Time spent working in the health and fitness industry usually means times spent with clients seeking advice or treatment on the management of sporting-type injuries. But, how best for fitness professionals to garner these type of skills and knowledge, on a properly accredited course, without making major concessions in terms of earnings or lifestyle.
An ideal development for many people in this bind, and especially for women seeking to blend family and work commitments, is the degree course in physical therapy run by the Institute of Physical Therapy in Stillorgan and Limerick.
Physical Therapy is a complementary, holistic, hands-on approach that treats a range of musculo skeletal injuries, including back pain, pregnancy-related complaints, and sports injuries. It has a high, and proven, success rate, and is covered by health insurers VHI, Quinn Direct, VIVAS and others.
Students can maintain a full-time occupation through the three years of the IPTAS weekend course, and on qualification can expect fees of €60 or upward per 45-minute treatment session. Thus, a successful practice operating 30 hours per week, would turn over €115,000 gross for a 48 week year.
The extended pathway – learn while you earn option – is particularly attractive to those who want a combination of job satisfaction and the flexibility to accommodate parenting or other life needs, while at the same time maintaining a lucrative earnings flow.
According to Director John O’Sullivan, physical therapy has become a well-established career option where demand continues to outstrip supply in a job that offers very high levels of satisfaction, reward and independence.
Many successful practitioners have started their careers in the health and fitness areas and then found themselves responding to queries from their clients about specific injuries. A natural curiosity and interest in providing the best possible service, motivates them to learn more about injuries and gain an additional recognised qualification.
For many employed in the area of Health and Fitness, Coaches or Personal Trainers, Physical Therapy becomes a way of giving additional services or added value to their clients whether it is in diagnosing or treating injuries or putting together specially designed rehabilitation or pre-habilitation programmes.
According to O’Sullivan “an interest in sport, as a competitor or coach is often how people first hear of physical therapy.
The Institute is currently accepting applications for this September online through its website at www.iptas.com or you can talk to someone from the Institute at 1800 254 642.