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Rehabilitational Therapy Schools

When someone has had an accident, suffered from an illness or undergone surgery, they often need help with their recovery. Rehabilitation therapists and therapist assistants offer support to people who need assistance getting their lives, and their health, back to where it once was. These professionals can work in a number of settings, including rehabilitation facilities, schools, independent living centers and private practices.

Rehabilitation Therapy

Rehabilitation therapy specializations

Rehabilitation therapy schools give professionals the expertise they need to help someone recover from an injury. There are a number of different specialties within the field, including:

  • Massage therapy: These professionals use soft tissue manipulation to help clients recover from injuries, receive relief from pain, relax, and enjoy a feeling of wellness. Modalities include deep tissue, Swedish, trigger point, shiatsu and more.
  • Physical therapy: When someone has gone through a serious illness or had an accident, sometimes they need physical therapy to help them manage their pain and improve their mobility. This is done by reviewing a patient's medical history, observing how they stand and walk, and creating and implementing an exercise plan to help them regain their physical strength.
  • Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy helps patients with their everyday activities after they have been injured or suffered from an illness or disability. OT professionals work to evaluate a patient's needs -- which can include different kinds of physical activities as well as special equipment -- and create and implement an appropriate rehabilitation plan. In addition, OTs and their assistants work with a patient's family to teach them how to best care for their loved one.

Rehabilitation therapy certifications and degrees

According to the BLS, those who pursue some careers as rehabilitation therapists are may be required to earn a graduate-level degree in order to find employment. Those who wish to become occupational therapists must earn a master's degree. In order to become a physical therapist, professionals must earn a doctorate in physical therapy. There are several rehabilitation therapy professions, however, which require an associate degree or less.

Massage therapists are typically required to complete a post-secondary program in massage therapy, consisting of at least 500 hours of study and practice. Students study anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, physiology and more. Almost all states regulate massage therapy either at the state or local level, though licensure isn't required in all jurisdictions. For states that do require licensure or certification, students may be required to pass a state-administered test, the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx), or the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB).

Physical therapy assistants are required in most states to successfully complete a two-year physical therapist assistant program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. These programs typically consist of clinical and classroom study and should include classes in anatomy and physiology, psychology and CPR. Licensure is granted after successful completion of a PT assistant program and passing the National Physical Therapy Exam administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

Occupational therapy assistants are typically required to complete an associate degree program in OT assisting accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. They are also required to complete clinical study and courses in the program may include those in psychology, neurology and biology.

OT and PT aides are typically required to have a high school diploma or equivalency, and are often trained on-the-job, though education and training for these careers are available at some schools. Licensing is not usually required for these positions.

Rehabilitation therapy salary and career outlook

According to the BLS, the rehabilitation field will grow in the coming years, with each specialty experiencing an increase in jobs between 2012 and 2022. Growth is as follows for some of these key rehabilitation careers:

  • Massage therapists: 23 percent
  • Physical therapy assistants and aides: 41 percent
  • Occupational therapy assistants and aides: 41 percent

Some states have a higher concentration of these positions than others. For example, West Virginia and Alabama have the highest concentration of jobs for PT assistants, while the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania have the highest concentration of OT assistants.

The salaries for the different rehabilitation therapy specialties differ, according to the BLS. As of May 2013, the agency reports:

  • Massage therapists earn a national median annual salary of $35,920
  • Occupational therapy assistants earn a national median annual salary of $55,270
  • Physical therapy assistants earn a national median annual salary of $53,360

Thanks to factors like the recent laws that have given more people access to health insurance, the increased aging population, and the amount of wounded veterans, there is a growing need for rehabilitation therapists of all kinds. These professionals are an integral part of patients' recovery from injuries and illness, and their role in the health care system is only getting larger.

Sources:

Career: Occupational Therapists, College Board, Accessed October 25, 2014, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/careers/health-diagnosis-treatment-occupational-therapists

Major: Occupational Therapy, College Board, Accessed October 25, 2014, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/health-professions-related-clinical-sciences-rehabilitation-therapy-occupational-therapy

Massage Therapists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, April 1, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319011.htm

Massage Therapists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, January 8, 2014, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/massage-therapists.htm

Occupational Therapy Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, April 1, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes312011.htm

Occupational Therapy Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapy-assistants-and-aides.htm

Physical Therapy Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, April 1, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes312021.htm

Physical Therapy Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapist-assistants-and-aides.htm

Rehabilitation, MedlinePlus, Accessed October 25, 2014, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/rehabilitation.html

Rehabilitational Therapy Schools
 
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Capella provides a flexible online learning environment designed for working adults who want to advance in their profession.

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For more than 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, career-focused education in fields such as health care, business, criminal justice and information technology. 

Programs : Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant, Associate of Science in Sports Medicine and Fitness Technology via ground delivery, Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine and Fitness Technology, and more.

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Jacksonville: 6430 Southpoint Parkway, Suite 100 Jacksonville, FL 32216

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Daytona Beach: 1800 Business Park Blvd Daytona Beach, FL 32114

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Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.

Programs : Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab Program, and more.

Campus Locations :

North Hollywood: 5200 Lankershim Blvd. Suite #150 North Hollywood, CA 91601

New England Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit, co-educational technical college offering over 30 Associate in Science, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree programs.

Programs : Associate in Science in Physical Therapist Assistant Technology, Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant Technology, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, and more.

Campus Locations :

Warwick: 2500 Post Road Warwick, RI 02886

Dallas-based Parker University, formerly known as Parker College of Chiropractic, is one of the world’s leading educators of health care professionals.

Programs : Certificate in Massage Therapy, Associate of Applied Science with a major in Occupational Therapy Assistant, and more.

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Dallas: 2540 Walnut Hill Ln. Dallas, TX 75229

At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs.

Programs : Bachelor of Science in Psychology : Addictions, Master of Science in Psychology : Addictions, Master of Science in Psychology : Applied Behavior Analysis, and more.

Campus Locations :

Hagerstown: 18618 Crestwood Drive Hagerstown, MD 21742

Cedar Rapids: 3165 Edgewood Parkway SW Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Augusta: 14 Marketplace Drive Augusta, ME 04330

Lincoln: 1821 K Street Lincoln, NE 68501

South Portland: 265 Western Ave South Portland, ME 04106

Urbandale: 4655 121st Street Urbandale, IA 50323

Davenport: 1801 East Kimberly Road Suite 1 Davenport, IA 52807

Lewiston: 475 Lisbon Street Lewiston, ME 04240

Mason City: 100 1st Street NW Mason City, IA 50401

Omaha: 5425 N. 103rd St. Omaha, NE 68134

Cedar Falls: 7009 Nordic Drive Cedar Falls, IA 50613

Fremont College traces its roots to Platt College’s founding in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1879, and the Southern California branch campus was established in 1986.

Programs : AA - Sports and Rehabilitation Therapy, and more.

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Cerritos: 18000 Studebaker Road 900A Cerritos, CA 90703

Los Angeles: 3440 Wilshire Blvd. 10th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90010

Get the skills you need to pursue your dreams at South College, located in Knoxville.

Programs : Associate of Science - Physical Therapist Assistant, Bachelor of Science - Health Science (Post Physical Therapist Assistant), and more.

Campus Locations :

Knoxville: 3904 Lonas Drive Knoxville, TN 37909

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