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2/21/2017 CareerCruisingPhysicalTherapist

PhysicalTherapist

AtaGlance

Physicaltherapistsassessandtreatpatientswhohaveproblemswithmovementduetoillness,
injury,orphysicaldisabilities.

MichiganCareerPathways

HealthSciences

Earnings
EarningsRange:52K106K

LevelofEducation
4YearCollegeorUniversity

CoreTasks
Performphysicalexamstoassesspatientsconditions
Designtreatmentplanstohelppatientsachieveasmuchmovementaspossible
Treatpatientsusingsofttissuemassage,lasers,andothertechniques
Teachexercisesandstretchestopatients
Monitoranddocumentpatientsprogress

Attributes&Abilities
Communicationskills
Enjoyhelpingpeople
Goodwithpeople
Workwellwithyourhands

Workplace
Workforhospitals,clinics,nursinghomes,schools,athleticdepartments,communityhealthcenters,
researchcenters,andrehabcenters
Someareselfemployed
Theworkcanbephysicallydemanding
Mostwork8to10hoursaday
Eveningandweekendworkiscommon

JobDescription

Ifyouveeversprainedyourankleorbrokenyourarm,youllknowthatittakesawhiletorehabilitatethelimb
andligamentsandgetthemworkingproperlyagain.Worse,ifthelimbisnotexercisedandencouragedto
functionnormally,itmightnotworkaswellasitusedto.Thiscanaffectapersonsphysicalandmentalhealth.

Physicaltherapistshelppeoplewhohavebeenillorinjuredreturntoahealthylife.Theyalsohelppeoplewith
permanentdisabilitiesachievethehighestpossiblelevelofphysicalfunction.Theirpatients,orclients,include
peoplewhohavesportsrelatedinjuries,orwhohavebeenthroughseriouscaraccidents.Theyalsosee
patientswhoaresufferingfromheartdiseaseandotherailments,andthosewhoarecopingwithdiseases
suchasarthritis,multiplesclerosis,orcerebralpalsy.

Physicaltherapistsseeupto30patientsaday.Thefirsttimetheymeetwithanewpatient,theylearnabouthis
orhermedicalhistory,andthenperformaphysicalexamination.Oncetheyhavedeterminedwhattheproblem
is,theydesignatreatmentplananddiscussitwiththepatient.Thetreatmentcouldinvolvehandsontherapy
(suchassofttissuemassageandjointmobilization)ortheuseofhotandcoldpacks,ultrasound,lasers,and

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othermechanicaltools.

Inaddition,physicaltherapiststeachpatientsspecificstretchesandexercisesthatallowthemtotakeamore
activeroleinthetherapyprocess.Theymonitortheirpatientsprogressduringvisitsandsuggestpossible
treatmentmodifications.Theyalsodocumenteachstepofthetreatmentprocess,becausequiteoften,reports
mustbemadetodoctors,insurancecompanies,andemployers.

Anumberofphysicaltherapistschoosetoworkatleastpartofthetimeinnonclinicalsettingssuchascolleges
ortheresearchunitsofhospitals,wheretheyoftenconcentrateonteachingandresearch.Othersworkinthe
privatesectorasconsultants.Theyshowpeoplehowtoreduceonthejobinjuriesbycreatingsafer,less
physicallystressfulworkingconditions.

Physicaltherapistswhoownandruntheirownclinicsmayspendalargepartoftheirdaydealingwith
administrativeandmanagerialtasks.

WorkingConditions

Physicaltherapistsworkforhospitals,publiclyandprivatelyfundedclinics,nursinghomes,schoolsforchildren
withphysicaldisabilities,collegeathleticdepartments,communityhealthcenters,researchcenters,and
rehabilitationcenters.Bothfullandparttimeworkisavailable.Someworkinprivatepractices.

Physicaltherapycanbeaphysicallydemandingjob.Mostpeopleinthisfieldareinclinicalpracticeandspend
longhoursstanding,bending,liftingequipment,andphysicallysupportingpatientsforexample,helpingthem
stand,walk,orturnover.

Physicaltherapistshavetoadapttheirschedulestosuitpatientsneeds.Eveningandweekendworkisvery
common,particularlyforthosewhoworkinprivatepractice.Mostphysicaltherapistswork8to10hoursaday,
or40to50hoursaweek.Parttimeworkisalsoavailable.

