final note, federal health insurance reform means that more people have access to health insurance. This is likely to lead more people to seek treatment for chronic injuries and conditions that may require rehabilitation.

Job Prospects for PT’s

With a 34% increase in employment (or 71,800 jobs) expected from 2014 to 2024, prospects are good for licensed PTs, especially in skilled-nursing facilities, acute-care hospitals, and orthopedic settings. Additionally, due to many PTs living in suburban and urban areas, prospects for employment in rural settings will also be high.

Related careers

PT assistants and aids: Sometimes referred to as PTAs, this field requires the worker to work under the supervision and direction of the profession. They are responsible for helping recovering patients manage pain and regain movement.

Recreational therapists:

Recreational therapist plan, coordinate, and direct recreation based treatment programs. They may use drama, music, dance, arts and crafts, aquatics, games, and community outings to improve or maintain a patient’s physical, emotional, and social well-being.

Occupational therapists:

Using everyday activities, they help disabled, injured, or ill patients develop, improve, and recover the skills they need for daily life.


Audiologists diagnose, treat, and manage patients with hearing, ear, or balance problems.


Chiropractors use spinal manipulation and adjustment, as well as other treatment modalities, to treat problems with the musculoskeletal system, including bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves.
Speech-Language Pathologists: Also referred to as speech therapists, workers in this field assess, diagnose, treatment, and work to prevent swallowing and communication disorders in patients. This may be the result of a stroke or brain injury, developmental delays, a cleft palate, autism, Parkinson’s disease, or hearing loss.

Becoming practitioner

There are certain attributes that will help you excel at becoming a PT, including physical strength, patience, endurance, dexterity, communication skills, and believe it or not, optimism. However, these will only take you part of the way.

One of the first things you are going to need is your high school diploma. If you are still in high school, it’s a good idea to take physics, math, chemistry, biology, and social studies to help give you a good foundation. It is also a good idea to have 200 to 300 hours of volunteer time to help you get into a good school.

Next, you need to get a bachelor’s degree, preferably in physical therapy. After that, earn a master’s degree with a focus on physiology, human anatomy, or neuroanatomy. As of 2016, you will need to get your doctorate to become a PT.

After you get the degree, you will need to pass the national physical therapy exam and then get a license for the state in which you are going to practice.

Employment Outlook

While many occupations may suffer from a recession, physical therapy enjoys a very low unemployment rate of 1.1%. It is a rapidly growing area that is made even more popular by the baby boomers reaching an age where they need more care.


A primary responsibility of the PT is to help restore a patient’s body from injury, illness, pain, or other types of disability. The therapy may include a variety of methods to help increase the patient’s range of motion, strength, and coordination. A therapist may use heat, light, water, and cold therapies as well as traction to accomplish the goal. Orthotic and prosthetic devices may also be used to help train patients.

Physical therapists get to work with a wide variety of people, including premature infants, pediatric patients, sports injury patients, back and neck injuries, amputees, geriatric patients, patients with arthritis, and many more.

Continuing Education

Continual growth is important for physical therapists. A PT will need to maintain certain professional and technical knowledge by keeping up with the latest changes in the field.  These may be from reading professional publications, working with professional networks, seminars, educational workshops, and professional societies.

Working Conditions

physical therapist performing rehabilitation excersiesLike many doctors, they are typically seen in hospitals, clinics, and even in private offices that are specially equipped to handle their needs. In some cases they also need to go to people’s homes or even schools to help their patients.

The job can be physically demanding at times. A physical therapist needs to be able to crouch, lift, and stand for long periods of time.

Sometimes they must be able to perform strenuous physical activity in order to help their patients. This, along with strong communication and excellent problem-solving skills can help the therapist assistant patients.

Case study: Sonia Considers a New Career

After a delicious lunch with her friend Jill, Sonia went home with lots of information to consider. She wanted to know more about Physical Therapists and what they really did for a living. She knew Jill had decided to make the jump to this new career, but Sonia wanted to learn more before making a decision.

Sonia had two kids, and she knew she wanted to be able to work with children at least part of the time. She also liked the idea of being able to help her boys if they ever got an injury and needed rehabilitation.

Since a PT’s job is to help restore full mobility after an injury or surgery, she figured that she would work with doctors to help people heal faster.

This was intriguing for Sonia, and in the end was one of the reasons she decided a career as a PT was the right choice for her as well.

often work a 40-hour week, but some also work weekends and evenings to accommodate their patients’ busy schedules. Around 20% work part-time, according to the bureau of labor statistics.

