How to Become an Activity Therapist?
Steps to Become a Physical Therapy AideBecoming a physical therapy aide is an excellent choice for people who are interested in health care and physical fitness. These professionals work with physical therapists to treat patients, and they often work in hospitals, outpatient facilities, people's homes, sports clinics, and assisted living facilities. If you're interested in becoming a physical therapy aide, you may benefit from learning the steps you can take to obtain the role and exploring new physical therapy aide job openings. In this article, we provide four steps for becoming a physical therapy aide to guide you through the process.
Get an education.
Physical therapy aides need at least a high school diploma or GED. Most have an associate degree in physical therapy, and they often take courses in massage therapy, kinesiology, anatomy, biology, psychology, and related subjects. Physical therapy aides aren't required to gain education or licenses in any state, but obtaining this education can still benefit your career and make it easier to find jobs.
Some colleges and technical schools offer three-to-six-month programs, and participants can earn a Physical Therapy Aide Certificate of Achievement. Many people who are considering becoming physical therapists or physical therapy assistants also take this class to get an introduction to the field and decide if it's right for them.
What type of degree should you pursue to become a Physical Therapy Aide?
67% of people working as a Physical Therapy Aide earned a Bachelor's Degree
What skills do you need to be a Physical Therapy Aide?
- CPR First Aid
- English Language
- Effective Communication
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Gain some experience.
Physical therapy aides get valuable on-the-job experience by working with physical therapists. They learn about how the clinic works, where to locate equipment, and how to clean rooms after patients leave and prepare them for new patients. Many physical therapy aides start as physical trainers or gym staff members. Some also get experience working as receptionists.
While you're gaining work experience, expand your professional network by getting to know your coworkers and supervisors. Networking can help you find out about new opportunities in the field. If possible, find a mentor who can give you useful advice about being a physical therapy aide. You can also ask them for a letter of recommendation if necessary.
Advance your career.
When you apply for jobs as a physical therapy aide, look at the job description carefully and customize your resume and cover letter. Many companies use search algorithms and software to choose candidates for interviews. Using the same keywords and phrases as you see in the job description can help you increase your chances of success. After you get some experience as a physical therapy aide, consider studying to become a physical therapy assistant or a physical therapist. That way, you can make some more money and spend some additional time working with patients.
Improve your skills.
Physical therapy aides need a variety of skills to be successful, including excellent communication skills and the ability to work independently while following procedures. They also need physical endurance because they spend a lot of time on their feet doing work like cleaning, organizing, and sterilizing exam rooms. As you gain experience and work to advance your career, build your skill set to strengthen your abilities as a physical therapy aide.
Activity Therapist Career Path
Physical Therapy Aide
Senior Physical Therapy Aide
Adjunct Physical Therapy Aide
Total Pay Trajectory
Activity Therapist Career Path
Related Careers in the Healthcare Industry
Interested in other Healthcare careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Activity Therapist skills. Discover some of the most common Activity Therapist career transitions, along with skills overlap.