Will experience as a PT tech help with getting jobs after PT school?

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ChemEtoMD23

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Will experience working as a PT tech before PT school help with getting a job as a physical therapist after finishing a DPT program? Will potential benefits such as letters of recommendation from physical therapist supervisors, experience with working in a PT clinic, etc. matter?

Or is all experience gained prior to PT school rendered insignificant by the experience/knowledge one gains during a DPT program?

For the record, I am not applying to PT school, but a family member of mine is and was wondering about this question.
 
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twotired

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Here's an answer your family member should get used to hearing as a PT: it depends.

Generally, the practice-setting-specific work experience and professional connections you make during your DPT program clinicals are the best way to get your foot in the door for a potential post-DPT job. This doesn't mean pre-DPT work experience as a tech is not valuable. You could make the same connections as a PT tech but likely an employer would choose a candidate who has had an actual clinical experience as a student physical therapist versus a PT tech.

Working as a PT tech before you apply to PT school has the benefit of giving you a sense of the work environment and whether or not physical therapy is a career you wish to pursue.
 
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JMarcusDPT

Jasmine Marcus, PT DPT CSCS
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Will experience working as a PT tech before PT school help with getting a job as a physical therapist after finishing a DPT program? Will potential benefits such as letters of recommendation from physical therapist supervisors, experience with working in a PT clinic, etc. matter?

Or is all experience gained prior to PT school rendered insignificant by the experience/knowledge one gains during a DPT program?

For the record, I am not applying to PT school, but a family member of mine is and was wondering about this question.
I think it could help you work in that same clinic later on, but other clinics probably won't care about what you did before PT school. Instead, they'll care much more about your clinical experiences. I worked as a tech for over a year before PT school, but got job offers from my clinicals. Where being a tech did help was in relating to the techs I worked with when I was a PT student and PT.
 
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ya1

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Will experience working as a PT tech before PT school help with getting a job as a physical therapist after finishing a DPT program?

NO. Remember, PT aide is a job that can be done by a person with no education. When you get your PT license, you will have a doctorate degree, so your unskilled work experience will not matter much or will not matter at all.

Will potential benefits such as letters of recommendation from physical therapist supervisors, experience with working in a PT clinic, etc. matter?

Yes, but as a new grad you will want to get those letters/references from your clinical supervisors - PTs who were working with you during your internships. Employers will want feedback on you as a PT, not as a PT aide.
You will need recommendation letters from physical therapist supervisors to apply to PT school. But you don't have to work as an aide to get those. You can just observe/volunteer for 50-100h and get a recommendation letter.

Or is all experience gained prior to PT school rendered insignificant by the experience/knowledge one gains during a DPT program?
YES.
 
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