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Become A Lead Therapist

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Working As A Lead Therapist

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $58,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead Therapist Do

Physical therapists, sometimes called PTs, help injured or ill people improve their movement and manage their pain. These therapists are often an important part of rehabilitation, treatment, and prevention of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries.

Duties

Physical therapists typically do the following:

  • Review patients’ medical history and any referrals or notes from doctors, surgeons, or other healthcare workers
  • Diagnose patients’ functions and movements by observing them stand or walk and by listening to their concerns, among other methods
  • Develop individualized plans of care for patients, outlining the patients’ goals and the expected outcomes of the plans
  • Use exercises, stretching maneuvers, hands-on therapy, and equipment to ease patients’ pain, help them increase their mobility, prevent further pain or injury, and facilitate health and wellness
  • Evaluate and record a patient’s progress, modifying a plan of care and trying new treatments as needed
  • Educate patients and their families about what to expect from the recovery process and how best to cope with challenges throughout the process

Physical therapists provide care to people of all ages who have functional problems resulting from back and neck injuries; sprains, strains, and fractures; arthritis; amputations; neurological disorders, such as stroke or cerebral palsy; injuries related to work and sports; and other conditions.

Physical therapists are educated to use a variety of different techniques to care for their patients. These techniques include exercises; training in functional movement, which includes the use of equipment such as canes, crutches, wheelchairs, and walkers; and special movements of joints, muscles, and other soft tissue to improve movement and decrease pain.

The work of physical therapists varies by type of patient. For example, a patient working to recover mobility lost after a stroke needs different care from a patient who is recovering from a sports injury. Some physical therapists specialize in one type of care, such as orthopedics or geriatrics. Many physical therapists also help patients to maintain or improve mobility by developing fitness and wellness programs to encourage healthier and more active lifestyles.

Physical therapists work as part of a healthcare team, overseeing the work of physical therapist assistants and aides and consulting with physicians and surgeons and other specialists.

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How To Become A Lead Therapist

Physical therapists need a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. All states require physical therapists to be licensed.

Education

In 2015, there were more than 200 programs for physical therapists accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). All programs offer a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.

DPT programs typically last 3 years. Most programs require a bachelor’s degree for admission as well as specific educational prerequisites, such as classes in anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics. Some programs admit college freshmen into 6- or 7-year programs that allow students to graduate with both a bachelor’s degree and a DPT. Most DPT programs require applicants to apply through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS).

Physical therapist programs often include courses in biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, and pharmacology. Physical therapist students also complete at least 30 weeks of clinical work, during which they gain supervised experience in areas such as acute care and orthopedic care.

Physical therapists may apply to and complete a clinical residency program after graduation. Residencies typically last about 1 year and provide additional training and experience in specialty areas of care. Therapists who have completed a residency program may choose to specialize further by completing a fellowship in an advanced clinical area.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require physical therapists to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state but all include passing the National Physical Therapy Examination administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Several states also require a law exam and a criminal background check. Continuing education is typically required for physical therapists to keep their license. Check with state boards for specific licensing requirements.

After gaining work experience, some physical therapists choose to become a board-certified specialist. The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties offers certification in 8 clinical specialty areas, including orthopedics, sports, and geriatric physical therapy. Board specialist certification requires passing an exam and at least 2,000 hours of clinical work or completion of an American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)-accredited residency program in the specialty area.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Physical therapists are often drawn to the profession in part by a desire to help people. They work with people who are in pain and must have empathy for their patients.

Detail oriented. Like other healthcare providers, physical therapists should have strong analytic and observational skills to diagnose a patient’s problem, evaluate treatments, and provide safe, effective care.

Dexterity. Physical therapists must use their hands to provide manual therapy and therapeutic exercises. They should feel comfortable massaging and otherwise physically assisting patients.

Interpersonal skills. Because physical therapists spend a lot of time interacting with patients, they should enjoy working with people. They must be able to clearly explain treatment programs, motivate patients, and listen to patients’ concerns to provide effective therapy.

Physical stamina. Physical therapists spend much of their time on their feet, moving as they demonstrate proper techniques and help patients perform exercises. They should enjoy physical activity.

Resourcefulness. Physical therapists customize treatment plans for patients. They must be flexible and able to adapt plans of care to meet the needs of each patient.

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Average Length of Employment
Senior Therapist 3.8 years
Lead Therapist 3.0 years
Clinical Therapist 2.9 years
Family Therapist 2.7 years
Therapist 2.7 years
Health Therapist 2.4 years
Group Therapist 2.4 years
Primary Therapist 2.3 years
In Home Therapist 2.1 years
Sex Therapist 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Lead Therapist
Therapist 17.0%
Internship 11.9%
Counselor 6.5%
Clinician 2.9%
Supervisor 2.5%
Volunteer 2.4%
Top Careers After Lead Therapist
Therapist 19.2%
Clinician 5.2%
Supervisor 3.6%
Director 3.0%
Consultant 2.7%
Counselor 2.6%

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Top Skills for A Lead Therapist

  1. Treatment Plans
  2. Group Therapy Sessions
  3. Crisis Intervention
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed comprehensive treatment plans that focused on accurate diagnosis and behavioral treatment of problems.
  • Facilitate bi-weekly group therapy sessions and individual sessions.
  • Provided individual counseling to individuals with a wide range of diagnosis also performed crisis intervention.
  • Completed insurance and state-funded authorizations for consumers to participate in mental health services.
  • Provide in-home behavior treatment program employing applied behavior analysis techniques working with children diagnosed with autism.

Lead Therapist Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,104 Lead Therapist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Lead Therapist Resume

View Resume Examples

Lead Therapist Demographics

Gender

Female

62.1%

Male

25.7%

Unknown

12.2%
Ethnicity

White

63.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.4%

Swedish

27.6%

French

7.9%

Russian

3.9%

Thai

3.9%

Portuguese

2.6%

German

1.3%

Hebrew

1.3%

Braille

1.3%

Carrier

1.3%

Hindi

1.3%

Kazakh

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Italian

1.3%
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Lead Therapist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.7%

Nova Southeastern University

8.3%

Capella University

8.3%

Walden University

6.3%

Virginia Commonwealth University

5.7%

Liberty University

5.7%

University of Houston

5.0%

Webster University

4.7%

University of Central Florida

4.7%

Arizona State University

4.3%

Ball State University

4.3%

Chicago School of Professional Psychology

4.0%

Florida International University

4.0%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.0%

Florida State University

4.0%

Grand Canyon University

3.7%

Barry University

3.3%

University of Southern California

3.3%

Argosy University-Atlanta

3.3%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.3%
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Majors

Social Work

13.6%

Counseling Psychology

10.7%

Psychology

10.3%

School Counseling

9.4%

Mental Health Counseling

6.6%

Physical Therapy

6.5%

Medical Technician

6.4%

Family Therapy

5.7%

Clinical Psychology

5.3%

Somatic Bodywork

4.0%

Occupational Therapy

3.6%

Business

3.5%

Education

2.8%

Special Education

2.4%

Rehabilitation Science

2.0%

Health Care Administration

1.6%

Nursing

1.6%

Human Services

1.5%

Management

1.4%

Kinesiology

1.2%
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Degrees

Masters

53.2%

Bachelors

17.5%

Other

10.7%

Associate

7.6%

Doctorate

5.4%

Certificate

3.7%

Diploma

1.3%

License

0.7%
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