RWM Site Logo

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 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
Matching School Ads

Explore a new career with Pima Medical Institute.

Programs : Physical Therapist Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Respiratory Therapy, and more..

Campus Locations :

Tucson: 3350 E. Grant Road Tucson, AZ 85716

Seattle: 9709 Third Avenue NE Suite 400 Seattle, WA 98115

Mesa: 957 S. Dobson Road Mesa, AZ 85202

Las Vegas: 3333 E. Flamingo Road Las Vegas, NV 89121

Albuquerque: 4400 Cutler Avenue NE Albuquerque, NM 87110

Denver: 7475 Dakin Street Suite 100 Denver, CO 80221

Renton: 555 S. Renton Village Place Suite 400 Renton, WA 98057

Chula Vista: 780 Bay Blvd #101 Chula Vista, CA 91910

At Concorde, you’ll find that a “learn by doing” approach to healthcare training will get you the skills you need to succeed-- and get you into the workforce quickly.

Programs : Physical Therapist Assistant - (AS), Respiratory Therapy - (AAS), Respiratory Therapy - (AS), and more..

Campus Locations :

Jacksonville: 7259 Salisbury Rd. Jacksonville, FL 32256

San Antonio: 4803 NW Loop 410 Suite 200 San Antonio, TX 78229

North Hollywood: 12412 Victory Blvd North Hollywood, CA 91606

San Bernardino: 201 E. Airport Drive San Bernardino, CA 92408

Kansas City: 3239 Broadway Kansas City, MO 64111

Portland: 1425 NE Irving Street Portland, OR 97232

San Diego: 4393 Imperial Ave. Ste. 100 San Diego, CA 92113

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.

Programs : BS in Psychology - Substance Addictions, MS in Psychology - Addictions, MS in Psychology - General Psychology, and more..

Campus Locations :

Fort Lauderdale: 6301 Kaplan University Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

Keiser University offers degrees in fields that are in demand and provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.

Programs : Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant, AS, Occupational Therapy Assistant(AS), and more..

Campus Locations :

West Palm Beach: 2085 Vista Parkway West Palm Beach, FL 33411

Miami: 2101 NW 117th Avenue Miami, FL 33172

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

Pembroke Pines: 1640 SW 145 Avenue Pembroke Pines, FL 33028

Saint Petersburg: 1208 Blue Heron Boulevard, Suite A, Saint Petersburg, FL 33716

New Port Richey: 6014 US Highway 19 North, Suite 250, New Port Richey, FL 34652

Earn your degree online with Grand Canyon University. We offer approximately 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in a variety of fields that can be completed 100% online.

Programs : B.S. in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse, M.S. in Addiction Counseling, M.S. in Christian Counseling, and more..

Campus Locations :

: 3300 W Camelback Road , ID

Phoenix: 3300 W Camelback Road Phoenix, AZ 85017

Little Rock: 3300 W Camelback Road Little Rock, AR 72201

With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.

Programs : MA Human Services:  Addictions and Recovery, PhD in Counseling - Professional Counseling, PhD Counseling: Advanced Clinical Skills, and more..

Campus Locations :

Lynchburg: 1971 University Boulevard Lynchburg, VA 24502

Get a professional education designed with your future in mind at Kaplan College.

Programs : Diploma: Healthcare Assistant, and more..

Campus Locations :

Vista: 2022 University Drive Vista, CA 92083

Earn Your Diploma from Home!

Programs : Drug & Alcohol Treatment Specialist, and more..

Campus Locations :

: , PA 94404

Welcome to Carrington College - The Starting Point for Health Care Careers.

Programs : Physical Therapist Assistant, Physical Therapy Technology, Respiratory Care, and more..

Campus Locations :

Albuquerque: 1001 Menaul Blvd NE Albuquerque, NM 87107

Boise: 1200 North Liberty Boise, ID 83704

Tucson: 3550 N Oracle Road Tucson, AZ 85705

Phoenix: 2701 W Bethany Home Phoenix, AZ 85017

Set your career in motion at Virginia College.

Programs : AAS - Occupational Therapy Assistant, and more..

Campus Locations :

Richmond: 7200 Midlothian Tpke. Richmond, VA 23225

Matching School Ads
Related Rehabilitational Therapy Vocational Programs
Rehabilitational Therapy Vocational & Trade Schools by State

Related Articles