Physical therapy tech jobs are career-oriented positions in the physical therapy industry which require continuing education after high school completion. Typically, to become a technician in physical therapy, you are required to earn a two-year Associates Degree, and obtain and maintain a state license to practice. This allows the physical therapy tech to gain the extensive training necessary to provide physical therapy services.
A physical therapy tech, commonly known as a physical therapy assistant or PTA, is a well-trained allied health professional with the ability to perform many of the same clinical and office procedures as a physical therapist, or PT. The licensed physical therapy assistant, however, can only practice under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Levels of supervision required vary state-to-state.
Physical therapy techs are able to work within any division of this allied health profession. The most common career options include hospitals, acute and subacute rehab centers, and nursing homes. Skilled nursing facilities and assisted living centers have also expanded to include a physical therapy department.
Other areas of interest open to physical therapy assistants includes fitness centers, general and sports-oriented rehab, and outpatient facilities specializing in mobility and function restoration, maintenance or development. In other words, wherever there is a need to enhance physical abilities, a physical therapy tech can find a position.
Many health care facilities are looking for ways to cut costs by hiring more PT techs so they can still provide quality services without cutting manpower. However, this allows the physical therapy tech to have a wider range of career options and opportunities than ever before.
Nowadays, physical therapy tech jobs can be chosen based on personal preferences. Schedules can often be flexible and can be found in a full-time or part-time capacity. Many physical therapy techs prefer temporary positions. This allows the PTA the opportunity to travel while still working. Temporary positions usually last anywhere from six to eight weeks and include travel and lodging expenses, and individual state licensure fees.
Many physical therapy tech jobs today can be as creative and individualized as the PTA. Positions as a PTA can be found wherever there is a need for physical training or rehabilitation. For example, many industries have developed wellness programs and have open physical therapy tech jobs. They need these professionals to assist their workers in the maintenance and development of physical health.
Another division of health services on the rise are wellness centers. These are health care centers which offer a variety of health-related services in one location. These facilities allow the physical therapy tech can gain valuable experience with other allied and holistic health practitioners to provide clients with a specialized program based on individual overall wellness needs.