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Find Rewarding Physical Therapy Jobs Near You

Here are the requested steps:

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Introduction

As a physical therapist looking for a new job opportunity, there are many important questions to consider.

What types of facilities hire physical therapists? How can I find job openings? What skills and experience do employers look for?

In this blog post, I’ll provide an overview of 10 popular questions related to finding physical therapy jobs, and provide detailed information to help you in your job search.

Find Physical Therapy Jobs

How to Apply for Physical Therapy Jobs

Here is a guide on how to apply for physical therapy jobs:

Create an Effective Resume

  • Highlight your clinical rotations, certifications, and skills relevant to the job. Quantify your accomplishments and patient outcomes.
  • Emphasize communication, documentation, time management, and caseload management abilities.
  • Tailor your resume keywords and experience to match each job posting.
  • Keep formatting clean, consistent, and easy to scan quickly.

Write a Customized Cover Letter

  • Address your letter to the hiring manager. Mention how you found the job posting.
  • Describe why you are interested in the role and aspects that appeal to you about the facility.
  • Expand on relevant clinical experience from your resume. Give examples.
  • Express enthusiasm for the role and highlight important qualifications.
  • Thank them for consideration and provide contact information.

Gather Your Credentials

  • Have electronic copies available of your license, certifications, transcripts, diploma, and letters of recommendation.
  • Include active license numbers and expiration dates on your resume.
  • Only submit what is required or requested by the application to avoid overwhelming reviewers.

Apply and Follow Up

  • Submit a complete application by the deadline following all instructions.
  • Attach your customized resume and cover letter tailored for that facility.
  • Follow up within 2 weeks if you do not hear back on an application.
  • Send a short email reaffirming your interest in the role and qualifications.
  • Connect via LinkedIn and network to find contacts at the facility.
  • Express gratitude for consideration of your application.

Prepare for Interviews

  • Research the facility so you can speak knowledgeably about their services and approach.
  • Review commonly asked PT interview questions and prepare clear responses.
  • Reflect on examples that showcase your assets and clinical reasoning abilities.
  • Practice your responses and interview skills to build confidence.
  • Dress professionally and show enthusiasm for the provider.
  • Send thank you notes reaffirming your interest after the interview.

Accept or Negotiate an Offer

  • Express appreciation for the job offer and ask for time if needed to make your decision.
  • Compare the compensation package and benefits to other offers.
  • Negotiate respectfully if the offer is below your expectations.
  • Request details on salary, bonuses, retirement plans, time off, training, and other perks.
  • Get any agreed upon changes in writing before accepting the position.
  • Notify other facilities once you have accepted an offer and withdraw applications.

Where can I apply for Physical Therapy Jobs

Here are some of the top places to apply for physical therapy jobs:

  • Facility Websites – Check the career/jobs section of hospital systems, rehab centers, clinics, nursing homes, etc. in your desired locations. This allows you to apply directly to the provider.
  • Online Job Boards – General sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor as well as niche sites like the APTA job board, WebPT, and PracticeMatch. Upload your resume so you can easily apply for relevant postings.
  • Professional Associations – Organizations like the American Physical Therapy Association and state chapters often have online job boards for their members.
  • Recruiter Sites – Placement agencies and recruiters like Jackson Therapy Partners, Athletico, and Select Medical can help connect you with facilities hiring.
  • newspapers – Local newspapers and sites like Craigslist sometimes post classified ads for PT openings.
  • Networking Events – Conferences, career fairs, and professional association meetings allow you to connect directly with potential employers.
  • Social Media – Follow companies and professional associations on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to stay on top of job postings.
  • Cold Contacting – You can write personalized emails with your resume to clinics and hospitals you’re interested in, even if they are not actively hiring.
  • Job Search Engines – Aggregator sites like Indeed, SimplyHired, and ZipRecruiter allow you to search across multiple job boards in one place.

Cast a wide net with your job search and utilize multiple platforms to increase your chances of finding the perfect PT role. Persistence and following up are key.

What types of facilities hire physical therapists?

Hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, schools, home health agencies, outpatient clinics, and private practices all employ physical therapists.

As a PT, you can choose to work in a variety of settings with diverse patient populations. Acute care hospitals need PTs to help patients recover mobility after illness or surgery.

Skilled nursing facilities rely on PTs to improve function and quality of life for elderly residents.

School systems hire PTs to work with children with special needs.

Explore different work environments to find the right fit for your interests and career goals.

How can I find job openings for physical therapists?

Great sources to find open PT positions include job search engines like Indeed and LinkedIn, professional associations like the APTA job board, facilities’ websites, recruiter job boards, and networking.

Look for openings locally and nationwide. Search for general PT jobs or niche specialties like pediatrics, geriatrics, or orthopedics.

Set up job alerts to get notified when new postings matching your skills are listed.

Check back frequently, as facilities may post jobs on an ongoing basis.

What skills and experience do employers look for in physical therapists?

Employers want PTs with strong clinical skills, manual therapy experience, and proficiency in therapeutic exercise prescription.

Expertise in specialty areas relevant to their setting is a plus, like sports rehab or neuro rehab.

Strong communication skills are essential to educate patients and families. Experience with documentation and meeting productivity standards is valued.

Showcase your skills with certifications like board certification in orthopedics or geriatrics. Highlight your clinical rotations, mentorships, and continuing education.