PTs have a varied salary range depending on where they are working. A traveling PT has the opportunity to earn more money. A physical therapist’s salary is typically $60,000 to $88,000 (for a detailed information, check here). They usually make more as they gain more experience or pick up more responsibilities.

Is this the right profession for you? Maybe it’s time for a career change. Perhaps you just want a profession that is growing during a recession. Either way, PT may be a rewarding career choice. Read on to learn more about Sonia and her friends and they begin careers in physical therapy.


Can You Benefit from Physical Therapy?

People frequently go to the doctor because of pain. It could be because of an injury or sometimes just from age-related problems.

Physical therapy can help people improve function and manage pain for a variety of disorders. In some cases, physical therapy programs may include education to help the person increase flexibility and strength.

While physical therapy can cause some discomfort, most people welcome it. They know the long-term benefits of physical therapy outweigh the short-term discomfort.

Who Needs Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy can be used on many ailments including back, neck, shoulder, knee, hip, ankle, and foot problems. It can also be helpful after a person has received an injury.

A very common use of physical therapy is to help a person rehabilitate after surgery. It is a common practice for the surgeon to prescribe PT after knee surgery. This helps the joint to become strong and restores range of motion. It also helps to protect the knee against future injury.

People are often referred to physical therapy after joint and muscular pain, spinal problems, musculoskeletal problems, or sports injuries.

What Will a PT do for Me?

A physical therapist (often called a PT) will provide customized treatment for people. Each program is specific to the individual, who will receive special instructions and exercises to perform. Everyone will heal at a different rate, so a physical therapist will monitor their improvement to keep them on track.

The therapy will typically include different types of exercises and stretches that will help reduce stiffness and increase range of motion and flexibility. Over time the exercises will also help restore strength.

Sonia Has Lunch with a Friend

Last week Sonia got a call from her friend Jill and they had lunch at a delightful restaurant downtown. It was a great meal, but what interested Sonia the most was the conversation.

Sonia met Jill a few years back when they were working on their bachelor’s degree benefit from physical therapy right away!together. After finishing up her degree, Jill continued on to get her master’s in physical therapy. She had about a year left to get her doctorate and be done with school.

Over lunch, Jill told Sonia about what she was learning in school. Jill had been asking Sonia to join her for some time because of all of the opportunities available in the physical therapy field after graduation.

With two kids to support and an ex-husband that was little help, Sonia chose to start working instead. Unfortunately, in the current economy there weren’t many jobs available in her town.

Maybe it was time for Sonia to take a serious look at physical therapy as a career. She had always done well in her science classes, and she enjoyed helping people. Sonia also knew that Jill would be happy to help her when she needed it.

It is important that you closely follow the directions given to you by the physical therapist. They are there to help you recover as quickly as possible.

Many people that exercise on a regular basis may wonder why they can’t simply do the exercises alone. After all, they have been exercising by themselves for years. Then they justify this behavior by saying they already know what causes the problem.
A physical therapist has had many years of school and practical knowledge on how to do proper rehabilitation. They have continuing education to help them learn about dysfunctions and injuries, and to make sure they stay up-to-date with the latest procedures.

Every physical therapy session is unique. No two people have the exact same body and they need to be regularly monitored to make sure they are staying on track.

General practitioners do not always have time to work with a patient and explain why a given disability or injury occurs. Without the proper education, you may injure yourself again and make the problem worse.

When people first arrive at a physical therapy office a common question is, how long is this going to take? Frequently the underlying question is how long will their rehabilitation take. Since people heal at a different rate, your therapist will be able to get an idea within a few weeks of how quickly you will make progress. At that point, he or she may be able to give a better idea of how long the process will take.
Since many people, when they first arrive in the office, will either be in pain or having difficulty with their health they may be concerned about what they have to do for the therapist. Physical therapy covers the different aspects of health, from flexibility to pain relief and other areas. A plan will be created for you that clearly defines what you will need to do for each treatment.

Ace the Physical Therapist Interview

Once you have finished your doctorate, passed your certification exam, and have your license to work in your state, you’re ready to start interviewing to become a physical therapist. Here are the things you need to know to ace the interview.

How to Shine on Your Physical Therapist Interview?

Before you go into the interview, it is important to start with the proper attitude. A positive mental attitude will show itself in your voice, your attitude, and even your body language. You want to make sure to demonstrate that you have an intelligent, cheerful, and energetic personality.

