If you've decided to seek work as a rehabilitation therapist, your first step will be to earn a master's degree in either physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy. You'll also need to pass your field's licensure examination. If you're just starting to think about working as a rehab therapist, as you get ready for college, you should consider majoring in subjects as biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, anatomy.
But you already knew all the above.
So here are some keys to help you find a rehab therapist job. Many of them apply to finding a job in any field, with a few tweaks for the rehab therapist.
1) You had to earn a master's degree in order to even start looking for a rehab therapist position, so head straight to your college's or university's career center. Or, better yet, speak with your PT, OT or speech therapy program leaders. Many health professions programs have listings of available positions. Some go so far as to really help place their graduates in rehab positions. At the least, speak to your favorite instructors for leads.
2) Network. Speak to your instructors/professors. When on your clinicals, speak to your preceptors to see about job opportunities when you graduate and pass the licensure examination. Even if your clinical site has no openings, your preceptors know people. Ask for names and contact information. And then....contact the individuals!
3) Check out healthcare career job search services such as Centra Healthcare Solutions. Many, just like Centra, focus only on rehab therapy positions. Search their sites for positions that interest you.
4) Be open to temporary or part-time positions, especially if you're set on working in a part of the country that has more rehab therapists than current openings.
5) Don't be a wallflower. Take the direct route. If there's a place you want to work, send in your CV -- even if there's no openings now. Be bold and take action: once you've sent in your CV and cover letter, call the head of the department where you want to work. Introduce yourself and say that you know she has no openings now, but that you'd like to keep in touch periodically in case her needs change. Most people are very amenable to being contacted in this professional manner. And then do what you said you would do -- stay in touch!
As mentioned in No. 3, above, contact Centra Healthcare Solutions. We have many rehab therapy positions just waiting for a skilled professional to fill them. Whether you're looking for the excitement of a travel therapy job, the flexibility of temporary positions or if you desire a regular, full-time position, contact us today.