Military PTA

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bluelineman in McKinney, Texas

67 months ago

I was an Air Force PTA for 8 years. You often times do not go in with a guaranteed job. If a recruiter promises you something, make sure it's in writing. They are also contracting out a lot of therapy due to budget cuts. Case in point, my old boss retired after 20+ years in the Air Force. He got the same job as a contractor immediately after retiring. Basically he retired on a Friday & went back to work in civilian clothes on Monday. The Air Force & Army probably have the best PTA programs. The Navy generally trains you as a corpsman (medic) then you specialize from there. I believe the Army does the same. That would be two times the dice would have to roll on your number. Also, the retirement in the military isn't the greatest, unless you are an officer. Currently, you retire with 40% of your base pay (no housing allowance, etc) after 20 years. The higher rank, the more money. If you retired as an E7 (typical after 20 years) the saying used to be that it would pay the mortgage payment. You would need another job for sure. A quick look at the pay chart - would be about $1675/mo after 20 years, at E7 pay grade. If you are looking for retirement, etc I'd do Reserves. You keep your current civilian job, stay put where you are, get military training & if you do minimum 20 years you get a retirement check & medical benefits at 60.

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aroundtheworld in Elk Grove, California

67 months ago

Ok thanks a lot. That's very helpful

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potential dpt in Athens, Georgia

56 months ago

Hi bluelineman,

Are you still out there? I am considering doing a DPT with the AF. I read your comment on the reserves, but also heard that reserves are the first ones to go to war? Please let me know.

Thanks!

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bluelineman in McKinney, Texas

56 months ago

If you plan on doing DPT, do it BEFORE you join the military. There might be a program that pays for your DPT program as long as you sign up for so long after graduating. Talk to a recruiter. If this is your plan, DO NOT join up hoping you will get selected for it. The needs of the military come before any of your needs once you are in. Back when I was in, there was no physical therapy in the Reserves. Their website says it is available to officers. My buddy that is still in (he does aeromedical evacuation) says he's never seen a Reserve PT. But yes, Reserves can get called up at any time a Federal need arises. Generally it's for something big like Iraq/Afghanistan, etc.

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RGPhawaii in Satellite Provider

51 months ago

Hey bluelineman, hopefully you still check these forums. I'm traveling back to the states and really considering enlisting with the USAF, in Physical Medicine. Then study to be a PTA in the air force college.

I read some of your posts... did you do this? After reading this, I'm wondering if they'll still have a job available for me in the USAF.

I don't mind waiting in DEP for as long as it takes though. I'm already 22 and I just want to get started as soon as possible.

Thanks for replying.

Also: Would the air force pay for my school? I remember you typing "Yeah I was in the air force, I took the long way to becoming a PTA"

Traveling the world is a plus for me too.

I'm currently in the process of removing a tattoo in my calf actually, just so I can enlist! Talk about giving your left leg up!

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bluelineman in McKinney, Texas

51 months ago

I WOULD NOT recommend that method to becoming a PTA. Just go to PTA school & be done with it. You can't go it with a guaranteed job in physical medicine. You go "open general", which means you could be turning a wrench on a jet for a few years before becoming eligible for cross training into another USAF career field. Even if you do get picked for physical medicine, you won't be able to do your other courses required for AAS degree as PTA for a few years. You have to finish the USAF schooling they require before being allowed to do any other schooling required to finish the degree. I worked in a hospital based outpatient clinic for a while. A few of the techs went to school while working part time in the clinic. I think the hospital even paid for their school if they worked there for a year or two after graduating from the program. That's the way I'd recommend.

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RGPhawaii in Philippines

51 months ago

bluelineman in McKinney, Texas said: I WOULD NOT recommend that method to becoming a PTA. Just go to PTA school & be done with it. You can't go it with a guaranteed job in physical medicine. You go "open general", which means you could be turning a wrench on a jet for a few years before becoming eligible for cross training into another USAF career field. Even if you do get picked for physical medicine, you won't be able to do your other courses required for AAS degree as PTA for a few years. You have to finish the USAF schooling they require before being allowed to do any other schooling required to finish the degree. I worked in a hospital based outpatient clinic for a while. A few of the techs went to school while working part time in the clinic. I think the hospital even paid for their school if they worked there for a year or two after graduating from the program. That's the way I'd recommend.

