If you are currently attending college studying physical therapy, you may be getting anxious to finish up so you can finally get a real job performing physical therapy with people that need help. Physical therapy is a great field to go into. The pay is good, the job outlook is good, and the options in work environments are numerous. As you finish up your education, you will have some decisions to make as to where to look for a job. Here are some things to think about as you prepare to locate physical therapist jobs.
You'll Earn More With A Higher Degree And Experience
As with any field, pay is highly based on the degree you have. In addition to this, your experience working as a physical therapist will also be a factor with how much money you make. In addition, your geographical location will also impact the income you can earn through this field of work. Some areas in this country have higher costs of living, and you are likely to earn more if you work in an area like this.
You can become a physical therapist assistant by earning an Associate's degree, which typically takes two years or less to earn. With this degree, you may earn around $51,110 per year (based on the average rate in 2011). If you want to earn more than this, you will need to earn your Doctorate degree in physical therapy, which usually takes around six years to complete. With this, you may earn around $66,545 when you find your first job. As you gain experience, the pay will go up significantly. Your options with jobs may open up more, too, as you become more experienced as a physical therapist.
You Can Work In Many Settings
One of the key aspects of becoming a physical therapist is the ability to work in so many different places. Physical therapy is something that is useful for helping people of all ages with any type of mobility issues. It can be used to help with problems as minor as gaining full use after breaking a finger, to helping people gain mobility after suffering from a stroke or being born with a major birth defect. Here are some places that hire physical therapists that you might be interested in after you graduate:
- Nursing homes and assisted living facilities – If you enjoy working with elderly people, working at a nursing home or assisted living facility might be right for you. In this setting, you will work with seniors that have lost mobility due to age or health problems.
- Acute care – When people have major surgeries, they often need short-term physical therapy to help them recover. These centers are often located within hospitals or outpatient clinics.
- Health clubs – Sport facilities, such as health clubs, often hire physical therapists too, and people often go to these when they are suffering from sports-related injuries.
- Children's hospitals – When kids are born with birth defects or experience injuries from traumatic events, they too may need physical therapists. If you have a heart for kids, this type of environment might be a good choice for you.
It's important to find out what type of environment and what group of people you prefer working with as you complete your education. This can help you choose what type of classes to take for the type of job you would like to have when you graduate.
Physical therapists serve a vital role for people who have mobility issues of all kinds, and becoming a physical therapist can be very rewarding because of this. If you are ready to begin looking for a job, start by viewing ads for physical therapist jobs in your area.