A career as a physical therapist

As a physical therapist, you'll have the opportunity to take care of patients intimately in a one-on-one setting, easing their pain and helping them regain the ability to walk or move.

Are you thinking about going back to college soon? If you're still choosing which field you'd like to study, you may want to consider something that will not only provide you with a healthy salary, but also make you eager to wake up every morning for another rewarding day at work. As a physical therapist, you'll have the opportunity to take care of patients intimately in a one-on-one setting, easing their pain and helping them regain the ability to walk or move.

Kristin Anderson, a physical therapist based in Geneva and Aurora, Illinois, recently discussed what her job is like, from the moment she wakes up to the moment she clocks out at work.

"When I was a student, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of teamwork involvement in the physical therapy department," Anderson told Minority Nurse. "I was also attracted to the field because of the numerous areas of specialization…There's always another challenge or opportunity, so the likelihood of getting bored in this profession is minimal."

Physical therapists work closely with physicians to diagnose physical ailments, whether caused by disease, accidents or age. During school, these healthcare workers are trained to use a variety of healing techniques, including massage, application of hot or cold ointments or the use of mobility equipment.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a physical therapist as of 2010 is $76,310 a year, and students are required to earn a master's or doctorate degree. Additionally, after graduating, future physical therapists have to take both a state and national licensure examination before working in a medical facility.