Breaking Into The Field Of Physical Therapy

Are you an individual who is interested in helping people recover from physical injuries or physical limitations due to disease, age, or birth defects? This is the world of physical therapy, and it is one of the few professions that have not been hard hit by our economy, making it a great career choice. Also, because the unemployment rate is so high, now would be the perfect time to start getting the education that you need to enter the world of physical therapists!
You will need a Master’s degree to work as a physical therapist; however, you should always first check with the state that you reside in to make sure what is required for licensure before you enroll into any degree program. Each state varies with its requirements for state and national testing, plus they will all want that the school where you earn your degree to be current with its accreditation.
In the year 2020, the American Physical Therapy Association will require for an entry-level position, a Doctorate degree. When searching for a degree program that is right for you, it might be beneficial to find one that combines the Master’s degree with a Doctorate degree, which would definitely give you a jump on the competition.
Most schools do not make it mandatory that you have earned your Bachelor’s degree in physical therapy; however, there are a number of prerequisites that are necessary before you can enter into Master’s degree program. These generally include organic chemistry with lab, general biology with lab, general physics with lab, statistics, calculus, and psychology. One way to complete these classes is online, which will help you with your time frame, while you continue working during the day.
For most schools offering a master’s degree in physical therapy, students must have a minimum GPA (Grade Point Average) of 3.3 along with some experience working/volunteering as a physical therapist assistant. Some degree programs also have a mandatory requirement of 150 hours of clinical experience and a satisfactory score on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) prior to admission.
The curriculum of any Master’s degree program in physical therapy will more than likely include courses in basic medical sciences, biomechanics, neuroanatomy, pathology, and rehabilitative procedures. If you are interested in taking the courses through an online program, you should inquire with the American Physical Therapy Association, whether or not it is recognized and accepted by them before you enroll. After you complete the classroom courses, you will also be required to complete an internship for clinical experience.
Once you have graduated you will need to take and pass the National Physical Therapist Examination (NPTE), and meet any additional requirement your state has before you can become employed. Many physical therapists decide at this point to obtain their certification in a clinical specialty such as pediatrics, geriatric or sports physical therapy. Of course the more qualifications you have the better the job prospects will be.