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How many hours do Physical Therapists usually work on a weekly basis? Is there any overtime?

I am in my senior year of high school and I am interested in applying for PT school. physical-therapist physical-therapy physical

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Donna’s Answer

PT's can work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, health, school systems, etc. The various settings require varying coverage of patient care. For example, a hospital PT will probably rotate through weekend coverage and many outpatient clinics are open on weekends. Depending on how your department is set up, you may work five 8 hour days, four 10 hour days or three 12 hour days per week.
That said, you need to be prepared to work for as long as needed to complete the patient care for the day and finish up paperwork, too. So it is not unusual that a PT works more than 40 hours a week on a regular basis, as do most health care workers.
If your position as a PT is categorized as “salaried”, you will likely not be paid for any overtime that your job requires—the idea being paid as a professional and you will work for as long as is needed. If you work at an hourly pay rate, you would have to learn about the possibility of overtime pay from your supervisor, depending on the standards of the organization where you work.
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Rebu’s Answer

I agree with Casey, and want to add that based on your work hours you may have the flexibility to do homecare PT for adults or pediatrics before or after your full time 8 hours/day. This can be done easily by joining a homecare agency for perdiem. You can also work as a perdiem PT on the weekends in a hospital to make extra income and expand your experience. The perdiem rate per hour is usually much higher than hourly rate for full time position.
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Casey’s Answer

The typical job as a staff physical therapist regardless of the setting will be a full-time job at 40 hours a week. There is always flexibility though. I’ve seen several PTs do 32 hours a week, but some companies do not offer the ability to do that. Let’s say you want overtime but your 40-hr a week job does not offer any. You will still be able to find an additional job for one or two days a week for supplemental income.

As a high school student, you will need to earn a 4-year degree to enter a PT program. Observation hours and recommendation letters are necessary to be accepted into a program. The more hours you have in a variety of settings, the better. I suggest looking for a job as a tech or volunteer at a hospital. Not only will you get hours and experience, but you will meet PTs who can write you a recommendation letter.
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