Physical Therapy involves using physical methods (e.g., manipulation, traction, exercise, massage, hot/cold therapy, etc.) to assess, diagnose, and treat injury, disability or disease. Physical therapy professionals work closely with patients of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, to help them recover from and/or manage a wide variety of physical challenges. These challenges may include medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.
Physical therapy professionals provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes.
How to Become a Physical Therapist
Physical Therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages.
To become a Physical Therapist, you must earn a CAPTE-accredited graduate degree in physical therapy: Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) or Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MSPT). Prior to beginning a graduate degree in physical therapy, most programs require applicants to earn a Bachelor’s degree. The length of graduate programs in physical therapy is typically 2 to 3 years. Upon graduation, you will be prepared to take the physical therapy licensure exam. Licensure or certification is required in most states to work as a PT. You must also complete continuing education to maintain your licensure/certification.
For more information, visit http://www.apta.org/PTcareers
How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) work as part of a team to provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of the Physical Therapist.
To become a Physical Therapist Assistant, you must complete a CAPTE-accredited associate degree program. The length of PTA education programs is typically 2 years (5 semesters). Upon graduation, you will be prepared to take the physical therapy assistant licensure exam. Licensure or certification is required in most states to work as a PTA. You must also complete continuing education to maintain your licensure/certification.
For more information, visit http://www.apta.org/PTAcareers
How to Become a Physical Therapy Aide
Physical therapy aides, sometimes called technicians, work as part of a team to provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of the Physical Therapist.
Physical Therapy Technician certificate programs exist; however, there are no established educational requirements to become a physical therapy aide. Aides typically have a high school diploma or equivalent. They commonly get clinical experience through on-the-job training.
- Resources for Students
- Careers in Occupational Therapy
- Careers in Athletic Training
- Physical Therapy at DOAR and Affiliates
- American Physical Therapy Association
- Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook