How to Become a Physiotherapist

Physiotherapists, most commonly referred to as Physical Therapists, are medical professionals who are experienced in working with individuals who are working on rehabilitation due to an illness or injury.

These professionals help their patients with any mobility issues and pain management.

Physical therapy can be one of many therapies such as medication to help an individual improve physically.

Individuals who want to become a Physiotherapist will need a combination of personal characteristics, complete postsecondary degrees and become licensed according to their state’s requirements in order to enter this profession.

Education Requirements to Become a Physiotherapist

Individuals who want to become a Physiotherapist will need several years of education, including a bachelor’s and a graduate degree, complete a residency and become licensed.

Licensing requirements will vary by state.

Individuals are also encouraged to gain on the job experience in order to qualify to become board certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.

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Individuals who want to become a Physiotherapist will need to complete a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

A specific degree is not required, but individuals will need to have a strong background in the sciences in order to be accepted into a graduate program.

Courses that are prerequisites for graduate programs include: anatomy, physics, chemistry, biology and physiology.

Individuals will then need to complete a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) from an accredited program.

Visit CAPTE for more information on accredited programs.

Individuals are encouraged to apply for a DPT program by visiting PTCAS

A DPT program typically lasts 3 years to complete in addition to an undergraduate degree.

A typical DPT program may include a curriculum that focuses on: biomechanics, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology and anatomy.

Students will also participate in clinical internships that will help them gain practical experience under the supervision of a licensed professional.

Individuals also have the option of completing a yearlong residency which can focus on an area of specialization.

Individuals entering this profession will also need to become licensed in order to enter this profession.

Licensing requirements will vary by state; individuals are encouraged to contact their states for specific requirements.

However, individuals will need to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination in order to become licensed.

Individuals can visit the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website to learn more information.

Individuals who want to become board certified in a specialization can visit ABPTS to learn more information on this process.

One requirement is to have several years of experience in the field or to complete an approved residency program.

Physiotherapist Job Description

Physiotherapists, also known as Physical Therapists, are responsible for meeting with patients to provide treatment to individuals who have been suffering from an illness or injury.

These professionals help their patients to manage pain and to improve their mobility.

Day to day activities include reviewing a patient’s medical records and documenting their observations and interactions with their patients.

They will observe their patient’s physical movements and diagnose any dysfunctions.

They will also provide a treatment plan that includes recommended exercise plans; these plans will include recommended stretches and hands on therapy.

These professionals will also use tools and equipment that helps with treatment.

Physiotherapists will monitor their patient’s progress and document it into their file.

Physiotherapist Salary and Career Path

In 2012, Physiotherapists, or Physical Therapists, earned a median salary of approximately $79,860 per year.

Exact wages will depend on a variety of factors including level of experience, the size of employer or whether an individual works full time.

Statistics from 2012 show that approximately 25 percent of Physiotherapists work part time, affecting their yearly income.

Physiotherapists employed full time can earn up to $112,020 per year.

The job outlook for this profession is expected to grow at a much faster rate when compared to other professions.

The Physical Therapist profession is expected to add 36 percent more jobs through the year 2022.

This fast growth is attributed to the demand for physical therapy services; the aging population that is more active than previous generations is affecting the increase in demand.

Older individuals will also need services for rehabilitation from injuries or medical problems.

Physical Therapists use a combination of skills and knowledge to provide quality service to their patients.

They use their medical knowledge to help individuals with pain management and to assist them with mobility issues.

Since they work constantly with patients, they must also be personable in order to retain their patients.

This career is a good fit for those who work well with others.

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