While you’re getting ready, make sure that you schedule enough time to arrive 15 minutes early so you can compose yourself and make sure everything is in order. You should also ensure you have a proper sales pitch so you can really sell yourself to the interviewer. This includes a 3-5 minute monologue about yourself to help break the ice.

Make certain you listen carefully to every question that the interviewer asks. After each question, make sure you answer thoroughly. There are few things that turn off interviewers as quickly as a person who does not listen to their questions. Also, be sure you don’t interrupt the interviewer while they are talking. This is an important part of listening.

Watch out for what are typically referred to as “stumbling words”. These include words like “um” that would normally be used in conversation. They do not belong in an interview.

Jill had been researching how to get a job when she finished up her doctorate. She knew that it was going to be a challenge to land that first job and show that she was capable.

list of tips for your physical therapist interviewJill had always had a great attitude about life and friends, and she wasn’t too worried about being able to talk with people and show them what she knew.

Even though she still had a little time left to finish up her degree, Jill had already started working on her sales pitch. She had a good five minutes of information and had rehearsed it so she could talk about herself in a professional manner without stammering.

To help her prepare to be interviewed, she spent some time researching interview questions at,18.htm and found them to be very helpful.

After all of her preparation, Jill knew she was ready to go on her first interview in a few months.

There will be many questions of a technical nature in the physical therapy interview. However, the ones that are trickier for some people are the psychological questions. Questions like “tell me about your strengths and weaknesses” can be difficult.

When you are asked this question, it is not the time to talk about all of your bad habits or anything else you’ve done wrong. While it may be easy to come up with a few good things about yourself, the bad ones are more difficult. It is a good idea to have an answer that is a quasi-strength. A good example would be talking about how dedicated you are at work, but you wish sometimes you could spend more time with your family.

“Where do you want to be in five years?” This is typically a question where interviewers want to find out how long you are going to hang around. The best answer is always honesty. If you only intend to be in the city for the next three or four years, tell them.



Physical Therapist Job Search

So you have finished school, passed the exam, and gotten your license to practice physical therapy. Now all you need is a job. Perhaps you are already working as a licensed physical therapist and you are looking to move to a different area, or you just want a new challenge.Networking with colleagues can be a great way to get started. You can ask people at conferences and friends from college if they know of any openings in your area.

College professors can be another great source of information. They often talk with past students and know of needs in different parts of the world. You can also ask them to keep an ear out for any new positions that come up. This can be a valuable asset to your job search.

Frequently though after talking with people in your network, you need to look at other job-hunting methods as well. Like many other types of work, you can benefit from looking online for a new position. Some sites like can make it easy for you to search for jobs around the world.

Jill Looks for a Physical Therapist Job

key factors to get a physical therapist job you wantAs Jill got closer to her graduation, she had to make some decisions about where she wanted to work. With no kids or current boyfriend she didn’t have much to tie her down. She decided that being a traveling physical therapist might be fun for a while.

The more she thought about it, the more she liked the idea. Paul, a guy she knew in college, lived in Florida. It might be fun to see him again. She always enjoyed hanging out at the beach too.

After that, she could go skiing in Vail, Colorado while working at a hospital not too far away. She smiled as she thought that she might ask Paul to join her for a week. The possibilities were endless.

What if you could go on one traveling vacation after another? A health care recruiter can help you get contracts in different parts of the world. This will save you a lot of time over having to hunt for jobs yourself.

Being a traveling PT gives you a great deal of flexibility. Instead of just a few employers in your area you suddenly have hundreds wanting highly qualified people like yourself.

Maybe you want to spend your winters in a warmer climate. Or maybe you want to go to a client that stays up-to-date with the latest technology. A job as a traveling PT will allow you to spend your winters in the mountains and your summers close to the beach.

These are all possible when you are open to the possibility of travel and the willingness to go where the work is.

Whether you decide to stay in one town or become a traveling PT, you increase your likelihood of getting a job when you network properly. Don’t wait until you are unemployed to start talking with friends and checking online job search sites. By then it might be too late. Keep your resume updated, and stay in touch with former professors and colleagues. You never know when the next great job opportunity will come along.

Are You Ready for Physical Therapy School?

How long does it take to become a physical therapist, what does it cost, and how can I pay for it? These may be some of the questions you have. Read on to find the answers.

When you start your research of physical therapy schools, there are many things you should consider. You need to determine if you meet all of the course prerequisites for your given program. These can vary considerably among schools. Some programs will require you to have a bachelor’s degree already. Browse best PT schools in the United States here.

