If you are looking to become a physical therapist, you are possibly wondering if it is worth the time and effort to become educated and do all that is required to be licensed and start practicing. It’s best to look at all the pros and cons of such a career in order to determine the best course of action. We know that physical therapists are in demand and many hospitals and clinics need your services. But what are some other points to consider?
A physical therapist works to help patients with ailments or injuries recover effectively. They focus on examinations, diagnosis, and developing a treatment plan. Each person is individual as to their requirements in treatment, and the physical therapist will work out a specific plan for the patient’s needs.
The Pros of a Physical Therapy Professional Career
With any career, there are pros and cons. The list of pros seems much more inviting than the cons, but it is wise to look at both lists. Here are the pros:
Excellent pay – the highest paid physical therapists typically make about $76,000 a year, while others make almost as much. Some can earn as much as $89,000 yearly. Enjoying a comfortable lifestyle isn’t the most important thing to many physical therapists. They like caring for those that need their help.
A great balance of work and life – you can choose the type of work you wish to do, setting your own schedule and maintaining the kind of flexibility you require in your life. There are many medical professionals who don’t have that option, so you should take advantage of it.
Many kinds of environments – you have a wide choice of environments to work in, such as hospitals, rehab centers, clinics, schools and private practice. You can even work out your career where you can travel, selecting peak seasons in various locales.
You maintain your own health – a physical therapist must do a lot of lifting, stretching and other movements which require your health be in good shape. By including a good diet and getting the proper amount of sleep, you stay in good fit condition.
Having much medical knowledge – since you have a thorough education to get your license and as you continue your certifications, you accumulate a vast amount of medical information which you will use the rest of your career.
Potential Work Drawbacks on Being a Physical Therapy Professional
Of course, any career has its potential drawbacks. Some for a physical therapist include having to spend a lot for school and needing to renew your license every two years. When you work in a hospital environment, it may be more difficult to balance life and work. If you don’t stay fit, it may become very hard to fulfill responsibilities as a PT.
In any career, there are pros and cons. It is always wise to look them over yourself and see what you see. A physical therapist is a rewarding job and it is usually well worth the time and effort to become one.
How Much Do Contract Physical Therapists Make?
So, how much do contract physical therapists make? Looking to enter the field of physical therapy? It is good to get an overview of what a contract physical therapist can make. A contract physical therapist is not an employee of a hospital or clinic. He or she works under contract with various facilities, even traveling from state to state to supply services where needed. When the therapist enters contract employment, he or she is filling temporary staffing needs. One contract may average around 13 weeks, but contracts can be longer or shorter.
What are the Duties of Contract Physical Therapists?
A contract physical therapist assists patients who have injuries or specific ailments to recover. Each patient is individual and requires a specific plan for their needs. Contract physical therapists do exams, diagnosis and treatment plans for their patients. Additionally, they can specialize in certain fields such as pediatrics, geriatrics, sports medicine and aquatics.
Average Annual Salary of Contract Physical Therapists
The yearly salary for a contract physical therapist ranges from $72,000 to $115,000. The average has been reported to be about $93,700 a year which works out to around $45 an hour, $1800 a week or $7,800 a month. Top earners can make upwards of $130,000 a year. It really depends on skill level and how many years of experience as well as location.
Employee vs Independent Contractor Salaries
Permanent or employee physical therapists usually work as employees in long term care, outpatient facilities, school settings as well as hospitals and clinics. They are on the payroll and have a regular paycheck.As a contract physical therapist you will make a higher wage – even as much as $20 to $30 more an hour. This is because the employer does not have to pay your health benefits, any unemployment compensation, Medicare taxes or Social Security taxes.
What Type of Physical Therapist Gets Paid the Most?
So, what type of physical therapist gets paid the most? A wonderful career awaits you as a physical therapist. It is one of the best paid in the country. The high demand for physical therapists makes it a great career path. Positions that pay the highest as a PT are listed below to help you make a decision on which one you might like to pursue.
The Highest Paid Physical Therapist Position
The most lucrative position in the physical therapy field is being a sports medicine specialist. Working with athletes can be very rewarding as well. You might work at a private clinic or perhaps at an athletic institution such as with a college or a professional sports team. You will treat injuries that happen in the sport, but you would also deliver preventative care so any sports injuries could be avoided. The salary is around $76,600 yearly.
Two Other of the Highest Paid Specialties per Online Sources
The next two highest paid specialties for a physical therapist are the cardiovascular or pulmonary specialty and the geriatric specialty.
The cardiovascular/pulmonary specialist treats patients who have had heart or lung surgery. They work to make the lungs and heart more stable. They may work with people who have chronic heart disease, hypertension or bronchitis. Salary for this position is around $76,000 per year.
The geriatric specialist works with older patients. The elderly get more health issues than others and often need rehabilitation for knee or hip surgery. The geriatric specialist can also help older patients with arthritis and osteoporosis. Exercises can be adapted for the activities that commonly confront the elderly in daily living. The salary is around $76,000 a year.
Two More Very High Paying Jobs as a Physical Therapist
Two other specialties that offer high salaries are the neurologic and pediatric fields.
The neurologic specialty focuses on the treatment of people who have traumatic brain injury and other similar conditions. The physical therapist has to be able to assess those with issues like that as well as treat them. Salary is around $74,000 yearly.
For those working in pediatrics, the patients served are adolescents and babies. Health conditions of this age group are what will be focused on, and they may or may not be chronic conditions. The salary for this specialty ranges around $73,000 per year.
You have an outline of the best paying jobs for a physical therapist and can now look at any that interest you.
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