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Physical Therapy Technician/Assistant

If you're interested in physical therapy but don't want to commit to that much schooling, consider becoming a physical therapy technician or assistant. These individuals help patients overcome their physical ailments and stay healthy under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Some of the duties a physical therapy technician/assistant performs include helping patients complete assigned exercises and movements, icing or heating injuries or sore spots, monitoring and recording patient progress, and instructing patients on how to use prosthetics, braces, and other devices. The average physical therapy technician program is two years and ends with an associate degree. Courses will cover topics like anatomy, physiology, anatomy, ultrasounds, and patient communication. You'll receive instruction in how to help patients complete their therapy and will often be required to undertake hands-on training in the field. Most states require licensing, which means after graduation you'll probably need to take an exam to obtain this license. Once you pass the test, you'll be qualified to work in numerous health care settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, or private practices. You also have the option of continuing your education to become a licensed physical therapist.

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