Earnings

Ingeneral,peopleinthisprofessioncanmakeanywherefromabout$52,000to$106,000ayear.Themedian
annualincomeforallphysicaltherapistsisapproximately$74,000.

Exactearningsvarydependinguponlevelofresponsibility,experience,geographiclocation,andemployer.
Forinstance,medianannualearningsofphysicaltherapistswhoworkinhomehealthcareservicesarehigher
thanthoseoftherapistswhoworkindoctorsoffices.

Mostemployersprovidefulltimephysicaltherapistswithbenefitssuchaspaidvacations,sickleave,health
insurance,andretirementprograms.Selfemployedtherapistsmustprovidetheirownbenefits.

MichiganWages
Occupation:PhysicalTherapists

LevelofExperience Hourly Annual

EntryWage $32.62 $67,850

MedianWage $39.2 $81,530

ExperiencedWage $46.1 $95,880

Source:U.S.DepartmentofLabor,BureauofLaborStatisticshttp://www.bls.gov

MichiganOutlook
Occupation:PhysicalTherapists

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Employment

2014 8,670

2024 10,570

Change

Number 1,900

Percentage 21.9

AnnualAverageOpenings

Total Growth Replacement

420

Source:ProjectionsCentralhttp://www.projectionscentral.com

Education

Inordertopracticeasaphysicaltherapist,youmustearnamastersordoctoraldegreefromanaccredited
physicaltherapyeducationprogram,andthenpassalicensingexam.

Beforeyoucanapplytoaphysicaltherapyprogram,youmustearnabachelorsdegree.Mostschoolsaccept
studentswithbachelorsdegreesinanysubject.However,itisimportanttotakecoursesinareassuchas
anatomy,biology,chemistry,physics,statistics,andpsychology.

Onceyouhaveabachelorsdegree,youcanapplytoaphysicaltherapyprogram.Therearetwotypesof
programs:mastersdegreeprogramsandDoctorofPhysicalTherapy(DPT)programs.Althoughbothwill
prepareyouforacareerasaphysicaltherapist,moreandmorestudentsarechoosingtocompletetheDPT,
andthismaybetherequiredpathinthefuture.

Bothtypesofprogramsincludeacombinationofcourseworkandsupervisedclinicalexperience.Theyusually
take2to3yearstocomplete.

Aftercompletingthemastersordoctoraldegree,youmustpassalicensingexamapprovedbyyourstate.
Continuingeducationmayberequiredtomaintainlicensure.Thisusuallyinvolvestakingprofessional
developmentcoursesandworkshops.

RelatedCollegePrograms
PhysicalTherapy/Therapist
PrePhysicalTherapyStudies

OtherSuggestedQualifications
Itsagoodideatocheckoutvolunteeropportunitiesatlocalclinics.Thiswillgiveyouvaluableexperienceand
insightintothefield.Inaddition,volunteerexperienceisrequiredforadmissiontomanyphysicaltherapy
educationprograms.Physicaltherapistsneedstrongcommunicationandinterpersonalskillsandadesireto
helpothers.Manualdexterityisalsoimportant.Inhighschool,youshouldtakeupperlevelcoursesinmath,
English,andscience.

SuggestedHighSchoolSubjects

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Grade9 Grade10

English
English
Mathematics
Mathematics
Biology
Biology
PhysicalSciences
PhysicalSciences
SocialStudiesGeography
SocialStudiesHistory
CreativeArts
Health&PhysicalEducation
Health&PhysicalEducation

Grade11 Grade12

English
Algebra
English
Calculus
Mathematics
Anatomy&Physiology
Biology
Biology
Chemistry
Chemistry
Physics
Physics
Law&Government
Economics
Health&PhysicalEducation
Psychology
Health&PhysicalEducation

Important

Checkwithyouradvisortomakesurethatyourcourseselectionssatisfyyourgraduationrequirements.
Coursesavailablemayvaryfromschooltoschool.

SampleCareerPath

Peopletakedifferentpathwaysthroughtheircareers,butnoonestartsatthetop.Thisisanexampleofhowthe
earnings,educationandexperiencerequirements,andresponsibilitiesmightprogressforsomeoneinthis
occupation.

