Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy & Speech Therapy Careers
Physical therapists help individuals with disabling conditions to restore or improve function, mobility, pain or permanent physical disabilities. A master's degree is required for physical therapy careers, though most therapists choose to earn a doctorate degree in physical therapy. Upon graduation from an accredited physical therapy program, candidates must pass the National Physical Therapist Examination (NPTE). It is also necessary for physical therapists to fulfill any additional requirements of your state's licensing board. Some physical therapists choose to complete advanced certification in a clinical specialty. Many states require continuing education classes and attendance of workshops to maintain licensure for a physical therapy career.
For additional licensing information, please contact your state's physical therapy board.
Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical therapist assistants are required to earn an associate's degree in physical therapy assisting from an accredited PTA program. Licensing requirements differ from state-to-state, but most states require completion of a state examination, CPR and First Aid certification, and a minimum number of hours worked in a physical therapy field. Responsibilities of a physical therapist assistant include but are not limited to:
- Conduct therapeutic exercises and therapeutic massages
- Observe and evaluate a patient's progress
- Fit or adjust supportive devices
- Perform clerical duties
Occupational therapists help mentally, physically, emotionally or developmentally disabled people improve their ability to maintain daily living and work skills. A master's degree or higher is required from an accredited educational program to pursue an occupational therapy career. Occupational therapists must pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).
For additional information regarding occupational therapy careers, please contact your state's occupational board.
Speech therapists work with people who have a variety of speech-related disorders. Most states require a master's degree in speech-language pathology. Most states also require speech therapists to pass the national exam, Praxis Exam in Speech-Language Pathology. Candidates pursuing a speech therapy career are required to obtain a minimum number of hours of supervised clinical practice and clinical experience before entering the work field.
For additional speech therapy career resources, please contact your state's speech therapy board.