What is a Physical Therapist?

Physical therapy is a fast growing occupation that is expected to continually increase in popularity throughout the year 2020. Physical therapy aid jobs are also on the rise, as therapists continue to need help in carrying out their duties.

Physical Therapy Aide Jobs

Many people who have constant pain, or who have been in an accident, use physical therapy to help themselves get better. Those who suffer from conditions including back and neck pain, arthritis, knee injuries, cerebral palsy, carpal tunnel and more can all be greatly helped by a physical therapist, or by those who hold physical therapy aid and assistant jobs. A physical therapist will develop treatment plans that will help their patients reintegrate back into the workplace after an injury has occurred, or to simply help them function in everyday life. They will use a large variety of techniques to ease a person’s pain and improve mobility. These techniques include hot and cold packs, exercise, soft tissue massage and electrical stimulation. Therapists will work with their patients to develop home programs that the patient can do on their own, to help them achieve their goals quicker, as well

Physical Therapy Salary

A physical therapy aide, or assistant, performs tasks under the direct supervision of a trained physical therapist. A physical therapy aide salary can start at $11.49, with a median annual salary of $23,890. Physical therapy assistants may earn a median hourly wage of $22.22, with a median annual salary if $48,290. Physical therapists, along with assistants and aids, may work in a variety of settings. These include hospitals, private doctor’s offices, chiropractor offices and nursing homes. Many therapists are self-employed, and work as “temps”, or floaters, to replace full-time employees who have called in sick or are on vacation. Still others work in home health, visiting patient’s private homes to deliver therapy on a one-on-one basis. Physical therapy jobs can be both part and full-time.

Requirements to Become a Physical Therapist

Those interested in becoming a physical therapist, assistant or aid must complete a 2 to 6 college course first. Classes will include biology, chemistry, psychology and many clinicals.  Physical therapists, assistants and aids must take the National Physical Therapy Exam to become licensed in all US states.