The range of a physical therapist salary is one of the most prominent questions individuals have who desire a career as a physical therapist. Physical therapists are healthcare professionals that work with people of all ages who have suffered from injuries and illnesses that prevent the functional use of their bodies. Physical therapists work with individuals who’ve suffered from strokes, arthritis, seizures, birth defects and injuries resulting from work or sports. Physical therapists offer training techniques, therapeutic exercise and functional training to improve and restore a patient’s mobility and functionality. They use specialized facilities and equipment to administer techniques and exercises. Physical therapists often work with other healthcare professionals to learn about a patient’s medical history and develop the best physical therapy techniques and exercises.
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Physical therapists work in hospitals, clinics and private doctors’ offices. A career as a physical therapist is physically demanding on individuals because they must bend, lift, crouch and stand for long time periods while treating patients. A 40-hour work-week is common for physical therapists, but approximately one-quarter of physical therapists work part-time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects physical therapist jobs to grow by 30% through 2018. One reason for the growth is the increasing population of senior citizens.
Most employers hiring physical therapists require job candidates possess at least a master’s or doctoral degree from a physical therapy school accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education. Individuals desiring to work as a physical therapist must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination and meet state requirements, which vary per state. Courses typically offered in physical therapy schools include physiology, exercise physiology, anatomy, radiology and pharmacology. Students attend classroom lectures, laboratories and obtain clinical experience. Physical therapists must possess communication and interpersonal skills to deal with patients, their families and other health professionals.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the low-end of an annual physical therapist salary is $53,620, the average is $76,310 and the top earners make $107,920. Physical therapists working in home health care facilities and nursing homes earn the highest salaries. Geographical location also determines salaries, with physical therapists in California, Texas and Florida earning the highest wages.
A career as a physical therapist requires a passion to help people. Considered by many as one of the best careers to have, individuals desiring careers as physical therapists can enjoy a good job outlook and a competitive physical therapist salary.