Physical therapists are health care professionals who are considered to be movement specialists. Using a variety of clinical applications, physical therapists help to restore, maintain and promote physical function. They work in a variety of different settings including hospitals, clinics, home health providers, schools, work settings, nursing homes and sports facilities. More detailed information about the role of a physical therapist can be found on the web site sponsored by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
According to a study completed by the American Physical Therapy Association, the median salary for physical therapists in 2013 was $85,000. The median salary varies depending on the geographic region in which the therapist is working, employment setting (i.e., hospital, outpatient facility), years of experience and sex.
The job outlook is good! The United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics lists physical therapist as one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S., projecting a growth rate of 34 percent between 2014 and 2024. This means that during that period of time, an additional 71,800 jobs will be available for physical therapists. This growth will likely be the result of demand for services by aging baby boomers. Also, the number of individuals living with chronic diseases, like diabetes and obesity, is rising. Many of these chronic conditions result in loss of mobility.
The required degree to enter the field is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. You must first complete a baccalaureate degree and seek admission to a physical therapy education program that is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education. Most programs require three years of education after the baccalaureate. APTA provides a wealth of information on the education of physical therapists.
Once you have graduated, you will have to be licensed to practice in your state of residence. This requires passing the National Physical Therapy Exam administered by the Federation of State Boards (FSBPT). Information about licensure and the examination can be found on the FSBPT web site.DOWNLOAD PROGRAM BROCHURE
Effective May 2, 2018, the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Suwanee, Georgia has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org). If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 770-682-2306 or email email@example.com.
Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates that the program is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.