How can I make my resume stand out for physical therapy jobs?

Tailor your resume to each facility and highlight skills they desire. Include measurable accomplishments like patient outcomes improved and processes streamlined.

Quantify your productivity with statistics like number of patients treated daily. Showcase specialized training and certifications.

Emphasize contributions like in-services taught, students supervised, and committees led.

Add keywords from the job posting throughout your resume. Keep formatting clean, consistent, and easy to scan quickly.

What types of licensing and credentials are required for a physical therapist job?

A physical therapist job requires professional licensure. You must graduate from an accredited PT program and pass the National Physical Therapy Exam to obtain your license.

Additional state law exams may be required for licensure in some states. Board certification in a specialty like orthopedics, neurology, or cardiopulmonary demonstrates advanced expertise.

Basic Life Support (BLS) or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification is often required as well.

Continuing education credits are necessary to maintain your license over time.

What salary and benefits can I expect as a physical therapist?

The median annual salary for physical therapists in 2020 was $91,010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries vary based on your geographic location, facility type, experience level, and specialty.

Many employers offer benefits like health insurance, retirement savings plans, paid time off, flexible schedules, continuing education allowances, and license fee reimbursement.

Negotiate your salary during the interview process and when receiving a job offer. Consider the full compensation package when comparing opportunities.

What types of questions are asked in a physical therapist job interview?

Expect questions about your clinical experience, specialized skills, and preferred work setting. Be prepared to describe how you’d treat certain diagnoses you may see.

Explain your approach to communication with patients and families. Questions may cover how you prioritize tasks, handle productivity standards, and make evidence-based decisions. Review sample PT interview questions to polish responses highlighting your assets. Prepare examples of achievements and challenges you’ve overcome.

How can I prepare for the practical portion of a PT job interview?

Many facilities include a practical component to assess your clinical skills. Refresh your knowledge of gait evaluations, balance assessments, joint mobilization, therapeutic exercise, and other hands-on skills you may be asked to demonstrate.

Practice verbalizing your clinical reasoning as you would to a patient. Study up on tools and technology the facility uses.

Dress professionally and be confident demonstrating your techniques. Ask clarifying questions if any instructions need explanation. Maintain safety and professionalism throughout the practical.

What types of PT facilities should I target as a new grad?

For your first job, consider inpatient rehab hospitals or outpatient orthopedic clinics to build a solid foundation of clinical skills with diverse diagnoses.

Skilled nursing facilities also hire new grads and offer mentoring. Look for facilities with established training programs for new PTs.

While your long-term career goals may involve specializing, get broad experience first.

Explore options both near your PT school and hometown as well as nationwide. With perseverance and preparation, new grads can find rewarding starter jobs.

What steps can I take to have a successful start as a new physical therapist?

Hit the ground running by taking initiative, asking questions, and always seeking to expand your knowledge. Seek mentorship from experienced PTs.

Volunteer for extra training sessions. Introduce yourself to colleagues across disciplines. Ask for feedback on your performance.

Reflect on your successes and areas for growth. Be open to feedback. Look for opportunities to get involved, like staff in-services or patient education programs.

Success as a new PT requires excellent clinical skills paired with enthusiasm, dedication, and self-improvement.

Key Takeaways

  • Physical therapists can work in diverse settings like hospitals, nursing homes, schools, home health, outpatient clinics, and private practices.
  • Great resources to find job openings include job search sites, professional associations, facility websites, recruiters, and networking.
  • Employers desire PTs with strong clinical expertise, specialized experience, communication and documentation skills, and productivity.
  • Prepare for questions about your skills, achievements, preferred work settings, and approach to patient care.
  • New grads should seek broad clinical experience and mentorship to build a solid foundation of physical therapy skills.

Conclusion

  • Finding the right physical therapist job takes research, preparation, and persistence.
  • Understand the requirements and qualifications to be a strong candidate.
  • Tailor your resume and highlight skills for each role.
  • Study typical PT interview questions and practical assessments.
  • Build a solid base as a new grad before specializing.
  • Success requires clinical excellence and ongoing learning.

FAQ

Q: What is the job outlook for physical therapists?

A: The job outlook for PTs is excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 18% growth in PT jobs between 2020-2030, much faster than average. The aging population and expanded access to PT services will drive demand.

Q: Should I do a residency program as a new physical therapist grad?

A: Residency programs provide structured mentoring and advanced training in specialized areas like neurology, geriatrics, or pediatrics. They can accelerate your skills but are not required. Weigh the pros and cons based on your career goals.

Q: What types of physical therapy certifications should I consider?

A: Initial certifications to consider include Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) and Sports Clinical Specialist (SCS), which demonstrate expertise treating athletes and orthopedic conditions. Geriatric Clinical Specialist (GCS) is valued in nursing homes and home health.

Q: How can I improve my chances of getting a first interview for a PT job?

A: Highlight key qualifications in your resume summary. Emphasize results of your past work. Customize your resume and cover letter for each facility. Have current professional references available. Follow up on applications and use your network to make connections.

Q: Should I join the APTA as a new physical therapist?

A: APTA membership provides excellent benefits like journal subscriptions, continuing education discounts, career guidance, and networking opportunities. Joining as a new grad can help your career development. Student memberships are also available.

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