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From reading a lot of the posts on the Site and others, it kinda seems like there is a dark cloud over the PT profession in general. For example, expensive schooling, massive student loans, low salaries in some instances, not much room for career advancement.

I then have read that PT is one of the top ten fastest growing professions projected for the next ten years. I have had many professors also say that PT is a great career to get into.

I volunteer at an inpatient facility and honeslty i like it, but even the PTs there seem a bit skeptical about the future of the profession.

I guess I am a bit confused

Is there a future in this career, and is it worth going into debt to get a DPT to max out at $60 grand a year?
 

ONstudentPT

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From reading a lot of the posts on the Site and others, it kinda seems like there is a dark cloud over the PT profession in general. For example, expensive schooling, massive student loans, low salaries in some instances, not much room for career advancement.

I then have read that PT is one of the top ten fastest growing professions projected for the next ten years. I have had many professors also say that PT is a great career to get into.

I volunteer at an inpatient facility and honeslty i like it, but even the PTs there seem a bit skeptical about the future of the profession.

I guess I am a bit confused

Is there a future in this career, and is it worth going into debt to get a DPT to max out at $60 grand a year?


You have to take things you read on this forum with a grain of salt. If you are smart and willing to work hard.. you will not max out at 60 grand unless there are some drastic changes in the market. I have friends who have just graduated and started working in an in-patient setting at a hospital and started at 54k (about 48k US)right out of school and this is in Canada. A 2002 survey showed that physiotherapists in the private sector make on average 70k and clinic owners average 85-110k and have ranges from
50-200k and this is in Canada. I am sure in the states there are even more opportunities to make more money. So like with everything else you take out what you put in. There is however a problem in the states with the DPT in private schools being very expensive. I think every profession has its challenges especially when you are talking about business. I am not sure what this elusive profession is where you are 100% garanteed to make a lot of money... I guess perhaps the MD route is the closest thing you can get to that in health care.
 

bigdan

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I agree with ON.

Do what you want to do. There is no healthcare job that will make you independently rich. The really rich people in healthcare 1) own the company or 2) invented something. If you are working for someone else, then almost by definition, you will not be making the "most".

But PT is one of a few fields where you can do well with your own business, and where your degree of effort directly effects your outcome. If you work hard to make and maintain strong relationships with your referral sources, if you work hard to be the best PT in your area, you will have a great and rewarding career.

My warning is this: the folks that wanted to get a bachelors degree, then slide into a hospital or nursing home job, and work their way up to 80 or 90k/yr., like you could in the good ol' days, cannot do that anymore. Also, you will have to bite the bullet and pay a good deal to get a DPT. YOU are the only one to decide if the loans are worth it. But the old folks are living longer. They expect more out of life, and they expect more from their healthcare dollar. PTs are in a great spot to take advantage of that.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

dc
 
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DOctorJay

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I agree somewhat with the above posts but still think that PA would be a better route for most people considering PT (please search this on the forums).

My big concern is that PTs will in the future focus solely on evaluation and rely on PTAs to do all of the treatment. With the DPT there will be a huge cut in the number of PTs actually graduating for all the reasons mentioned previously. You need to have at least one PT at each facility so I imagine in the future with the huge demand for services that is expected ("a growing need for the profession") you will see PTs focus on the eval and then have the PTA carry out the treatment plan.

I for one would not want to do evals all day as I currently do that on weekends for extra cash. The whole reason most people go to PT school is for the interaction with patients and by just doing the eval and D/C you simply don't get a chance to form relationships with the patients. That really is the most rewarding part of the job.

You will really have to decide for yourself if it's worth going into that much debt. If you're interested in medicine I urge you to consider medical school and PA school as well. For specific questions feel free to PM me.

-J
 

Buckeye4life

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I graduated in Dec 04 with my MPT. There is no difference with the MPT or DPT, since clinical experience is where you learn the "tricks of the trade" anyways, and getting out 6 months earlier is an advantage. You can always get a transitional DPT. I went the non-traditional route after school and worked PRN for nursing homes and started out at $29/hour. After a year I switched to contract travel therapy, and I make anwhere from $1350-1550 a week. It's not for everyone, but if money is a concern, consider contract work. You'll earn close to $100K a year, and also learn more about what type of therapy you ultimately want to build your career off of. Student loans are bad. I graduated with about$75K combined undergrad/grad. I won't have them paid off for 30 years unless I start contributing larger amounts. As for patient interaction, it definitely depends on the clinic you work for. I've been places where I do a handful of evals in a week and the rest were one on one treatments, and I'm currently at a place where I do 4-7 evals (hour long) evals a day(outpatient orthopedics). There definitely is a glass ceiling with therapy if you stay in a hospital system. Management is basically the ceiling. Private practice is kind of skies the limit for money, but expect to put in a lot more hours to make a decent buck. I am not making a career out of therapy, but will start med school this fall. However, if I were I would defiitely learn the ins and outs of the profession for a few years, then I would begin my own travel contract company. You bill clients upwards of $80/hour, and pay your therapists around half of it. Sure there is a lot of overhead that comes out of the additional 50%, but travel companies are making a killing, especially right now where therapists are desperately needed. There is a company called Nursespro, which has a new model, where the therapist makes the initial contact with the clinic, your company sets up the arrangements, and you collect 90% of what you are billed out at. If you work 50 weeks a year for 40hrs/week, you'll make $125K/year. Well, enough financial talk, but just know there are many ways to make money in therapy, but most people do it because they love to interact with people closely. Therapy also allows you much more time for outside interests, which most doctors will not have the luxury of having. Much success with your decision.
 
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