Is physical therapist a good career path? With a nuance of specialization and increasing demand, the answer is yes!
What will I learn?
Physical therapists are healthcare professionals. They help patients regain movement and function after an injury or illness.
Is Physical Therapist A Good Career Path?
Starting from the question, is physical therapist a good career path? The answer would be YES. There are many reasons to support this statement.
As we know, the number of baby boomers is increasing daily. And with that, the number of people aged 65 and older is expected to double from 703 million in 2019 to over 1.5 billion by 2050.
So this will create a high demand for physical therapists in the future. With this high demand, physical therapists will have more job opportunities.
And as we know, with more job opportunities come better salaries and benefits.
Let’s start with all the types of jobs that will be available for physical therapists.
1. Private Practice:
In private practice, the physical therapist is the owner of the business. They are responsible for all aspects of the company, from marketing to hiring staff.
You will have to wear many hats, but the rewards can be great. You will be free to set your hours and see as many or as few patients as you want.
With private practice, you can make up to $72,985 per year.
2. Outpatient Clinic:
In an outpatient clinic, you will work with a team of healthcare professionals. They will provide physical therapy services to patients.
You will be responsible for evaluating and treating patients and documenting their progress.
The average salary for an outpatient physical therapist is $80,005, per Comparably.
In outpatient clinics, you will have the opportunity to work with a variety of patients. This can be a great way to learn new techniques and treatments.
3. Home Health Care:
Home health care is a type of health care that is provided to patients in their homes.
You will visit patients in their homes and provide physical therapy services.
You will be responsible for creating individualized treatment plans. Visits to patients can be scheduled around your availability.
The average salary for a home health physical therapist is $99,589, per Comparably.
Hospitals are one of the most common places to find physical therapists. The staff may include several physical therapists, PT assistants, and aides in a larger setting.
PT assistants or aides may perform some of the tasks done by physical therapists.
Doctors of physical therapy (DPT) typically supervise the staff. Average salary for a hospital physical therapist is same as for private practitioners.
5. Nursing Homes:
Nursing homes are another common setting for physical therapists. In nursing homes, you will work with patients who have chronic health conditions.
Some patients may be unable to walk or move on their own. You will be responsible for helping them regain as much function as possible.
6. Assistants To Physical Therapists:
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) work under the supervision of physical therapists. They help patients with their exercises and activities.
They may also help with administrative tasks. In addition, they have an associate’s degree or certificate. The average salary for a PTA is $51,760.
Their work is important, but they do not have the same level of training as physical therapists.
7. Sports Therapists:
Sports therapists work with athletes of all levels, from amateur to professional. They help prevent injuries and treat sports-related injuries.
Sports therapists may also work with people who are not athletes. But they have injuries that occurred during physical activity.
The average salary for a sports therapist is $65,000, as per Payscale.
Reasons Physical Therapy Is A Good Career Path – Pros:
Physical therapy is a stable and secure profession among other health care professions.
As the population ages, there will be an increasing demand for physical therapy.
Let’s discuss some major points in detail:
1. Job Satisfaction:
Physical therapists report high job satisfaction. Physical therapy is often ranked as one of the most satisfying careers.
This is likely due to the ability to help people improve their quality of life. Seeing your patients progress and regain their independence can be very rewarding.
And when you love your job, it doesn’t feel like work.
2. Good Salary:
Physical therapists earn a good salary. The median salary for physical therapists is $85,000 per year.
An experienced physical therapist can earn up to $100,000 yearly.
In addition, physical therapy is a profession that often offers good benefits. These can include health insurance, retirement plans, and paid vacation days.
3. Variety & Flexibility:
No two days are the same for a physical therapist. The job can be very varied.
You will work with different patients in different settings and with other conditions. This can make the job very interesting.
The job offers a good deal of flexibility as well. They can choose any job setting as per their interest.
And most therapists work full-time. But there is the option to work part-time if you want a more flexible schedule.
4. Helping Others:
One of the best things about being a physical therapist is that you get to help people. You can make a real difference in someone’s life.
You will help your patients reduce pain, regain mobility, and improve quality of life.
For many people, this is the most rewarding part of the job.
5. Good Job Outlook:
The job outlook for physical therapists is very good. The profession is expected to grow faster than average in the coming years.
It’s due to aging population and increasing number of people with chronic conditions.
So if you’re looking for a stable and rewarding career, physical therapy is a great option.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Being A Physical Therapist
Although the job is a great option for many people, there are some disadvantages. Let’s discuss a few of them:
1. Difficult Patient:
You will work with a wide range of patients. They can be those who are highly motivated or those who are uncooperative.
