A lot of people would love to become a physical therapist. Some do this by first looking into working as a physical therapist assistant, with the hopes of then becoming a full therapist. However, more often than not, they end up loving the job they are in and never quite take that extra step. Although a lot depends on your own skills and education, the recommendation is to go straight for the physical therapist option if you can.
How to Become a Physical Therapist
The first thing to understand is that there are a number of different degree options that you can follow in order to become a physical therapist. These are:
• The Master’s Degree option, which can be an MPT, an MSPT or an MS.
• The Doctoral option, which is the DPT.
However, in order to be accepted on any of these four different programs, you must first have been working towards an accredited undergraduate baccalaureate degree. You must either have completed it, or you must have worked towards it for at least three years.
Once you have graduated from either your Master’s or your Doctoral, you have to take the national exam. This is administered by individual states. If you pass, your state may have a number of additional requirements before you can actually start practicing. This will be made clear to you by the state licensing board.
Educational Requirements Needed of Someone Who Wants to Be a Physical Therapist
Every state offers different programs and every physical therapist school will each have different curriculums as well. This also means that their requirements for graduation and acceptance onto the course will be different. However, all of them will require you to have passed a number of general education classes first. Usually, these will be classes that have some relevance to physical education, such as maths, biology and sciences such as chemistry and physics. Additionally, most universities look favorably on those who have also passed professional writing courses, English and humanities.
What Happens During Your Course?
After being accepted, the program will start to focus more specifically on the practice of physical therapy. As such, you will take part in various classes on medical science and the theory of physical therapy. Additionally, you will need to do practical work itself. This means you will have to do hands on clinical work, often while shadowing existing physical therapists.
How Much Does a Physical Therapist Earn?
The earnings of a physical therapist depend on a number of factors, including which state you work in and what kind of setting. For instance, a physical therapist with their own private practice has the ability to earn a lot more than one who works in a state-owned hospital. However, the average salary is $69,000. A number of factors do come into play when determining a physical therapist salary, including their degree of education, how many years’ experience they have, which position they are working in, the physical therapist job description and more.