This is the second article of a three part series.
Part 1: Become a Physical Therapy Aide
By: Mathew Hilton, SPT, ACLS, PALS
University of Delaware Physical Therapy Class of 2017
If you are applying to physical therapy school in the 2016-2017 cycle or in the future, then you should definitely have physical therapy aide/tech experience to include on your application. In my last post, I explained some of the great reasons why you should become a physical therapy aide. Now I want to show you how to go about acquiring a PT aide/tech position.
Keep in mind that these positions are more difficult to obtain than most volunteer positions because they allow you to earn paid experience toward your PTCAS application. Here are some tips to optimize your search and find a coveted PT aide position:
1. Begin the Search
Cast your net far and wide. Use online resources such as Google and Yelp to identify all of the local outpatient physical therapy clinics in your area. Call and see if they have any openings for a PT aide or tech. Even better--show up to the clinic in person (dressed professionally). Bring your resume and cover letter. Maximize any opportunity to show your face and help your resume stand out from the large stack on the clinic manager’s desk.
Avoid using email or online forms to make this initial contact because the clinic may not check their inbox regularly. If you receive no reply from email or online, then you have no way of knowing if they’re not looking for more aides or if they simply didn’t read your request.
2. Online/Job Posting Sites
Look through online job posting sites such as Craigslist and Indeed. These sites are the exception to the suggestion above because you’re typically going to apply online based on their instructions and wait for an interview.
Understand that these online postings will be very competitive. When I was applying for PT aide positions through Craigslist, one clinic manager called me back and mentioned that somewhere around 60-80 resumes were sitting on her desk for her to sift through. That can sound daunting as an applicant, but you should still apply to these positions because it’s a relatively easy process to email your resume and a cover letter than to visit each clinic individually.
Additionally, you should join your local university’s Pre-Physical Therapy Facebook group! These groups are often key platforms for businesses to post new PT aide openings or for students to post their job after they leave the clinic.
3. Update Your Resume
And by this, I don’t just mean for you to update a few of the dates. Prioritize the information that will make the difference between you and other applicants. Some of the biggest factors that managers are looking for include: prior PT aide/tech experience, relevant certifications (ATC, CPT, CSCS) and knowledge of anatomy, exercises and stretches.
In addition, you’ll need to format your resume to allow for easy reading so that you build your best advantage in this job application process. Also, don't forget to include a personalized cover letter!
These are some of the big ways that you can begin your job search for a PT aide position. Try not to get discouraged during this process and keep applying to every available opportunity. Your next step will be to wait for a call to go through an interview process. Stay posted for my next article when I go through the key steps to succeeding in the PT aide interview!
- Jul 5, 2018 The 2018-2019 PTCAS Personal Statement Guide Jul 5, 2018
- Apr 24, 2018 How to Easily Find Inpatient Physical Therapy Experience Apr 24, 2018
- Feb 19, 2018 How to Improve Your GPA as a Pre-Physical Therapy Student Feb 19, 2018
- Jan 28, 2018 How Important are my GPA and GRE for Physical Therapy Admissions? Jan 28, 2018
- Jan 15, 2018 Do You Want to Become a Physical Therapist? Jan 15, 2018
- Nov 20, 2017 Pre-Physical Therapy: 3 Ways to Build a Strong Application Over Winter Break Nov 20, 2017
- May 26, 2017 DPT Program Financial Analysis For Pre-DPTs May 26, 2017
- Mar 27, 2017 4 Things to Remember to Stay Sane When Applying Mar 27, 2017
- Jan 30, 2017 5 New Ideas for Better Pre-Physical Therapy Meetings Jan 30, 2017
- Nov 17, 2016 4 Tips to Leverage Mentorship During Your First Clinical Affiliation Nov 17, 2016
- Nov 1, 2016 The Doctor of Physical Therapy Interview: Essential Questions for Faculty and Students Nov 1, 2016
- Oct 25, 2016 The Doctor of Physical Therapy Interview: Make the Most of the Campus Tour Oct 25, 2016
- Oct 19, 2016 The Doctor of Physical Therapy Interview: Preparing for the Questions Oct 19, 2016
- Oct 12, 2016 The Doctor of Physical Therapy Interview: Preparing for Different Interview Types Oct 12, 2016
- Oct 6, 2016 The Doctor of Physical Therapy Interview: What to Expect Oct 6, 2016
- Sep 20, 2016 Essential Experience: Succeed in the Physical Therapy Aide Interview Sep 20, 2016
- Sep 12, 2016 Back to School: What Should I Do as a Pre-PT Student? Sep 12, 2016
- Aug 31, 2016 Essential Experience: How to Find a Physical Therapy Aide Position Aug 31, 2016
- Aug 13, 2016 Essential Experience: Become a Physical Therapy Aide Aug 13, 2016
- Jun 20, 2016 Where Should I Apply for Physical Therapy School? Jun 20, 2016
- Jun 5, 2016 Fresh Perspectives: A Conversation on Social Media & The Job Market (UpDoc Media guest post) Jun 5, 2016
- May 15, 2016 Leverage Your Volunteer Experience When Applying to Physical Therapy School (NGPT Guest Post) May 15, 2016
- May 9, 2016 Don’t Submit Your 2016-2017 PTCAS Personal Statement Without Answering This May 9, 2016
- Apr 20, 2016 The 2017-2018 PTCAS Personal Statement Guide Apr 20, 2016