Physical therapists help people recover from surgery or injuries by helping them exercise, rebuild or strengthen injured muscles, tissue, tendons, and other skeletal systems. They can also help the elderly retain as much mobility as possible for as long as possible in addition to helping them recover from standard surgeries like knee or hip replacements. Physical therapists can also help individuals who are ill or injured manage pain. They generally work in private offices, hospitals, clinics, retirement homes and even in private homes. They generally spend a great deal of their day on their feet, actively working to help their patients or clients.
A physical therapist is actually a doctor and becoming a physical therapist requires a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited institution. Most DPT programs last three years and generally require a bachelor’s degree for admission in addition to certain undergraduate educational requirements such as anatomy, chemistry, biology, and physics. There are also some newer programs that accept college freshmen and last 6-7 years but they graduate with both a bachelor’s degree as well as a DPT. In addition to a degree, physical therapists must also be licensed to practice, with licensing requirements varying from state to state.
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Baby boomers are one of the largest generations of the last century. As baby boomers are reaching retirement age and beyond, the demand for physical therapists to help keep them mobile and active is just growing and growing. The demand for physical therapists is predicted to grow by 22 percent between 2018 and 2028. Even as demand declines beyond that point, there is little doubt there will still be plenty of work to go around for licensed and degreed physical therapists.
Like most medical professions, there is also a global demand for physical therapists. While the educational or licensing requirements may change from state to state or country to country, the basic knowledge, education or experience does not. Therefore, it is generally a fairly simple process to become certified or licensed to practice in another state or even another country.