Online Physical Therapy Degrees and Careers
Physical therapy is a branch of medicine that treats individuals who have health conditions, injuries, illnesses, or surgeries that limit their mobility and range of motion. Conditions treated by physical therapists include sports injuries, joint replacements, orthopedic surgery, burns, job-related conditions, and others. The physical therapist uses treatment techniques that reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical therapists work in hospitals, outpatient facilities, and private offices. Physical therapists must be able to move heavy equipment and lift patients.
A bachelor's degree with courses in anatomy, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and social science is required for admission to an accredited post-graduate physical therapy degree programs. In addition, all 50 states require passing national and state examinations for licensing purposes. Master's degrees in physical therapy typically are two to two and one-half years in length, while Doctorate degrees in Physical Therapy last three years.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that Physical Therapy jobs are expected to grow by 30 percent by 2018, much faster than the average rate. According to the BLS, the median annual income for a Physical Therapist was $76,220. The highest incomes were achieved in the home health care segment ($83,500) and the lowest in general or surgical hospitals ($75,030).