How to Become a Physical Therapy Clinic Manager

Physical therapy is a form of treatment for individuals who have experienced injury or need help to rehabilitate their bodies. Using specific exercises and techniques, a physical therapist can provide a wide range of healing assistance, including helping a patient who has had a knee replacement surgery walk again, or helping restore someone who has experienced a severe injury. The individuals who oversee therapists and the operation of clinics are physical therapy clinic managers.

A woman uses physical therapy equipment to do a Pilates exercise.

Becoming a physical therapy clinic manager involves gaining an advanced education in physical therapy, obtaining experience as a physical therapist, and developing strong organizational and leadership skills. Read on for an overview of what physical therapy clinic managers do, how to become a physical therapy clinic manager, and average physical therapy clinic manager salaries.

What Does a Physical Therapy Clinic Manager Do?

Physical therapy managers may work in a variety of settings.Their clinics might be located in hospitals, private practices, fitness facilities, retirement homes, or wellness clinics. Managers may also oversee therapists who work in clients’ homes. Wherever they work, physical therapy clinic managers handle day-to-day operations and oversee staff. According to the employment and compensation website PayScale, some of the duties of a physical therapy clinic manager include: seeing and evaluating patients; providing rehabilitative care; training and directing staff and operations; providing technical direction regarding patient cases; hiring and training new assistants and staff; and, sometimes leading informative or educational programs.

When evaluating what physical therapy clinic managers do, it must be noted that they also usually oversee a clinic’s finances and implement new monetary and fiscal policies. Additionally, they might interact with a wide range of people including clients, physical therapists, and other colleagues.This requires that physical therapy clinic managers possess strong interpersonal and communication skills.

Steps to Become a Physical Therapy Clinic Manager

Becoming a physical therapy clinic manager typically involves steps such as earning an undergraduate degree in a relevant field and gaining work experience. Those who aspire to directly provide clients with physical therapy services must also attain various types of additional certifications and licenses. Here is an overview of the key steps in this career path.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

A typical initial step toward becoming a physical therapy clinic manager is completing a bachelor’s degree program in a related field. For example, an online bachelor’s in healthcare management can be a good option for students who are most interested in the administrative and leadership aspects of the role. The specific educational requirements and responsibilities of a physical therapy clinic manager may vary by position, but generally, clinics prefer candidates who have a strong background in health and physical therapy and have taken courses in fields such as anatomy, biology, and physiology.

Obtain an Advanced Degree and Licenses

Many clinics will require their managers to have physical therapy experience, either as physical therapists or physical therapy assistants. To become a physical therapist, professionals must have a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). To become a physical therapy assistant, professionals must complete an accredited two-year associate degree program, according to the American Physical Therapy Association.

Licensure and certifications are required for both of these positions, but the specific requirements for physical therapists and physical therapy assistants vary by state. Often, to obtain licenses, physical therapists or physical therapy assistants must register and pass exams. The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy has detailed information about the licensing requirements for each state.

 It is possible, however, that some clinics may have their physical therapy clinic managers serve in only an administrative capacity, where they manage the day-to-day operations of  In a solely administrative role, clinic managers are also unlikely to instruct or oversee the treatment processes of other therapists. If treatment is not part of what a physical therapy clinic manager does, these professionals may only need a bachelor’s degree for the position.

Physical Therapy Clinic Manager Salaries

The median salary for physical therapy clinic managers is $82,058 per year, according to PayScale. The latest compensation data reveals that professionals in the bottom 10 percent of the pay range earned approximately $63,000, while those in the top 10 percent earned about $99,000 per year. Wages for physical therapy clinic managers were primarily impacted by their number of years in the field, with more experienced professionals earning more.

Job Outlook for Physical Therapy Clinic Managers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts there will be significant growth in the number of physical therapists from 2016 to 2026, with a 28 percent increase in the number of positions and 67,100 new job openings. Additionally, the BLS reports that in the coming years, job opportunities will be robust for therapists in all geographic settings, particularly in .

Explore Your Career Options

If you have strong leadership skills, a passion for health, and a drive to help others, you may find a career as a physical therapy clinic manager to be highly rewarding. Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management is an excellent choice for students who wish to acquire a strong background in health, communication, and clinical and business leadership — all skills that are highly valued in this important and fulfilling field.

 

Sources:

American Physical Therapy Association, “Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Education Overview”

Bureau of Labor Statistics, “How to Become a Physical Therapist”

Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Physical Therapists, Job Outlook”

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, “Quick Facts”

Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, “Licensees”

Maryville University, “Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management Careers”

PayScale, “Average Physical Therapy Manager Salary”