Physical Therapist Career Tips

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How can I give a better physical therapy interview?

Tips for a Better Physical Therapy Interview

Preparing for a physical therapist interview can be nerve-racking. Although you'll never know exactly what the hiring manager will ask (unless you have an inside connection), demonstrating a few skills can give you a leg up on the competition. Read on to learn tips for giving a better interview for positions.

Focus on your ability to teach. Hiring managers will appreciate examples you can provide that demonstrate your ability to create treatment plans and teach patients how to implement changes in their daily routine.

Demonstrate your willingness to work on a team. Physical therapist jobs often involve working in a team environment. Make sure to think of examples ahead of time that showcase your ability to work in this type of environment.

Tell stories that show off your ability to motivate the patient. Unfortunately, a physical therapist can't be with the patient all of the time; patient participation is important. Giving concrete examples of how you motivated the patient to actively participate in their recovery efforts will give you an advantage.

Should I join professional physical therapist organizations?

Tips for Joining a Professional Organization

Even if you're happy in your physical therapist job, it's important to join professional organizations. Membership to these groups allows you access to professionals that may be in a position to hire or recommend you in the future. Read on to learn the benefits of joining physical therapist professional organizations.

American Physical Therapy Assocations (APTA). This organization offers members job opportunities, professional development programs and networking opportunities. They also have a job board that is available to members.

State Physical Therapist Organizations. Most state and local communities have physical therapist groups. Check with your state licensing board to find out more about these groups.

Social Networking Organizations. While conventional networking opportunities are important, social networking can also be a great tool. Check out websites like LinkedIn, which allow you to network with physical therapists across the entire country.

Also, make sure to contact a staffing firm like Clinical One. They specialize in physical therapist jobs and can help you find employment much sooner.

Where can I find physical therapist jobs?

Physical Therapist Jobs: Top 3 Places to Find Jobs

Whether you just graduated from college or have been practicing physical therapy for years, you may be wondering, “Where are good places to look for jobs?” Although trolling mainstream career boards may uncover a few jobs, tapping into unadvertised positions is much easier. Read on to learn the top three places to find physical therapy jobs.

Home Health Care Facilities. These companies hire physical therapists regularly, and typically pay about $70,920 annually.

Physician's Offices. Sometimes private practices will hire physical therapists to offer complimentary services. For example, an occupational and speech therapist and audiologists may work with physical therapists. You can expect to earn about $65,000 in these positions.

Medical Hospitals. Check with local medical hospitals for physical therapy employment. They often recruit these professionals, and pay about $66,000 annually.

Also, consider partnering with a staffing firm like Clinical One. Since they already have relationships established with employers, it makes finding physical therapy employment much easier.

Should I choose a physical therapy specialty?

Tips for Choosing a Physical Therapy Specialty

Before choosing your first physical therapist job, make sure to invest time in choosing a specialty. Focusing on a specific area of physical therapy will allow you to feel more satisfaction from your career, and in some cases, have more income potential. Read on to learn more about physical therapist jobs anticipated to grow in the future.

Geriatric physical therapy. In this specialty, you'll be focused on treating older adults for conditions such as arthritis, hip and joint issues and balance disorders. With a large aging population, the demand for physical therapists in this specialty is expected to grow.

Pediatric physical therapy. These professionals focus on early detection and treatment of health problems in infants and children. This may include developmental, muscular and skeletal disorders. Treatment will focus on enhancing fine motor skills and working on balance and coordination.

Neurological physical therapy. This specialty is focused on people with conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, brain injury, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. A physical therapist in this specialty will work on improving balance and function in the patient.

How can I create a better physical therapist resume?

Physical Therapist Jobs: Building a Better Resume

With only seconds to make a first impression, every word in your resume needs to count. Making a few small changes can save your resume from the “do not call” pile and land you an interview. Read on to learn tips for building a better resume.

Tailor your career objectives to the industry. When applying for positions, stay away from generic resumes. Instead, tailor your resume to the specific industry. For example, if you're applying for a home care position, discuss your experience working with elderly patients.

Make a list of accomplishments. Before you start work on your resume, make a list of your accomplishments. Choose items that are measurable, and show the positive results of your work. These items should be worked into the first ¼ of your resume.

Ensure that qualifications are easy to spot. Before diving into reading your resume, the recruiter should be able to see your certifications and licensure information. Include this information next to your resume header.

Send your resume to a staffing firm. These companies read dozens of resumes each day making them a huge resource. Make sure to contact staffing firms that specialize in physical therapist jobs, like Clinical One.

What are common interview mistakes for physical therapists?

Physical Therapist Job Interviews: Mistakes to Avoid

After attending a few dead-end interviews, many physical therapist job candidates often wonder: why haven't I gotten a second interview? If you ask an experienced recruiter, they'll point you to four mistakes that can seal your fate. Read on to learn mistakes to avoid when attending physical therapy employment interviews.

Don't “wing it.” When you were in college, did you ever give a presentation without preparing? If so, you know why “winging it” is a recipe for disaster. Practice with a close friend before the interview to iron out responses. This will make you appear more polished.

