Physical Therapy Aide Program in New Mexico – NM
Although employers typically require employees to have a high school diploma prior to employment, the government does not regulate the occupation of physical therapy aide with educational restrictions. Therefore, the most common physical therapy aide training in New Mexico is given on-the-job by physical therapy assistants or physical therapists. According to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, 34% of physical therapy aides in the state received one to three months of training; 31% received anywhere from a short demonstration to one month of training; 16% received either a short demonstration or no training, and 15% received between three to six months of training.
On the other hand, some employers provide on-site training instead of on-the-job training for new employees. Here, 40% of physical therapy aides were required to attend up to one month of on-site training, 39% were not required to be on-site trained, 15% were obligated to spend between one and three months in on-site training. Physical therapy aides that are interested in additional training opportunities may find continuing education activities, scholarships, mentoring programs, and volunteer positions available through professional organizations such as the New Mexico Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association.
Physical Therapy Aide Schools in New Mexico
Students can start preparing for a career as a physical therapy aide in New Mexico by taking science and health courses in high school. From there, the level of education required for employment in the state is usually determined by individual employers. For instance, according to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, 64% of all physical therapy aide employers required employees to hold a high school diploma, GED, or high school equivalence certificate; 17% mandated the completion some college coursework; and 10% insisted upon an associate’s degree to practice. Those that want to pursue a post-secondary education by enrolling in a physical therapy aide school in New Mexico can find some great programs available through online schools, as campus-based programs are relatively scarce. In fact many students prefer online learning because it provides the convenience and flexible scheduling that better accommodates busy students.
As reported by the United Bureau of Labor Statistics, most physical therapy programs will start by instructing in basic subjects like English, psychology, algebra, anatomy and physiology. From there, students can expect curriculum to focus more closely on occupational topics. For example, some lessons found in online programs cover aspects of the physical therapy occupation like: the profession of physical therapy and career opportunities for the aide; ethical and legal issues in medicine and communicating effectively; neurologic, cardiopulmonary, pediatric, geriatric, and integumentary physical therapy; and wheelchair, assistive devices, and gait. By graduating from a physical therapy aide school, most students are awarded a career diploma. Students that eventually intend on becoming certified in physical therapy should complete a formal education program in the field that has been accredited by an agency such as the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Physical Therapy Aide Salary in New Mexico
Physical therapy aides practicing in New Mexico can expect an optimistic occupational outlook. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates an employment growth of 34% from 2008 to 2008 across New Mexico. This positive projection is expected to increase the number of employed physical therapy aides to rise from 280 in 2008 to approximately 370 by 2018. Presently, the top three industries of employment for physical therapy aides in the state include ambulatory health care services (55.4%), hospitals (24.5%), and nursing and residential care facilities (10.1%). Since there is typically greater job concentration in more metropolitan areas, physical therapy aides in cities such as Roswell, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, and Albuquerque may find employment opportunities at Memorial Medical Center, St. Joseph Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, and St. Vincent Hospital.
According to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, the median physical therapy aide salary in New Mexico is $26,591/yr. and the median wage is $12.79/hr. However, this salary figure can fluctuate depending on the amount of experience an employee possesses. For example, most entry-level physical therapy aides earn an average salary of $19,715/yr. or an average wage of $9.48/hr. Meanwhile, those with several years of work experience typically earn a higher average salary of $30,033/yr. or an average wage of $14.44/hr. Yet, a physical therapy aide salary in New Mexico can also vary between geographic locations. In 2009, professionals working in the Central region earned an average salary of $29,254/yr., those in the Northern region earned $25,588/yr., physical therapy aides practicing in the Southwestern region earned $21,120/yr., while employees in the Eastern region earned $20,497/yr.