As more and more people are becoming more and more health conscious and aims to live a long and of high quality life, the demands for health care related jobs proportionally increases. This is also the reason why the industry of medical and health care blooms in the past two decades. Aside from this reason, one cannot set aside the fact that people born with disabilities are not lessen. In addition to that, cases of accidents being encountered all over the world adds to the formula why the industry of health care related jobs are one of the most highly paid jobs to date.
The careers in physical therapy as of today are currently in its full bloom. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a much faster than the average job outlook increase from 2010 to 2020 in the industry of physical therapy. An expected rate of 39% increase of job vacancies will be available for the next seven years in America alone. In 2010, there exist a record of 198, 600 physical therapy related jobs in America and a projected additional 77,400 jobs will be added coming year 2020. In the Unites States of America, the definition and licensing varies per jurisdictions but all are following the standard set by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
As compared to other health care related jobs in the present time, the salary of a regular physical therapist is relatively higher. According to Top Ten Reviews, the average annual salary of licensed physical therapist ranges from $57,220 to $105,900. The average annual income of PT assistants on the other hand ranges from $34,735 to $66,460. Rating these numbers from one to ten, ten being the highest, the average annual salary of a Physical Therapist’s grade is 9.4. Amongst other health care profession this is quite high. PTs are tied with Chiropractors and Radiation Therapists while Registered Nurses scores 8.8. Not only this profession’s payout is high, physical therapists also enjoy health benefits like insurances.
Job openings for physical therapists will significantly increase this 2013. Countries like United States and Canada has the highest demand for this field. Most of the time, physical therapist deals with people with disabilities and people trying to recover from accidents. There are also cases like senior citizens who aim to still move freely like their younger years to be able to do what they love and enjoy the most. This is the reason why physical therapists are in demand. People needing physical interventions do not decrease with time. Amongst other health care profession, demands for physical therapists ranks second, demands for Registered Nurses being the first.
Because of the frequent changes in the physical therapy industry, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) suggested that every physical therapist renew their license periodically to adapt to the changes. In Unites States, a physical therapist must at least be a graduate of BS Physical Therapy and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination to obtain a license. Every renewal requires various training or clinical and hands-on experiences to qualify for an upgraded license. It is not until he acquires a doctoral degree can he pursue a teaching profession to educate aspiring physical therapists or some other career path in the field. It is for this reason did the advancement potential of physical therapy industry is at its peak. They are tied at number one spot with Registered Nurses and Chiropractors.
Here are some of the settings where Physical Therapists can explore more to gain experiences:
- Rehabilitation Hospitals – their tasks includes giving a minimum of 3 hours of intense therapy for the improvement of physical disability or movement of the patients. Usually the patients stay at the institution only gets home if the rehab is already completed.
- Nursing Homes – Physical Therapists are expected to carry out guidance and conduct therapy to the elderly and people with disability submitted by their family members. Their tasks also include giving out long-term nursing care, rehabilitation and other health care services.
- Outpatient Clinics – Physical therapists can also work in outpatient clinics carrying out tasks like assisting patients scheduled to a check up with a rehab doctor and endorsing doctor’s advice to fellow physical therapists.
- Schools – They can also be found in pre-schools giving students basics of exercise and demonstrating simple stretching at the same time educating them with the importance and health benefits of the exercise.
- Gyms – Physical therapists can also be gym instructors because they are also educated and trained for this job. They know the basics of musculoskeletal (orthopedic) and neuromuscular development and rehabilitation.
- Home Care – Some physical therapists are hired by a certain family to render his dedicated service to them. This means that the family employs the physical therapist. Nevertheless, he can enjoy the same benefits as with those who work in health care clinics.
- Research Centers – Physical therapist, most specially those who have doctor’s degree, can also be part of research team. They work together to discover treatments and develop new technique that can be applicable to patients to help them recover faster.
- Private Companies – Some private companies hire physical therapist to provide services to their employees to help them return to work or for the purpose of enhancing employee health, improving safety, and increasing productivity in the workplace.
In any cases, physical therapist will never find it difficult to look for a job in the US. But, before venturing to any of the above mentioned settings, he must first make sure that he has the qualifications and accreditation for a much easier penetration to his preferred environment. Companies and health care institutions give priority to those who has the experience for the job because they don’t have to undergo training. This, in turn, makes the company spend less in training. Entry level, however, is very much welcome. Though operational expenditures of the company include training, companies spend less with the compensation of physical therapists of entry level. Nevertheless, though paid less, the physical therapist will need the certification from training as additional accomplishment and resume builder.