The Advantages To Earning A Physical Therapy Degree
Earning a physical therapy degree offers students the ability to gain employment within the quickly expanding health care industry. Students within physical therapy degree programs gain a solid understanding of human growth and development as well as biomechanics, physics, anatomy, biology, chemistry, and the social sciences. Physical therapy degrees offer students the ability to gain employment as health care professionals treating and diagnosing clients of all ages who suffer from limited mobility, injuries, pain, loss of function, or disabilities.
Many students manage work and family responsibilities in addition to obtaining a degree, most colleges and universities have created innovative online programs to meet the educational demands of students unable to attend on campus instruction. Online programs extend education opportunities beyond campus locations and feature virtually the same educational experiences as traditional, on campus courses. Online classes generally consist of groups of 25 students who have 24 hour access to course materials and instruction. Online courses also offer the added benefits of a more personalized degree and increased flexibility of course scheduling. Additionally, online programs generally feature increased interactions with classmates and instructors through one on one Internet chats. Online programs are often one of the most convenient and affordable means of completing a degree and propelling personal, educational, and professional goals.
What Students Learn Within A Physical Therapy Degree Program
Students who participate in physical therapy degree programs gain the skills and knowledge necessary to advance to a number of employment options within medical facilities in the quickly expanding health care system. The field of physical therapy offers individuals with varying degrees of education level and experiences the ability to assist others in increasing health and mobility. Most graduates are required to complete a minimum of an associate degree to qualify for employment in the field. Associate degree programs in the discipline of physical therapy assisting offer students a basic understanding of the field. Courses generally include: introduction to physical therapy, physical therapy assistant procedures, introduction to clinical education, therapeutic modalities, human kinesiology, clinical education experience, therapeutic exercise, pathophysiological conditions, applied neurology, physical therapy assistant seminar, English composition, oral communications, college Algebra, human anatomy and physiology, introduction, life span growth and development, introduction to philosophy, and a clinical experience. Graduates from associate degree programs may advance to licensing programs necessary for entry level employment or continue studies within higher degree programs.
Bachelor degree programs offer students an expanded understanding of the field of health and rehabilitation. Bachelor degree courses in the discipline of interdisciplinary health and rehabilitation include: concepts of biology, fundamentals of speech communications, introduction to psychology, biological science, English composition, principles and applications of lifestyle wellness, abnormal psychology, lifespan development, learning community seminar, introduction to rehabilitations, diversity issues in health and rehabilitation services, health and rehab systems across the world, nutrition and exercise, health promotion and disease prevention, legal and regulatory aspects in rehabilitation, ethical issues in rehabilitation services, disability and society, administration and supervision of rehabilitation, research in health and rehabilitation sciences, human nutrition through the lifespan, medical terminology, statistics, survey of adaptive rehabilitation technology, approaches to rehabilitation case management, human anatomy, human physiology, medical aspects of disabilities, proposal writing for community based rehabilitation programs, chemistry, general physics, and a clinical experience. Bachelor degree graduates may continue to licensing necessary for employment or advance studies in master’s degree programs.
Master’s degree programs offer students the ability to specialize skills and knowledge necessary to qualify for employment as physical therapists and other positions within the field. Courses at a graduate level include: foundations of patient assessment in physical therapy, foundations of clinical management in physical therapy, clinical pathokinesiology, orthopedic management in physical therapy, orthopedic management in physical therapy, advanced therapeutic technology, electrophysiologic approaches to patient care, applied neurosciences in physical therapy, management of neurological disorders in physical therapy, management of neurological disorders in physical therapy, physical therapy management of body systems, physical therapy management in pediatrics, physical therapy management in geriatrics, physical diagnosis, advances in orthopedic physical therapy, advanced clinical anatomy, advances in management of the aging population, advances in management of the neurological patient, management strategies for independent practice, sports injuries, advances in cardiac rehabilitation, contemporary issues in delivery of physical therapy services, clinical learning, clinical experience, integrated clinical management, administration of physical therapy services, pharmacology and radiology for physical therapists, topics in physical therapy, evidence based practice, muscle and nerve biology, movement science, professional colloquium, case reports, research methods, mentored clinical clerkship, cooperative education in physical therapy, and a postgraduate clinical internship. Master’s degree graduates may advance to employment upon completing licensing procedures as determined by State and employer regulations or continue studies within doctoral degree programs.