You will need to take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) at least six weeks before you apply. If you are going to enter college as a freshman, you may be able to use your ACT or SAT scores instead.

Send official transcripts from any universities you attended to your potential PT institutions. You also need to submit an application to the school before their deadline.

How long does it take?

If you have no college, expect to spend four years on a bachelor’s degree, two years getting a master’s degree, and another two years getting your doctorate, for a total of eight years of school. If you already have a bachelor’s, then you can reduce the time by four years.

Sonia Prepares for School

Sonia knew that going back to school was going to make her budget even tighter. She knew she’d have to give up a few things in order to make it happen. However in four years things were going to start shaping up for them. In the meantime, she was planning to continue working at her old job and was thankful to have some flexibility in her hours.

When she made the decision to go back to school, Sonia decided to start looking into how she was going to afford it. She knew that student loans were an option, but wanted to try and get as much help as she could.

After doing some research, Sonia found a site on the Internet that contained a list of scholarships by major. Using this she was able to make a list of ones for which she wanted to apply.

The next step was to contact her old university and have her transcripts sent over to the new school. Once this was done, she just had to submit an application and wait for her acceptance letter.

How much does it cost?

There are many different factors regarding the cost of a physical therapy degree. One is whether you choose to go to a public or private school. Another is how long it takes with your given amount of education. Most physical therapy programs require that you get your clinical doctorate in physical therapy. There are only a few master’s programs still available and they are in the process of switching over to becoming doctoral programs. It has been mandated that by 2020 all master’s degree programs must require a doctorate.

State schools can cost approximately $12,000 per year while private schools are around $30,000 per year.

Finding money for college

top paying states for physical therapists_depending on physical therapy schools graduatedIf you can get a scholarship or financial aid to help with physical therapy school, that will usually be the best option. If that is not forthcoming then student loans are usually available. Some schools will also give returning students life-experience credit, which may help reduce tuition costs.

Once you have decided to pursue a career in physical therapy it is important to choose the right school. Research the programs, talk to alumni, and ask about scholarships and financial aid. Once you have all the facts it will make your decision easier.

Physical Therapy Assistant Salary

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) do a lot of the same work as a physical therapist (PT), but they are supervised every step of the way. They work with patients to help them with pain, illness, injuries, and post-surgery rehabilitation. They use the same equipment and ultimately can get the same satisfaction of watching a patient improve over time.

Maybe by now you are wondering why you should become a physical therapist. A lot of people choose this career because they want to make a difference by helping patients.

Assistants play an important role in the team helping patients improve their health. They can help prepare wellness programs under the supervision of a therapist.

Many people are looking for jobs in this economy. A PTA can be a rewarding career that can help you feel happy by helping others. This field is taking off as baby boomers grow older and get debilitating conditions as they age.

PTAs are expected to see a 35% demand increase between now and 2018. There are approximately 64,000 certified PTAs working and that number is likely to rise to 85,000 within 10 years.

In addition to job growth, a PTA career can allow you to expand your options as well. Some PTAs can get additional responsibilities and the ability to make more money by gaining skills in clinical management, medical billing and coding, risk management, and more.

Physical Therapy Assistant is a 2-year degree and can be obtained at a number of colleges.

Sonia Considers Becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant

For a very brief period of time, Sonia considered the idea of just getting a 2 year degree and becoming a physical therapist assistant. However, that really wasn’t Sonia’s way. She knew that she would never be happy working as an assistant for the job that she really wanted. For her, being a full-blown therapist was the only way to go. While it would take more time and money it was definitely worth it for her.

Being a full-time PT would also mean more money. Even though she would have to scrimp for a couple of years and save every penny she could to make it happen, it would be worth it if she was able to support her family.

Maybe her ex-husband Bill could help out a little more as well. After all if she made more money he might not have to pay her as much after she finished school. That would be just like him to only think of it from a money perspective. Even so, he did care about the kids and wanted what was best for them.

Sonia smiled to herself and thought maybe she could make this work out after all.

Since PTAs don’t have as much education or knowledge as their PT counterparts, they are not paid quite as well either. The median physical therapist assistant salary is around $38,000 per year. However, the cost of their education is a lot lower as well.

If you can’t afford the school to get a full physical therapist degree or if you simply can’t wait long enough to get a master’s and doctorate, maybe the PTA is the way to go. You get a lot of the same satisfaction from helping people without the long-term expense.

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