Bachelor Degree in Physical Therapy
A physical therapist is someone who helps patients recover, restore function, and even prevent them from incurring any permanent physical disability. Previously, in order to become a physical therapist, one of the requirements was to finish a bachelor degree in physical therapy, but today, to be able to practice this profession, it is necessary to complete at least a masterís program. This guide will provide you with helpful insights on what you need to know about the program, including the best schools and the likely jobs you can have.
Information on a Bachelor Degree in Physical Therapy
Individuals planning to work as a physical therapist should know that presently, the bachelor degree in physical therapy program has been replaced with MS in physical therapy and doctorate in physical therapy. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has implemented the post-baccalaureate degree for individuals to be able to work as a physical therapist in order to obtain a broad and extensive background that will equip them when practicing the said profession.
Best Institutes Offering a Bachelor Degree in Physical Therapy
As mentioned, APTA no longer accredits baccalaureate degrees and because of this, there are no longer institutions that offer a bachelorís degree in physical therapy. There are however colleges and universities that offer a masterís or doctorate programs, and the top-ranking schools are: University of Southern California Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Pittsburgh in PA, Washington University in St. Louis in MO, University of Delaware in Newark, DE, and the US Army-Baylor University in Sam Houston, TX.
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Jobs Possible with a Bachelor Degree in Physical Therapy
Because a bachelorís degree program is no longer available, the jobs for this allied medical profession are only open for those who have at least completed a masterís program. In addition, graduates must pass the licensure exam and have already accomplished the required number of hours working in various health care settings practicing physical therapy functions. Physical therapists can work in rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, schools, and nursing homes. Some therapists also work in home health agencies, while others are self-employed.
Physical Therapy Job Salary & Outlook
Based on the data obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, physical therapists are paid a median annual salary of $72,790. Entry-level professionals are paid around $50,350 but the more experienced ones are earning as much as $104,350. Physical therapists held 185,500 jobs in the year 2008 and employment growth is projected to rise up to 30% until 2018. It is believed that the continued increase in number of the elderly population will cement the need for physical therapists.
To become a physical therapist, an individual must have the necessary skills to perform his or her job well. But more importantly, there is also a need for continuing education and in fact, many health care centers require therapists to pursue such programs to keep their license. Evidently, this is a good-paying career and any person who is interested to become a physical therapist is on the right track in terms of gaining financial success. However, it is important to note that there is a need for higher education to be able to practice in this medical profession.