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Physical Therapist Jobs

Physical therapists provide health care services that assist with restoring functionality, improving mobility, relieving pain, and prevent or limiting the physical disabilities of patients. A physical therapist job reviews a patient's medical history and then proceeds to test and measure their patient's different levels of strength, balance, coordination, posture, muscle performance, and motor function. Working standard 40 hour work weeks, a physical therapy job may require working evenings and weekends to meet the needs of the patients.

A master's degree from an accredited physical therapy program, a State license, and passing national and State examinations are required before working physical therapist jobs. In 2007 the American Physical Therapy Association recognized 209 physical therapist education programs to accreditation status. Of that amount of accredited educational programs, 43 were master's degree programs and 166 were doctoral degree programs. All States require licensing to practice physical therapy, upon graduation from an accredited education program and passing State licensure exams.

With 173,000 positions in 2006, most were employed in hospitals or in the offices of physical therapists. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projected 27 percent increase in employment for physical therapy jobs during 2006 to 2016. This rate will be significantly faster than the national average for all occupations with the demand stemming from the widening scope of physical therapy practices and the rising elderly population. This will create a number of good job opportunities for qualified professionals in hospitals, rehabilitation, and orthopedic settings where the elderly are most commonly treated.

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