A physical therapist is a person who helps patients to rehabilitate from injuries caused due to illness, injury or certain particular disabilities. Of course you had known that considering the fact that this article is titled “physical therapist education”, which means that you are obviously looking to becoming a physical therapist and you know what exactly one does. In case you didn’t know, a physical therapist earns a lot of money and works in clinics, rehabilitation centers, sports centers, hospitals, etc. You can even travel with athletes or sportsmen if you were hired to be the team physical therapist.
But before you do actually turn out to be a high paid and well trained physical therapist, you should know that you need to go about a lot of courses and write a couple of exams to be a certified physical therapist.
This is probably the first step that you have to make on your journey to become a professional physical therapist. It is recommended that you take a Bachelor of Science degree in health sciences or clinical sciences, particularly Biology, Chemistry and Anatomy, but you must make sure that the curriculum involves a good amount of concentration on health and wellness related topics like exercise physiology, PE methods and other areas of physical therapy. Some schools also offer a course on physical therapy as a major in their health and physical education departments.
It is recommended that you gain some work experience in a clinic, hospital, sports facility or basically any place that requires a physical therapist as work experience is a major criteria for selection of a candidate for a master’s degree that will possibly be the final step for you to become a certified physical therapist.
In the competitive world today, having an undergraduate course will not help. Aspirant future physical therapists require a graduate degree. There are two ways to go about it! You can either choose to do a Doctoral program (which btw. Is greater in supply and demand) or a master’s degree in physiotherapy. The master’s degree will be achieved in a period of 2 years whereas the doctoral program takes about 3 years to complete. However, the doctoral program is more recommended as the value of a doctoral program is higher than the master’s degree. Also, an added benefit is that you will be designated to a doctor if you do the doctoral degree. Transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy Degree allows those candidates who had done their bachelors and masters in physical therapy to earn a doctorate in the same field.
To get admitted to either of the programs is quite difficult as the admission process will be based on grade point average of your previous degree, test scores provided by the institution or a common test score, volunteer hours at any physical therapy department and several others.
Becoming a Licensed Physical Therapist
Certain states in the United States and other countries, it is required that after finishing your bachelors and master’s degree you must acquire a passing score on the National Physical Therapy Examination to become a licensed physical therapist. However, to remain licensed the physical therapists education must be continued and education standards need to be met.