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Physical Therapy

Physical therapists work with patients, clients and physicians to help manage a variety of physical and health conditions. Traditionally, physical therapists have worked with the ailing and injured to assist with rehabilitation. Today, a growing segment of the physical therapy industry is being driven by an aging population of Americans seeking to improve health and prevent chronic disease in old age. Experts predict that healthcare reform will also keep demand for physical therapy high through 2021.

Most physical therapists provide a highly individualized approach to provide patient treatment that focuses on reducing pain, restoring movement and function, and preventing disability. Common modalities employed by physical therapists include massage therapy, therapeutic exercise, stretching, joint "manipulation" and traction. Other techniques they may employ include ultrsound (to produce heat), electrotherapy stimulation, hot packs, and ice. Physical therapists also design wellness-oriented programs to promote active lifestyles for their clients.

While a large number of physical therapists practice in hospitals, this represents only about 20 percent of the market. Over 80 percent of physical therapy professionals work in other settings, including, acute care, rehabilitation hospitals, extended care facilities, outpatient clinics, home health, hospice, occupational environments, government agencies, fitness centers, and private practice.

Physical Therapy careers:
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Psychologists specialize in analyzing human behavior and brain function. They study all features of human experience, including child development, cognitive function, and human relationships. Psychology offers a wide array of career opportunities.

Salary: $30,000 - $78,654

Education: 4 - 8 Years (beyond high school)

Job Outlook: Excellent

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