We are often asked for advice on how to become a physical therapist. We have a few answers to commonly asked questions to help get you started.
According to the APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) the median salary for a PT is $85,000 depending on position, years of experience, degree of education, geographic location, and practice setting.
According to the APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) the median income for a PTA is $70,000 depending on position, years of experience, degree of education, geographic location, and practice setting.
In order to become a physical therapist assistant you will need to obtain at least a two-year associate’s degree, which allows you to work under the direction and supervision of a PT. Most of the work as a PTA will involve assisting with the training, equipment usage by, and tracking results of patients progress during therapy. For more information on becoming a PTA, visit PhysicalTherapistAssistantEDU.org.
Physical Therapy programs are offered as a master’s (MPT, MSPT, MS) or doctoral (DPT) degree from an accredited physical therapy program. In order to be admitted to a DPT, MPT, MSPT, or MS program you must first either fully obtain, or have been working at least three years towards an undergraduate baccalaureate accredited degree.
After graduating you must then pass a state-administered national exam. Upon passing the exam you will need to meet any additional requirements your state licensing board may have, before they will allow you to practice
Each program differs from state to state and each has a specific curriculum that you’ll need to take in order to graduate. Before you can be accepted into most curriculums you must first successfully pass some general education classes that will help you prepare for the physical therapy program. These classes may include but are not limited to psychology, biology, physics, chemistry, statistics, English, professional writing, and humanities. After you are accepted into the program the courses will become more focused on the physical therapy practice. This will include basic and clinical medical science courses and emphasize the theory and practice of physical therapy. In addition to classroom learning the program will also require students to apply and incorporate what they have learned through hands on clinical education in various physical therapy settings.
Visit our Search School Listings to locate a PT/PTA program by keyword, city, state or country. Don’t miss our tips for selecting the right school – do your homework!
Networking with other physical therapy students is a great way to learn and stay connected to the latest PT trends. Here is a list of our favorite networking sites:
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