The field of physical therapy will grow faster than most careers in the next 10 years—by 21% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS also states that most of the openings will be due from retirements or career changes among existing physical therapists.
Requirements for the Position
To become a physical therapist, you must complete a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and become licensed by the state in which you work. A physical therapy (PT) assistant must have at least an associate degree and a license. For either position, you must also pass the appropriate National Physical Therapy Exam.
What Employers Are Looking For
As a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, you should demonstrate the soft skills that will enable you to interact successfully with patients and their families, providing both care and education. You need to be able to create, understand, and implement a treatment plan; provide CPR if needed; and have the physical stamina that the job requires. You must be reliable—patients are depending on you to show up as scheduled and give them your full attention. Flexibility is also important, as every patient is different even if their symptoms are similar.
If you work in the field of fitness, you probably already know the range of jobs available, including personal trainer, lifeguard, fitness site manager, wellness coach, sports coach, nutritionist, and teacher of specific practices like yoga or tai chi. Each of these may require additional education, training, and credentials. However, physical therapy is an excellent starting point for any of these jobs.
Your resume as a physical therapist or PT assistant should give employers confidence that you have the hard and soft skills, licenses, and education that will make you a strong addition to their staff. If you decide to transition to a new career, your resume should indicate what you bring to the new position and how you have prepared for it. You should not dwell on why you are leaving physical therapy, but why physical therapy is an excellent launching pad for your current goals.
Robin’s Resumes® is here as always to help you start, grow, or change your career.