Licensing and Education:
Physical therapists are state board licensed health care professionals in the state in which they practice. Physical therapists graduate from an accredited college or university, most with Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. It is a 3-year program that follows undergraduate prerequisites.
Many physical therapists practice in hospitals, but more than 80% practice in other settings such as:
- Rehab/Sub-acute Rehab
- Rehabilitation Hospital
- Sub-Acute Rehabilitation
- Extended Care Facility/Nursing Home/Skilled Nursing Facility
- Outpatient Clinic (Private Practice)
- Home Health
- Industrial, Workplace, or Other Occupational Environments
- Local, State, and Federal Government
- Research Center
Area of expertise:
Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of disability, injury, and disease are physical therapists’ specialties. They are experts with the musculoskeletal system and how the human body moves. They are skilled at a variety of techniques including exercise, manual techniques, and modalities to assist in the healing process. Physical therapists undergo significant coursework on anatomy and physiology of the human body, including cadaver dissection.
How would a physical therapist utilize a personal trainer?
A physical therapist will often refer a patient to a personal trainer after that patient has successfully completed physical therapy following an injury or post-operative care. The personal trainer can guide the client through high-level, sport-specific training to create optimal performance in their chosen activities.
Licensing and Education:
Personal trainers are not licensed. However, personal trainers are required to hold a certification. Ideally their certification should be NCCA-accredited, which most wellness clubs and gyms now require. They may hold a 4 year degree in kinesiology, exercise physiology, or exercise-related fields; however, a degree is not required.
Personal trainers may consult with their clients one on one or in small group training sessions in settings such as:
- Health Clubs
- Fitness or Recreation centers
- Training Studios
- Country Clubs
- Yoga and Pilates Studios
- Clients’ Homes
Areas of expertise:
A personal trainer is a fitness professional involved in individualizing exercise prescription and instruction for their clients. They motivate clients with goal setting, feedback, and hold clients accountable to their goals with measurements. Their training is often related to strength building, performance enhancement, or weight loss. Education on wellness, functional movement, exercise, and general health is part of a personal trainer’s responsibility to their clients.
How would a personal trainer utilize a physical therapist?
When a personal trainer sees an injury or pain that prevents full participation in an exercise program, then the personal trainer would refer that client to a physical therapist for diagnosis, rehabilitation and treatment of the injury. A personal trainer will also recommend a physical therapist for a client planning for post-operative rehabilitation