If you love to help others and want a stable career that pays well in the healthcare field, you may want to consider becoming a physical therapist.
These are licensed professionals that help their patients get rehabilitated when they are suffering from physical conditions that stop them from enjoying optimum health and mobility.
Physical therapists can work in fitness centers, clinics, nursing homes, hospitals or they can set up their own practice.
Schooling Required to Become a Physical Therapist
In order to become a physical therapist you’ll need to obtain a bachelor’s degree and then apply to a graduate degree program.
The bachelor degree should have a concentration of science courses along with high marks so that you’ll have a better chance of getting accepted into the program.
In order to get state licensing as a physical therapist you’ll either need to complete a doctoral or a master’s degree in physical therapy.
If you choose to take a program that offers a master’s degree it will take approximately 2 to 2 1/2 years to complete the course while a program that leads to a doctoral degree will take 3 years.
How Much Do Physical Therapists Make?
The starting salary for a physical therapist in 2012 ranged from $50,000 to $82,000 per year. As you gain more years of experience your pay will rise to a higher level.
Physical therapists that have been working for at least 20 years can expect to make anywhere from $55,000 up to $97,500 per year or more.
Physical therapists that have chosen to get their doctoral degree versus a master’s degree will find more doors open in their career paths. There may be the opportunity to teach physical therapy in university with a doctoral degree after you have acquired some years of experience and have shown dedicated interest in the field.
Physical therapists that branch out on their own and open their own clinics have the potential to make substantially more than a therapist that is working for an employer.
Therapists that are interested in working for someone else and don’t want to run their own business will make more by working as a home health care therapist or in a hospital setting.
Lower pay scales are usually found with therapists employed in nursing homes or working at a physical therapy clinic.
As a physical therapist you’ll be able to work with a variety of people of all ages that for one reason or another need rehabilitation to overcome pain or mobility problems. This is a hands-on healthcare career that offers a lot of job satisfaction since the results can often be dramatic.
It is a great job choice for anyone that loves to help people and would enjoy the opportunity to plan out an educated course of treatment for their patients and then see it through to completion.