Physical therapy is a profession that has seen tremendous growth in the past few years as people become more and more aware of their general health and well being. One of the tenets of APTA’s vision 2020 is a focus on being preventative and enjoying a healthier lifestyle, and the goal is to make patients more aware of wellness as opposed to rehabilitation.
Aside from this modern outlook on health and wellness, age-related problems are on the rise because of a continually aging population. Illnesses like strokes, heart attacks, complications from diabetes, osteoporosis and even just regular aches and pains from daily living can benefit greatly from continuous physical therapy treatment sessions.
Current career demands also take their toll on people with neck, low back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome topping the complaint list from too much computer and desk work. Professional and weekend warrior athletes, who injure themselves while at their activity and are in need of pain relief and healing techniques can also benefit from physical therapy. These are just 2 examples of patients seen by physical therapists.
In other words, there are a lot of people who need physical therapy treatments in the course of going about their daily lives. That is why there is now a better selection of physical therapy job opportunities to choose from. The catch is, many of these job openings are only advertised through word-of-mouth. To take advantage, new graduates should plan at least 6 months in advance and develop a network of connections to discover unadvertised opportunities and learn about physical therapy jobs.
There are some online resources you can check out that can be quite useful in your job search. Sites like therapyjobs.com have a state-wide listing of available jobs, allows you to upload your resume, and allow you search the various job postings. Another useful site is rehabworld.com, which lets you do state job searches and displays employer contact information so you can get in touch with them directly without having to go through the site.
Jobsintherapy.com, which lets you search with more specificity by way of state and work setting. And in alltherapyjobs.com, you can upload your resume and let headhunters take a look at your qualifications to see if they can place you anywhere suitable. If you are interested in a broad search, then look up TherapyJobBoard.com for posts from employment agencies and direct employers from all over the United States.
Bear in mind that the minimum requirement for securing a job as a physical therapist is a diploma certification or graduate degree from an accredited physical therapy university/college. In the U.S., this institution must be accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to meet the criteria. Foreign educated physical therapists often need to complete additional courses in order to be eligible to appear for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).
Jobs in physical therapy can be physically demanding and can involve frequent lifting and patient positioning. It also involves frequent bending, twisting, squatting, stooping and kneeling as well as standing/walking around 6-8 hours per shift. You also need to be adept at equipment preparation and be observant for accurate patient assessment and documentation. Despite this, physical therapy jobs are very fulfilling and allow you to make a dramatic impact on the lives of the patients. I love my job as a physical therapist and can’t see myself being in another profession!