It can be difficult to deal with difficult patients. But with time and experience, you will learn how to handle them.
While most patients are grateful for your help. There will be some who are angry, rude, or uncooperative.
2. Emotional Challenges:
Physical therapists often work with patients in pain or with a disability. This can be emotionally challenging.
Your energy and a positive attitude can make a big difference to your patients. But it cannot be easy to maintain that positivity all the time.
You may need to take a break from work to recharge your batteries.
3. Physical Demands:
The job can be physically demanding. You will be on your feet for long periods and may have to lift patients.
If you have a physical condition that limits your mobility, this may not be the right career for you.
And once you start working, you may find that the job’s physical demands are more than you anticipated.
4. Work Schedule:
Most physical therapists work full-time. But the job can be very demanding, and you may have to work long hours.
There could be many appointments a day, and thus, you will have to work some evenings and weekends.
If you are looking for a 9-to-5 job, this may not be the right career.
5. Limited Opportunities:
Although the job outlook is good, some areas have limited opportunities.
This is especially true in rural areas where there may be only one hospital or clinic.
If you’re looking for a specific type of job, it may not be easy to find in a rural area.
So these are some of the potential disadvantages of being a physical therapist. But, as you can see, the pros outweigh the cons.
But it’s important to consider all aspects of the job before deciding. Do your research and talk to therapists to get a better idea of the job.
How To Become A Physical Therapist
If you’re interested in becoming a physical therapist, there are a few things you need to do:
1. Bachelor’s Degree:
You will need to have a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy. Most programs take four years to complete, but some may take longer.
You can find programs at colleges and universities across the country. The one who is most accredited and has the best reputation.
The title you receive after completing your degree will be a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT).
After obtaining your degree, you will need to get a license in the state where you wish to practice.
Each state has its requirements. But most need passing the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).
You will need to complete a certain number of hours of continuing education every year to maintain your license.
In addition to licensure, you may also choose to obtain certification.
There are many specialty areas in physical therapy. And each has its certification process.
Some of the most common specialty areas include:
After you have obtained your license, you can begin practicing physical therapy.
Most therapists work in hospitals, clinics, or private practices.
You may also choose to work in a specialized setting. Such as a nursing home, rehabilitation center, or sports facility.
No matter where you work, you will be helping people improve their quality of life.
So there you have it! These are some things to consider if you’re considering becoming a physical therapist.
Is Physical Therapy A Good Career For The Future
The future contains many potential changes impacting the field of physical therapy.
For example, the population is aging. And as people live longer, they will need more health care services.
This includes physical therapy services. The demand for physical therapists will grow in the coming years.
In addition, many baby boomers are now reaching retirement age.
This population will need physical therapy to stay active and independent with age.
So the future looks bright for those interested in becoming physical therapists.
As per BLS, the job outlook is to grow by 17% from 2021 to 2031. And thus, the career appears to be quite secure.
So is physical therapy a good career? Yes, physical therapy is a good career. There are many reasons why physical therapy is a good career.
The job outlook is good, and there are many opportunities for those interested in this field.
Physical therapists help people improve their quality of life. And they make a difference in the lives of their patients.
It has positive job outlook and the ability to make a difference. Physical therapy is a good career for those interested in helping others.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about physical therapy:
1. How Much Does A Physical Therapist Make?
The median salary for physical therapists is $85,400. However, salaries can range from $74,000 to $96,000.
They can go even higher if you have experience or specialize in a certain area.
With practice, experience, and specialization, you could make $100,000 or more.
2. Why Is Physical Therapy The Perfect Career Path For You?
The reasons why physical therapy is a perfect career path for you may vary. But some of the most common causes include:
– You can make a difference in the lives of your patients
– The job outlook is good
– You can specialize in a certain area
– You can work in a variety of settings
3. Why Physical Therapy Is Not A Good Career?
Physical therapy is not a good career for everyone. Being a successful physical therapist takes a lot of dedication, and hard work.
You also need to be able to handle the emotional aspect of the job. Some people are not cut out for this type of work.
If you’re unsure if physical therapy is right for you, it’s best to speak with a career counselor.
4. Is Physical Therapist A Good Career 2023?
The job outlook for physical therapists is good. As a result, the demand for physical therapy services will grow in the coming years.
So if you’re considering becoming a physical therapist, 2023 is a good time to start your career.
Last Updated on 9 months by Shahzaib Arshad
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