Level1

SampleTitle StaffPhysicalTherapist

Earnings $50,000to$60,000ayear

Bachelorsdegree
Requirements MastersdegreeorDoctorofPhysicalTherapy(DPT)degree
Successfulcompletionoflicensingexam

Assessingclientsplanningandcarryingouttreatmentliaisingwiththegovernment
Responsibilities medicalsystem,insurancecompanies,familymembers,andotherhealth
professionals.

Level2

SampleTitle ExperiencedPhysicalTherapist

Earnings $60,000to$80,000ayear

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Level2

Requirements Severalyearsofclinicalexperience

Assessingclientsplanningandcarryingouttreatmentliaisingwiththegovernment
Responsibilities medicalsystem,insurancecompanies,familymembers,andotherhealth
professionalsattendingtoprogramplanningandmanagement.

Level3

SampleTitle Consultant

Earnings $60,000to$90,000ayear

Requirements Moreclinicalexperience

Marketingyourservicesassessingworkplaceconditions(suchasinanoffice,
Responsibilities factory,orrestaurant)recommendingwaysinwhichtosetupmoreergonomic
workplaces(safe,comfortable,andlessphysicallystressful/demanding).

Level4

SampleTitle PrivateClinicOwner

Earnings $70,000to$105,000ayear

Manyyearsofclinicalexperience
Requirements
Possiblycoursesinbusinessadministrationandmanagement

Marketingtheclinicsservicesmanagingstaffandotherphysicaltherapistsdoing
Responsibilities
programplanningandmanagementperformingsomeclinicaltasks.

RelatedCareers

Herearesomeotheroccupationsthatyoumightbeinterestedin.Clickonanoccupationnametolearnmore.

Acupuncturist
AthleticTrainer
Chiropractor
Coach
Doctor
Kinesiologist
MassageTherapist
Naturopath
Nurse
NursePractitioner
OccupationalTherapist
Pedorthist
PersonalTrainer
PhysicalTherapyAssistant
Prosthetist/Orthotist
RecreationTherapist
RehabilitationCounselor
SpeechLanguagePathologist

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RelatedMilitaryCareers
Physical/OccupationalTherapist

NationalEmploymentbyIndustry

Industry %Employed

HealthCareandSocialAssistance 85

Source:O*NetOnline,BrowsebyIndustry,USDepartmentofLabor
http://online.onetcenter.org/find/industry

OtherResources

AmericanPhysicalTherapyAssociation(APTA)
APTAiscommittedtoadvancingthepracticeofphysicaltherapy.ScrolloverCareers&Educationandclick
onAboutPT/PTACareersforinformationaboutcareers,educationalprograms,andmore.
http://www.apta.org

BecomingaPhysicalTherapist
Thiswebsiteoffersgreatinformationandadviceforanyoneinterestedinpursuingacareerasaphysical
therapist.BesuretocheckouttheCategoriessectiontofindoutmore.
http://www.becomingphysicaltherapist.com

DoctorsofPhysicalTherapy5QualitiesofanExcellentPhysicalTherapist
Thisblogarticleoutlinesthequalitiesthatyoullneedtobeanexcellentphysicaltherapist.
http://www.doctorsofphysicaltherapy.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/5qualitiesofanexcellentphysical
therapist

ExploreHealthCareers.Org
Checkoutthiswebsiteforaninformativelookatjobsinthehealthcarefield.SearchthroughtheCareer
Explorertofindacareerthatinterestsyou.
http://www.explorehealthcareers.org

PhysicalTherapist.Com
Thissiteprovidesinformationandresourcesforthephysicaltherapycommunity.ScrolloverPhysical
TherapyResourcesandclickonBecomeAPhysicalTherapisttolearnmoreaboutthecareer.
http://www.physicaltherapist.com

FederationofStateBoardsofPhysicalTherapy(FSBPT)
VisitthissiteforinformationabouttheNationalPhysicalTherapyExam(NPTE).
http://www.fsbpt.org

OccupationalOutlookHandbookPhysicalTherapists
CareerinformationfromtheUSDepartmentofLabor.
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physicaltherapists.htm

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