Getting your first job in physical therapy without experience is challenging. Knowledge is critical because employers generally will not hire a complete PT newbie requiring extensive on-the-job training. Gaining the needed expertise in anticipation of a physical therapy position requires time, patience, and the willingness to work in a clinical area that you might not choose for your full-time career. There are ways you can get the experience. Try to get as much training as possible before taking on a full-time job.
An excellent way to gain PT experience is through volunteering. You can find volunteer opportunities with local senior care centers or a local clinic. Sometimes these facilities do not have the financial resources to pay full-time physical therapists and must depend on professionals willing to do pro bono work. The benefit to you is that you receive a wide range of PT experiences to prepare you for a full-time, paying position.
Are you a recent college graduate? If so, you might still be able to secure an internship with a reputable physical therapy office to gain additional experience. Although these internships intend to provide knowledge to students still in school, there are some opportunities for recent graduates. These positions are typically not paid. If paid, it is usually a small stipend. However, it does offer the chance to work with trained professionals as you learn physical therapy techniques. Combine the internship experience with your educational background, and you can jump-start your professional career.
Even if a clinic or rehab facility is not actively advertising an internship position, you can still contact a facility’s administrator to see if taking you on as an intern is possible. Managers will appreciate your confidence and direct approach, and you will learn on-the-job training to prepare you for your first PT job.
Between the clinical experience you likely gained in your last two years of school and an internship or volunteer position, you should have enough training and real-world experience to pursue a full-time job. Absorb as much information as possible and access professionals who can teach you what they know.
An excellent option is contacting a staffing agency specializing in physical therapy placement. The professional recruiters at myPTsolutions understand the challenge of choosing where to start your therapy career. The goal of myPTsolutions is to make your life easier by sharing information and bringing clarity to your options. The recruiters at myPTsolutions are professional job search guides who can help you complete your career interest profile today.