Nature of Work
A physical therapist, or PT, help injured or ill people improve their movement and manage their pain. They work with rehabilitation, treatment, and prevention of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, and injuries. PT’s work with people of all ages from children to great-grandparents. They use the patients’ medical history to prescribe a set of workouts or motions that they use to treat his/her injury. Most PT’s work with joints, muscles, or any other soft tissue.
Training, Qualifications and Advancement
To get into a PT program they usually to have a bachelor’s degree. The program then lasts for about three years. On top of having a bachelor’s degree they need to have a specific educational prerequisite, such as classes in anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics. Some programs allow college freshmen into six or seven-year programs that allows students to graduate with both a bachelor’s degree and a DPT. In the programs they learn about biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, and pharmacology. Physical therapist students also complete at least 30 weeks of clinical work.
The employment rates are projected to grow 34 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than other jobs.
The possibility to become a PT in this area is good because of the baby boomers are leading into their later years, so they are more likely to experience heart attacks, strokes, and mobility-related injuries that require physical therapy for rehabilitation.
The projected percentages of employment for Physical Therapy is a projected 17,660 jobs in Texas.
The median annual wage for PT’s was $84,020 in May of 2015. With different areas in the field the pay varies. For example, the lowest 10 percent earned less than $57,060 while the highest 10 percent earned more than $119,790.
Careers similar to physical therapy include Audiologists who diagnose, manage, and treat a patient’s hearing, balance, or ear problems, Chiropractors that treat patients with health problems of the neuromusculoskeletal system, which includes nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, Occupational therapists that treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities, and Recreational therapists that plan, direct, and coordinate recreation-based treatment programs for people with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses.