The education sector is perhaps one of the oldest branches of the therapy profession. As a professor in a college or university, you’ll have the responsibility of passing your knowledge of the therapy profession on to young minds. And in this role, you’ll have a direct hand in the continuation of physical or occupational therapy, or speech language pathology, for future generations. As such, you’ll need to ensure that the information you impart onto your students is cutting edge by keeping up with all industry developments.
Percentage of therapists in the higher education setting
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, very few therapists work in this setting. Physical and occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists account for fewer than 1 percent of the more than 2 million professionals employed by universities, colleges and professional schools. Health Science Masters or Doctoral program enrollment can vary between 25 – 75 students in a class, depending on the demand and limits set by the governing institution. A typical health science graduate program may have 8 – 15 professors in their department.
Salary of therapists working in higher education
Though these positions are few and far between, those employed by colleges and universities are well compensated for their work. (Of course, your salary will increase depending on your highest degree earned.) For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that physical therapists earn an average annual salary of $96,810, while occupational therapists earn an average of $100,370 in this setting.
Benefits of working for a college or university
A career in higher education can be very rewarding for a therapy professional. Consider the following benefits:
- You can have a part in the careers of future therapists. In this esteemed role, you’ll complete each workday knowing you helped a young therapist grow in his or her profession, getting one day closer to graduation and a career helping others. This can give you a great sense of accomplishment and the feeling of giving back to your professional community, as well as the sick and injured.
- You’ll have an impact on the future of your field. Without educators, no new therapists will be born. You are in a unique position to continue the success of your field by helping to churn bright new minds out into the working world each spring during graduation.
- You’ll receive great benefits. As a professor, you’ll have days off when school is not in session, including holidays, weekends and summers. This makes for a much more comfortable schedule than much of the working world gets to enjoy. Academic Institutions also traditionally offer excellent benefit packages, including healthcare, a pension and 401(k).
To learn more
If you’re interested in becoming a therapy professor, each of the following associations offers resources which explain how to pursue this goal:
- American Physical Therapy Association (APTA):
- American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA):
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA):
Are you looking for your next therapy position?
Regardless of the therapy setting you’re interested in, PT Solutions can help. We’re a staffing service for therapy professionals run by therapy professionals. We’ll work with you for a position in the fields of physical therapy and occupational therapy and speech language pathology that meets your career needs. To learn more, contact PT Solutions today.