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Career and Education Opportunities for Physical Therapists in St. Louis, Missouri

There are many career and education opportunities for physical therapists in the St. Louis, Missouri area. About 3,630 people are currently employed as physical therapists in Missouri. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 15% to 4,160 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for physical therapists, which sees this job pool growing by about 30.3% over the next eight years. In general, physical therapists assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.

A person working as a physical therapist can expect to earn about $29 per hour or $62,250 yearly on average in Missouri and about $35 per hour or $72,790 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Athletic and Occupational, people working as physical therapists in Missouri earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Athletic and Occupational nationally. Physical therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: home care physical therapist, staff physical therapist, and pulmonary physical therapist.

The St. Louis area is home to seventy-one schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can get a degree as a physical therapist. Physical therapists usually hold a Master's degree, so you can expect to spend about six years studying to be a physical therapist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Physical Therapist

Physical Therapist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, physical therapists assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.

Physical therapists perform and document initial exams, evaluating data to pinpoint problems and decide on diagnoses before interventions. They also discharge patients from physical therapy when goals or projected outcomes have been attained and furnish for appropriate follow-up care or referrals. Equally important, physical therapists have to inspect physicians' referrals and patients' medical records to help decide on diagnoses and physical therapy treatments required. They are often called upon to talk with patients, medical practitioners and appropriate others to develop, implement and assess intervention programs. They are expected to test and measure the strength of patients, their motor development and function, and respiratory and circulatory efficiency. Finally, physical therapists teach physical therapy students as well as those in other health professions.

Every day, physical therapists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for physical therapists to direct group rehabilitation efforts. They are often called upon to conduct and support research and apply research findings to practice. They also formulate, ready and carry out individually designed programs of physical treatment to maintain, improve or restore physical functioning, alleviate pain and avoid physical dysfunction in patients. They are sometimes expected to record patient chart prognosis and progress and enter patient data into computers. Somewhat less frequently, physical therapists are also expected to direct and communicate with supportive personnel.

Physical therapists sometimes are asked to participate in community and community agency efforts and help to formulate public policy. and teach physical therapy students as well as those in other health professions. And finally, they sometimes have to discharge patients from physical therapy when goals or projected outcomes have been attained and furnish for appropriate follow-up care or referrals.

Like many other jobs, physical therapists must have a strong concern for others and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in St. Louis include:

  • Audiologist. Assess and treat persons with hearing and related disorders. May fit hearing aids and provide auditory training. May perform research related to hearing problems.
  • Occupational Therapist. Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to disabled persons.
  • Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.
  • Speech and Language Teacher. Assess and treat persons with speech, language, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.
  • Sports Trainer. Evaluate, advise, and treat athletes to assist recovery from injury, avoid injury, or maintain peak physical fitness.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Physical Therapist Training

Maryville University of Saint Louis - Saint Louis, MO

Maryville University of Saint Louis, 650 Maryville University Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63141-7299. Maryville University of Saint Louis is a small university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,522 students and an admission rate of 54%. Maryville University of Saint Louis has a master's degree program in Physical Therapy/Therapist which graduated thirty-five students in 2008.

Washington University in St Louis - Saint Louis, MO

Washington University in St Louis, One Brookings Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63130-4899. Washington University in St Louis is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,946 students and an admission rate of 22%. Washington University in St Louis has a doctor's degree program in Physical Therapy/Therapist which graduated seventy students in 2008.

Saint Louis University-Main Campus - Saint Louis, MO

Saint Louis University-Main Campus, 221 N Grand Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63103-2097. Saint Louis University-Main Campus is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,975 students and an admission rate of 72%. Saint Louis University-Main Campus has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Physical Therapy/Therapist which graduated one, fifty-six, and twenty students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Health Fitness Specialist: The ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist (HFS) is a degreed health and fitness professional qualified to pursue a career in university, corporate, commercial, hospital, and community settings.

For more information, see the American College of Sports Medicine website.

Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist: Becoming ACSM Certified as an Exercise Specialistsays a lot about you.

For more information, see the American College of Sports Medicine website.

AmSAT Certified Teacher: Certified Alexander Technique Teachers have completed a 3 year, 1600 hour course at an AmSAT certified teacher training center.

For more information, see the American Society for the Alexander Technique website.

LICENSES

LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.