Don't forget to make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. In your interview, you'll be asked about these attributes. Focus on your ability to create an effective treatment plan, and give examples of how you motivate patients.

Don't talk too much. Talking too much, or too little, can be a deal-breaker for hiring managers. This can be avoided if you spend adequate time preparing and making answers direct and concise.

Don't ask about compensation or benefits on the first interview. Save these issues for later in the interview process.

Don't forget to ask for the job. Once the interview is complete, restate your interest in the position and ask about the next step.

What opportunities for advancement are available to physical therapists?

Physical Therapist Jobs: Tips for Advancing your Career

Earning a promotion won't just give you an income boost; it provides a sense of accomplishment. But, landing these positions often takes preparation. Read on to learn tips for advancing your physical therapy career.

Choose companies with advancement opportunities. It's often easier to get promoted within your own organization. When choosing a new company, select a sector with potential for future growth. For example, home care is expected to experience rapid growth because of the aging population.

Create a development plan. A promotion to physical therapist director doesn't always happen overnight. Partner with your current manager to create a development plan. This will provide the training needed to position yourself for advancement.

Partner with a staffing firm. Companies like Clinical One specialize in physical therapy employment. And they already have relationships established with employers, making it much easier to find opportunities for advancement.

How can I create a better physical therapist cover letter?

Tips for Writing a Better Physical Therapist Cover Letter

Even if a physical therapist job application doesn't require it, writing a cover letter can score brownie points with the recruiter. It allows them to learn more about you before diving into your resume. Read on to learn tips for writing a better physical therapist cover letter.

Choose the right paper. If you select a simple white or cream, your resume may blend in with other candidates. Instead, select a different color while still keeping it professional.

Get to the point. When applying to physical therapist jobs, recruiters may receive hundreds of applicants each day, and they aren't all for physical therapist positions. Make sure to state which position you're applying for first.

Focus on your qualifications. Most recruiters don't have time to read a lengthy biography about your career. Instead, make a concise list of qualifications to include in the cover letter. These highlights should be tailored to the specific physical therapist job you're applying to.

Don't forget to discuss treatment plans. As a physical therapist, a large chunk of your work is based on the success of treatment plans. Make sure to highlight these successes in the letter.

Call out special qualifications. When writing your cover letter, try to think like a recruiter: what makes you special? Stay away from anything generic, and focus on unique attributes that you bring to the table.

Where can I earn the highest wage for physical therapy work?

Physical Therapist Jobs: The Fastest Growing Sector

Although most physical therapists earn a generous wage, there is one sector that is consistently at the top of the pay scale - Home Health Care Services. With a growing aging population, this sector is experiencing rapid growth. Read on to learn three tips for determining if this sector is right for you.

Get prepared to travel. As a home health care physical therapist, you'll be required to see up to six patients daily. If you work in a metropolitan area, patients may be located close together, while rural areas may require more travel.

Make sure you're comfortable working with the elderly. Those providing home health care will primarily be treating elderly patients. You can expect to see patients with hip replacement, knee replacement or arthritis.

Be creative in your treatment plants. Physical therapists in this sector are working towards making the elderly more functional and comfortable in their daily lives. Treatment plans that incorporate daily tasks will yield better results.

If you're interested in home health care services, partner with a staffing firm that specializes in this area. Companies like Clinical One already have relationships established with employers, making it easier to land employment.

How can I find tips for filling out a physical therapist job application?

Mastering the Physical Therapist Job Application

A physical therapist job application will determine if you land an interview or get put at the bottom of the resume stack. But before you break out your ball point pen, read on to learn a few tips for mastering the physical therapist job application.

Attach a resume. Make sure to attach a formal resume to every job application. While some companies will require the completion of a standard application, including a resume will further detail your experience.

Include letters of recommendation. If you've just graduated from college, include letters of recommendation from college professors and internship supervisors. This will provide an opportunity to showcase your abilities.

Avoid hand-writing the application. If the company provides an online application, make sure to type in the answers instead of hand writing. This will appear more professional and avoid embarrassing misspellings.

Deliver the physical therapist job application in person. If possible, stop by the hiring company's human resources department and deliver the application. Ask if the hiring managers has a moment to discuss your application. The worst that can happen is the recruiter will say no. And in the best case scenario, you'll land an informal interview.

How much does a physical therapist earn?

Tips for Determining a Physical Therapist Salary

According to, physical therapists can expect to earn $54,885 - $71,310 annually. However, the amount you earn will largely depend on your experience level and sector of employment. Here's a quick breakdown of what you can expect to earn by sector.

Home Health Care Services. Individuals in this sector can expect to earn about $62,480 annually.

Private Practices. Those working in private practices can expect to earn $60,564 annually.

Hospitals. Positions in a hospital environment typically have many job openings, paying about $59,417 annually.

Working for an athletic team. These physical therapists typically earn about $65,147 annually.

Government sectors. Those working for the government can expect to earn about $66,803 annually.

Also, when looking for physical therapist jobs, make sure to partner with a staffing firm like Clinical One. They can help you find companies that meet both your professional and income goals.

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