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Online Physical Therapy Degree Programs

Caring Nurturers Master Healing and Fitness with Accredited Online Physical Therapist Degrees

An online physical therapy degree qualifies you for a challenging and rewarding career as physical therapists in hot sector of the healthcare industry. Physical therapists perform vital roles to re-establish physical strength and prevent permanent physical disabilities of their patients.

Compassionate, inspiring, and knowledgeable, physical therapists help patients to recover from bodily dysfunction resulting from disabling injuries, chronic diseases, or surgeries. They create treatment plans to increase mobility and motion, restore function, relieve pain and build muscle might.

Employed by clinics, hospitals, schools, nursing homes, retirement communities, and businesses, physical therapists are among the healthcare industry's most in-demand professionals. They promote physical fitness and wellness through a variety of educational and therapeutic techniques.

Because physical therapy requires a broad range of specialized knowledge, many states require rigorous education credentials, some even requiring a PhD for professional certification.

But your career goals are well worth the extra time you will need in school. If you enjoy working with and helping others, have strong interpersonal and communication skills, and are looking for a long-term career as an instrumental professional in the healthcare industry, online physical therapy degree may be ideal for you.

Many excellent accredited colleges offer online physical therapist degrees at all academic levels and eDegreeSteps can help you find the perfect educational solution for your specific career goals.

Online Physical Therapy Programs Combine Distance Learning with Clinical Hours

Because modern physical therapy requires specialized knowledge and rigorous training, most certified professionals plan on taking some postgraduate courses, if not earning a master's degree in physical therapy. You can take most of your course work from home when you aim for an online physical therapy degree.

In addition to core curriculum courses, online physical therapy programs for bachelor's degrees introduce you to the fundamentals of anatomy, medical terminology, biology, physics, strength training, physical conditioning, and patient evaluation and assessment. Most online physical therapy students plan to enter postgraduate programs, where they will further specialize their knowledge with advanced courses in orthopedics, physical rehabilitation, prosthetics, orthotics, exercise physiology, and neuroanatomy, as well as research projects and electives.

All levels of online physical degree programs call for several months of residency at a hospital or clinic before completing the program. The school you have enrolled with may help you to arrange this essential hands-on training component.

The demanding educational requirements for professional certification as a physical therapist only hint at the important role you will play in helping people rehabilitate from devastating injuries.

Your Online Physical Therapy Degree Prepares You for Professional Certification

After earning your online physical therapy degree, you must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as meet your state's individual requirements. You will then be qualified for a rewarding career as a Physical Therapist (PT), Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), Chiropractor, Recreational Therapist, or Sports Therapist.

Some states require only a master's degree for professional certification, but many require a doctorate.

Once licensed, you will have to take continuing education courses to stay on top of the latest innovations in physical therapy. Most accredited online colleges offer these courses, and most students take them at the school where they earned their degree.

Market Overview and Career Growth Prospects for Physical Therapists

Physical therapists are commonly found on hospital staffs, in clinics and assisted living facilities, and at schools and businesses. Some are employed by professional sports leagues, while others go into business for themselves as private contractors or practicing chiropractors. You can also specialize in sub-fields of physical therapy, such as prosthetics.

The demand for certified physical therapists and related professions is very high, in part because the educational and certification requirements are so demanding, and in part because their skills are needed in many areas of health care. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, career growth in most PT related fields will exceed the average for other professions by more than 100% through 2020:

Physical Therapists
Orthotists and Prosthetists

Salary Guidelines for Careers in Physical Therapy

Salaries for certified physical therapists are comparable to those of Registered Nurses and other healthcare support professions. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, average salaries in 2010 for selected careers in physical therapy included the following figures:

Physical Therapists
Orthotists and Prosthetists

Trends in Physical Therapy Profession

Health care is always on the cutting edge of science, and as vital components in the delivery of healthcare services, physical therapists experience many of the same trends affecting the larger industry. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) recently studied some of the major trends in physical therapy:

  • The demands are nearly endless and growing as healthcare transitions to more preventive practices, further increasing the demand for certified physical therapists.
  • More certified physical therapists are working independently as part of a trend called autonomous practice, allowing them to treat their patients more efficiently. But with this new independence comes new responsibility to comply with laws and regulations.
  • Technology is spawning a telehealth revolution in which healthcare information and services are provided electronically, either online or through other media. The APTA has formulated voluntary guidelines to help physical therapists better deliver telehealth services.
  • As healthcare shifts to more personal services and more preventative programs, physical therapy clinics catering exclusively to women have become a recent trend recognized by the APTA.

A successful career in physical therapy requires dedication and commitment. As your comprehensive guide to the best accredited online physical therapy degrees, eDegreeSteps can help you find the ideal program for you.

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