Feb 1, 2013
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I have a friend that has been doing the AT program at her university for almost 2 years. She is being worked to death, and always busy. 30-50 Hours of clinicals a week depending on what sport she is with. She is absolutely convinced that having a degree in AT comes with a larger paycheck. She has had this notion for years and can't seem to shake it. Can anyone shed some light on if it will pay any better? Also, if it is worth her slaving away if it is not going to increase her chances of being accepted into PT school?
 
Jun 23, 2012
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Rehab Sci Student
jblil - You misinterpreted what Azraa was saying. It's inferred by his/her message that a "larger paycheck" comes from a dually credentialed DPT, ATC. Everyone knows the salary of an ATC. Whereas, with that, dually credentialed DPT, ATC, she should make on average 10k more when she graduates PT school (I have no formal citation outside of someone who was dually credentialed and worked as a PT).

Azraa - Clinical hours are hours of experience in evaluating, treating, rehabilitating orthopedic injuries in the athletic population. Additionally, she is learning these fundamentals in her athletic training classes which will help her tremendously in PT school and as a professional. While she is putting in many hours and "working herself to death," she is laying a foundation of knowledge and skills that puts any exercise science or biology major to shame.

Furthermore, while having a BS in AT does not mean she is more likely to get into PT school, it does mean that she will have the potential to be more successful in PT school, once/if she gets in. She still has to get a high GPA, GRE, and set herself apart.

Many practicing physical therapists that I have come into contact with have commented on the orthopedic knowledge and clinical skills of athletic training students. Also, of how they were miles ahead of everyone in A & P, biomechanics, and orthopedic classes in their PT class. However, they were on a level playing field with classmates when they encountered neuro, peds, and cardiopulm classes.

All in all, I believe it is definitely worth it in the end. It will be tougher. My freshman AT class had 100 people, and a 90% attrition rate by senior year. Only 2 people applied and received acceptance to their first choice physical therapy school (Disclaimer: although all of the things mentioned here are true, this post is, indeed, biased).
 
Jan 12, 2013
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I am assuming your friend is referring to being a dual credentialed PT/ATC (as jjewcu mentioned). I'm not sure that having a dual credential will boost her pay unless she finds herself in the ideal situation in which she could be utilized as both a PT/ATC. I, myself, am an ATC and have just been accepted to PT school. I look forward to knowing I have already received training in many areas covered in PT school (therapeutic modalities, gait analysis, orthopedic evaluation, ther ex, among many others) and know that perhaps I'll have a leg up on others when it comes to our first clinical rotations (patient interaction, time management, etc.). But, like I said, unless your friend finds herself in some situation where an employer can utilize her as both an ATC and a PT I doubt her pay will be much above (if any) that of any other newly graduated PT.
 

questionmark32

5+ Year Member
Nov 15, 2012
74
3
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Physical Therapy Student
Personally, I believe being both an ATC and a DPT will open more doors and can give you some leverage when discussing salary, especially in a college/pro setting. I know a few ATC/DPTs and they feel that the education they received from their Athletic training background helped them immensely with their Physical therapy education. I'm going to PT school this year, and I hope the same thing applies to me.

I think it's worth her 'slaving' away if she's loving it. There's no point in doing something that you don't love if that's what you will be doing for a living.
 

jesspt

10+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2008
1,120
403
Chicago, IL
Status
DPT / OTD
Personally, I believe being both an ATC and a DPT will open more doors and can give you some leverage when discussing salary, especially in a college/pro setting. I know a few ATC/DPTs and they feel that the education they received from their Athletic training background helped them immensely with their Physical therapy education. I'm going to PT school this year, and I hope the same thing applies to me.

I think it's worth her 'slaving' away if she's loving it. There's no point in doing something that you don't love if that's what you will be doing for a living.


I wouldn't bet on that. Those jobs are in high demand, and although being a dually credentialed PT/ATC could quite possibly be a prerequisite for the job, you're probably not going to have a whole lot of leverage in terms of salary.