How to Become a Traveling Physical Therapist

By WriterEvan, Wednesday, September 12, 2012

pilates How to Become a Traveling Physical TherapistTwo of the most coveted aspects in a career are travel and the opportunity to help people. People who work in positions that allow them to see the world and benefit humanity in the process routinely show the highest levels of satisfaction with their jobs. It isn’t difficult to understand why. Who wouldn’t rather jet set around the globe than sit in a cubicle filling out TPS reports?

But how do you make the leap? First things first, you need to find the right job.

If you’re ready for a career change, consider becoming a traveling physical therapist. Those lucky few who spend their days providing travel occupational therapy enjoy all the prerequisites for satisfaction at work.

Unlike traditional physical therapists, traveling physical therapists don’t work in an office setting. They meet their clients where the clients are. This element of diversity provides for a far more dynamic working life. The competitive salaries offered in the field don’t hurt either. According to the Center for Business Statistics, most traveling physical therapists make around $45/per hour. If you maintain a full-time schedule and keep your client list padded, you should earn well above the national average.

So how do you get into the field?

The first step is to get educated. Any kind of physical therapist needs a professional certification. When you provide therapy to injured clients, you are performing a medical service. For that reason alone, it’s important that you register with all the appropriate organizations.

Most physical therapists hold at least a bachelor’s degree and many hold master’s degrees or higher. Obviously, the more advanced your degree the higher your hourly rate will be. Many notable institutions of higher learning offer master’s programs in physical therapy. If you’ve already completed your undergraduate work, do some research and find the best program for you.

If you’re about to start college and are wondering what the best major is for a career in physical therapy, the answer is a bit more complicated. The truth is: you can become a physical therapist with just about any college degree. For enrichment purposes, you might choose to major in a hard science like biology or chemistry, but you can just as easily enter the field with a degree in philosophy or physical education. If you’re studying with an eye towards an advanced degree, a strong science background will definitely work to your benefit.

After graduating from your terminal program, visit the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) website. The APTA can provide you with all the up-to-date information about licensing, certification and important professional organizations.

When you’re first getting started in the field it’s best to work with an established organization. There are several companies that employ teams of traveling physical therapists and send them out into the world to perform per diem work. This first gig will help you build a professional reputation and a few loyal clients. After a few years paying your dues, you’ll be ready to strike out on your own.

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