Physical therapist requirements include a Master’s or Doctoral degree in physical therapy from an accredited program. In 2007, there were 209 different accredited programs, including 43 Master’s degree programs and 166 Doctoral programs. It is expected that eventually a Doctoral degree will be one of the entry level physical therapy requirements. These programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education typically last two to three years depending on the whether the program is a Master’s degree or a Doctoral degree.
Accredited programs in physical therapy are located in most states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The degree in physical therapy typically involve classes in biology, biomechanics, chemistry, examination techniques, human growth and development, manifestations of disease, neuroanatomy, physics, and therapeutic procedures, as well as clinical practice.
Once you have completed your degree, physical therapist requirements include passing both national and state licensure exams and then doing the appropriate amount of continuing education in order to keep your licensure current. The physical therapist requirements for continuing education vary by state.
Just earning a degree and completing the other requirements for licensure will not make you a great physical therapist though. There are some physical therapist requirements in terms of character and people skills. You need to be able to work well with people, you need to be good at explaining things and teaching people how to do things since you will have to be teaching them what they need to do at home in order to further their treatment, and what they need to do during their sessions. Family members also need to know what is required for the care of their loved ones.
Once you have completed the physical therapy education and licensure requirements you can look forward to very good job prospects since there is a lot of growth in this field. The pay is also good, with the median earnings of a physical therapist per year being $69,760. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the field of physical therapy is expected to grow much faster than average as well. Louis Zhang, Certphysicaltherapist dot com
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