Becoming a Physical Therapist in Oakland, California

Becoming a Physical Therapist in Oakland | Power Personnel

Physical therapists diagnose and take care of individuals of all ages who have health-related conditions limiting their ability to perform functional activities. These evidence-based health care professionals offer the treatment that improves mobility, relieves pain, reduces the need for surgery, and allows patients to participate in their recovery. As a physical therapist, you can deliver care in a wide variety of clinical settings. If you want to practice as a physical therapist in Oakland, California, here is helpful information for you.

Academic Requirements

To practice as a physical therapist in Oakland, California, you must possess a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited program and successfully pass a state licensure exam. Physical therapy students typically complete a bachelor’s degree in four years, followed by three years in the DPT program. Some programs offer the 3+3 curricular format. This arrangement entails taking three years of specific pre-professional (undergraduate/pre-PT) courses before you can advance into a three-year professional DPT program.

Physical therapy education programs in the United States are now offering only the DPT degree. The Master of Physical Therapy and Master of Science in Physical Therapy degrees are not available. As a physical therapy student, you can expect to have classes that include:

  • Biology/anatomy
  • Behavioral sciences
  • Kinesiology
  • Exercise physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Biomechanics
  • Clinical reasoning
  • Evidence-based practice

Training also includes lab study and spending time gaining clinical experience. On average, physical therapy students spend 27.5 weeks in their final clinical experience. After receiving a DPT degree, you must pass a state licensure exam to practice as a physical therapist.

The Work

When you practice physical therapy in Oakland, California, your work varies by type of patient. A patient facing loss of mobility due to stroke will require different care from an athlete recovering from an injury. Care varies according to patient. Some physical therapists concentrate on a specific area of care, such as orthopedics or geriatrics. Therapists work in hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings and nursing homes. Most physical therapists work a standard Monday-to-Friday work week. Evenings or weekends may be required depending on the work setting.

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of physical therapists to grow 21% from 2020 to 2030, which exceeds the average for all occupations. The average annual salary for a physical therapist in Oakland, California, is $97,110. With additional training and experience, you can move into management roles with more responsibility. You might have an interest in starting your practice or pursuing a specialization.

Employment in Oakland and throughout the nation will grow faster than average. An aging baby boomer generation and an increase in chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity are driving the growth.

Power Personnel has multiple physical therapy jobs throughout California and the U.S. Let them help you advance your physical therapy career.