PT Salary, Certificate, Career, Degree, Advantages and Disadvantages

 This was a turning point in my life and I started to do the research to find out the steps that I would have to go through to find out how to make this career come to life. As I fired up my computer I found several online colleges that offered classes to prepare me for my new career and sent off for more information.

Salary and Benefits

 There were several more reasons why I decided to start out in this profession. I think the main reason I wanted to pursue this career was because of the closeness with the public. Then another reason was the fact that a PT can make great money. It's true that you will have to put in the years in college but it would really be worth it. With a master of physiotherapy or even a doctor of PT the training programs can last up to three years. And the average salary for physical therapist can make up to $90,000 to $117,000 a year ( You have a good variety of where you will be and chances are not likely that you will be at a desk for very long at a time. You need to be up interacting with your patients and making a difference in someone's life.


 I chose Emory University as my University of my choice. A professional doctorate is a Doctor of PT or DPT. To prepare physical therapists for a practice in a health care environment the transition from the Master of PT degree to a professional doctorate was made. Unique in health care is the physiotherapist's expertise in movement and movement dysfunction. The educational needs of the PTs have gotten bigger than that of an independent practitioner as their societal and health care roles and responsibilities have grown.


Degree and Certificate

 A doctor of physical therapy degree is earned by students in the Division of PT at Emory. The program will start in June and will last three years until May in the third year. The majority of the required credits that a student needs for graduation must be earned at Emory University School of Medicine. The function of the human body along with the study of normal structure and the principles of movement science across the life span is what the students study for the first two semesters. During the 3rd semester the students study the pathophysiology and disease processes that is mixed with clinical problem solving in concurrent classes that have part time education with clinical experiences. Before a student gets a degree they need to complete 36 weeks of full time clinical internship at sites which carry the diverse condition in which physiotherapists study. The students from Emory get to choose from clinical education places around Metropolitan Atlanta and around the nation. The students come back to Emory to complete their research and to choose elective courses in different areas during the last semester in the DPT program. All physical therapists must take a state licensure examination after graduation. To take this state exam graduation from an accredited therapy program is required.

PT Degree & Certification

 I think you learn a lot more in academia then you probably give yourself credit for, you finish a bachelor’s degree, you are an expert in what you study for and I think it gives you a great foundation for learning more pursuing more learning, more education so you can’t go wrong with a degree. I think the learning doesn’t stop there and perhaps that’s where academia kind of get to that, that irritation is that, you meet someone who has the same qualifications, the same degrees, but has a very difficult product or different success rate. It’s not so much about the degree or where you went to school but maybe who you are as an individual, so how many times have you put yourself outside your comfort zone and pursued learning experiences that are very challenging for you and are very uncomfortable.
 For example my first year was great, very small clinic, there is nowhere for me to hide, my first two PT jobs they were larger practices with lots of clinicians and lots of patients and it was very easy for me to kind of take the tough cases and send them off with somebody else and hide behind the easy ones that were having success. But to be in clinic with your mentor, being challenged on a daily basis on the why I know what you’re doing, what you’re thinking, yeah there’s nowhere to hide, very challenging intimidating but well worth it so pursuing learning opportunities whether you’re in school trying to connect the academic portion of what you’re learning in a class room with practical experiences. Whether that’s personally the wait room or pursing opportunities to shadow coaches and trainers or therapists or doctors, physicians whatever and then when you get out, your learning doesn’t stop with your degree, each of you will become a lifelong learner, whatever it is your passion is about.

Study at PT School

How much do you feel you learned in school to come here to how much you went out and found yourself?

 That’s sort of a contentious issue, there is a lot of opinion about that. My first game at school, I think I was pretty dissatisfied with my academic progression in generally, I felt like I didn’t really learn what I thought I was going to learn, I thought PT school was going to give me a clear approach to muscular and skeletal examination to assessment, to diagnosis and then I came out with more questions than I had answered. There wasn’t an emphasis on movement as much as I thought there should have been so I was pretty critical of the academic system and I think I actually added to some of my objections to academia setup.

 I think in the last two years mentoring students, five PT students and I have had lots of undergraduates come through, I think that an undergraduate in a graduate school, they provide some really important qualities and here is an example. If you are out as a professional, you are thirty five years old and you are sitting in a course and you are listening to someone give a talk, how quickly are you going to be susceptible to their dogma or to their approach, how quickly are you going to be able to question or challenge what they are saying, in other words, the more experience you have and the more foundation in science you have, the quicker you are going to be able to say "No, I don’t agree with that, that’s not science based or that’s not evidence based or what I studied in body mechanics in undergrad doesn’t coincide with what that person is saying and I’m not sure I agree with that".

Learn from Colleagues

You bring up a really great point there about being willing to submit yourself to a professional and they talk to the students a lot about identifying people who are good and reliable sources of information and I know just from knowing you at the time, you have really put yourself in a position to learn from a lot of different people, I’d be interested if you could talk about maybe how you identified quality and that type of thing?

 It’s a great question because in our industry, fitness industry, medicine, there is just a lot more coming and that’s how a lot of folks gain money and gain popularity and it’s a part of the industry. It’s not that bad as long as you have the substance to back it up so when I am looking for someone to have a conversation with, learn from, go to their cores, collaborate with, cross brain with, I guess there are really 3 things I think about and I will be quite up front with you, I stole this straight up from Dave who owns and operates the lead FTS, what has that person done, whether that’s their degrees or their athletic career, who have they trained or rehabbed or coached, where have they done that and the third thing would be, who were their mentors, who have they studied under. I think it’s those three things, they are a combination of both academic pursuits, personal pursuits, both personal, athletic pursuits and then also, who have they submitted themselves under, who have you spent your time with and who have you learned from and who has challenged you to row so those are the things I look for.