Doctoral degree programs in the field of physical therapy qualify students as experts within the field. Courses at a doctoral degree program include: movement science, intervention skills, physiology research, biomechanics, neuroscience, pathopharmacology, clinical orthopedics, clinical experience, professional management, human growth and development, geriatrics, neuroscience, management of neuromuscular conditions, management of musculoskeletal conditions, complex medical conditions, management of integumentary conditions, management of sports injuries, management of cardiovascular-pulmonary conditions, teaching and learning in physical therapy, topics in complementary and alternative medicine, professional practice evaluation, medical screening, health promotion and wellness, rehabilitation professions, medical terminology for health professionals, patient practitioner interaction, health care issues, anatomy of the appendicular skeleton, anatomy of the axial skeleton, applied pathophysiology, neuromuscular processes in human development and aging, topics in physical therapy, foundations of patient assessment in physical therapy, foundations of clinical management in physical therapy, clinical pathokinesiology, orthopedic management in physical therapy, advanced therapeutic technology, electrophysiologic approaches to patient care, applied neurosciences in physical therapy, management of neurological disorders in physical therapy, physical therapy management of body systems, physical therapy management in pediatrics, physical therapy management in geriatrics, physical diagnosis, advances in orthopedic physical therapy, advanced clinical anatomy, advances in management of the aging population, advances in management of the neurological patient, management strategies for independent practice, sports injuries, advances in cardiac rehabilitation, contemporary issues in delivery of physical therapy services, clinical learning, clinical experience, integrated clinical management, administration of physical therapy services, pharmacology and radiology for physical therapists, cooperative education in physical therapy, and a postgraduate clinical internship. Graduates with doctoral degrees who complete licensing procedures generally advance to a variety of employment options as experts in the field.
Prospective Jobs For Graduates With Physical Therapy Degrees
Graduates with physical therapy degrees gain a solid and versatile educational basis necessary for a variety of career options. Employment for physical therapy professionals is based upon education levels, area/s of specialty, related work experiences, and geographic factors. Most graduates with associate degrees advance to employment as physical therapy aides, medical assistants, or physical therapy assistants. Graduates with bachelor degrees generally advance to employment as physical therapy assistants, rehabilitation specialists, managers of physical therapy facilities, and with additional training, physical therapy specialists or directors of physical therapy programs. Graduates with master’s degrees often work as physical therapists, vocational school instructors, or upper level executives within physical therapy or rehabilitation facilities. Graduates with doctoral degrees may work as instructors within colleges and universities, researchers within medical facilities, or as physical therapists.
Salary Range For Physical Therapy Degree Graduates
Graduates who complete physical therapy degree programs have earnings which vary tremendously based upon educational, organizational, and certification factors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports average earnings for physical therapy technicians range from $37,170 to $54,900 annually. Graduates employed within home health care services organizations generally have earnings higher than graduates within health practitioners and physician’s offices. Associate degree graduates who work as physical therapy aides generally earn $19.910 to $28,670 annually. Associate degree graduates working within nursing care facilities generally have higher earnings than graduates working within hospitals and physician’s offices or specialty medical care facilities. Graduates who complete advanced degrees and work as physical therapists generally earn $60,300 to $85,540 annually. Master’s and doctoral graduates generally have the potential for higher earnings within organizations offering home health care services or nursing care versus physician or health practitioner offices. Graduates who work as college or university instructors, upon completing their doctorate, generally earn $74,939 to $110,855 annually.
Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Physical Therapy Degree Graduates
Graduates with physical therapy degrees are anticipated to find plentiful employment and advancement opportunities. The field of physical therapy and health care based organizations are expected to expand substantially to meet the needs of an aging population, changing technology, and medical advancements. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports job growth for physical therapist assistants to increase by 35 percent at a much faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations through 2018. The BLS also expects job growth for qualified physical therapists to increase by 30 percent at a much faster than average rate through 2018.
The demand for physical therapy professionals is expected to continue to rise and offer numerous career options as the demand for rehabilitative services within the elderly population, trauma victims, the very young, and other patients with disabling disorders or conditions increases. Additionally, federal laws regarding medical care and mandating Individuals With Disabilities Education Act will add to the demand for physical therapy professionals and other workers. Most physical therapy graduates enter the field within entry level jobs and gain positions with greater responsibilities after acquiring on the job experience or continuing education. Graduates with associate’s or bachelor degrees who begin employment as physical therapist aides generally advance to physical therapist assistant positions after completing advanced educational programs and gaining experience. Graduates who begin employment as entry level physical therapists after completing master’s or doctoral degrees generally advance to specialization or certification programs and continue education necessary to work as instructors or researchers. Many also being private practices upon gaining adequate funding and relevant training or experience.