Physical therapy graduate training programs draw all types of students and professionals. Some have expansive medical backgrounds but have opted for physical therapy training over nursing or medical school. Others may have athletic backgrounds and have garnered an interest in working with those who have injuries or other physical issues. Becoming a physical therapist is a major commitment, requiring several years of education and many years of commitment to build credibility.
Some physical therapists are employed by large hospitals or other major medical settings, working closely with doctors, nurses, and other medical consultants. Many physical therapists, after gaining experience in such settings, choose to open their own physical therapy practices, though this requires business skill and credentials. Still other physical therapists work for high-end fitness centers, providing private services, or for major sports organizations. Athletes in particular have special need for physical therapists.
Physical therapists enjoy earnings comparable to other medical professionals who have committed to extensive education; experienced therapists may earn upwards of $80,000. Physical therapists must be extremely patient, positive, and encouraging, as they often work with clients who show only marginal improvements in their physical abilities over several months of work. Many physical therapists develop close relationships with their clients, especially those who specialize in working with post-traumatic patients.
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