I just know first hand how hard it is to find a job, without experience. I figured I'd be able to get my recommendation, experience from Air Force. It's also very hard for me to pay for it by myself.

Wow, very disheartening, I figured "score high in ASVAB" then get the job I want. What's the point of choosing a career field then.

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Bluelineman in Little Elm, Texas

51 months ago

Yeah you roll the dice if you join up. With the draw down in forces going on its gonna get a lot more competitive to get in & also get the job you want. I think it's great to join up & a great experience, but if you are set on a certain career field it can be tricky. If you can get a (written) guaranteed job then go for it. If not you are basically playing the lottery, hoping to see your numbers. And don't trust what a recruiter says unless what they promise is in writing. Try to find a PT tech job that will pay for the school. Find a hospital that's in a rural area, call & ask the PT director. they tend to be harder places to staff so would be more willing to pay for your school. PTA school is usually pretty cheap. It's living while in school that's the hard part.

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RGPhawaii in Philippines

51 months ago

Well I'm gonna be livin in Las Vegas, NV, and nothing rural about that place. Researched and there's only 2 accredited PTA schools there. Thanks for your comments sir, I'll be sure to get everything in writing.

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anthonyM85 in Trenton, New Jersey

46 months ago

Curious, would joining the military as an LPTA allow for you to become an officer? Interested in the Navy here, would like more info thanks.

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bluelineman in McKinney, Texas

45 months ago

anthonyM85 in Trenton, New Jersey said: Curious, would joining the military as an LPTA allow for you to become an officer? Interested in the Navy here, would like more info thanks.

No. To be a commissioned officer in any of the branches of the military you have to have a bachelors degree. If you have some college you can usually get a few stripes (enlisted). If you want to be an officer you need to be a PT.

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Michelle in Hammond, Louisiana

37 months ago

bluelineman in McKinney, Texas said: I WOULD NOT recommend that method to becoming a PTA. Just go to PTA school & be done with it. You can't go it with a guaranteed job in physical medicine. You go "open general ", which means you could be turning a wrench on a jet for a few years before becoming eligible for cross training into another USAF career field. Even if you do get picked for physical medicine, you won't be able to do your other courses required for AAS degree as PTA for a few years. You have to finish the USAF schooling they require before being allowed to do any other schooling required to finish the degree. I worked in a hospital based outpatient clinic for a while. A few of the techs went to school while working part time in the clinic. I think the hospital even paid for their school if they worked there for a year or two after graduating from the program. That's the way I'd recommend.

WOW!! Thank you I was thinking about doing the same-thing!!

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Michelle in Hammond, Louisiana

37 months ago

Thank you guys for the advice!

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delaf72 in Rancho Cucamonga, California

35 months ago

bluelineman in McKinney, Texas said: No. To be a commissioned officer in any of the branches of the military you have to have a bachelors degree. If you have some college you can usually get a few stripes (enlisted). If you want to be an officer you need to be a PT.

I have my bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and am currently in a PTA program, once I'm done with the PTA program would the BS and AAS guarantee me a job related to the PTA in the Air Force/Army/Navy ? And also would I be able to be commissioned?

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Jqarcala in Sacramento, California

32 months ago

I'm in the same situation as DELAF72--BS in Kinesiology and an AS in PTA. Does the reserves take PTA? I've seen civilian jobs for PTA through contractors on job sites, so I'm wondering what it's like right now.

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njm08 in Kathleen, Georgia

8 months ago

bluelineman,
I'm considering enduring a local PTA program then enlisting in the army or AF. How exactly does that work? Since I'll already be a certified PTA will I be able to enlist and begin working as a PTA (assuming there's an opening), or will I probably be doing a miscellaneous career for a few years then have cross over?

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mskolaczynski in Miami, Florida

2 months ago

This whole feed has been informative - I am considering USAF officer candidacy but am looking at OTA or PTA or mainly MOT - and trying to figure out what route or path to take to become an OFFICER and Therapist is best.
This helped with the information you provided. I plan to talk to a recruiter officer and gather more information on this career track I am passionately looking into. All the advice and path you provided has been informative and helpful. Thank you for this
Kat

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mskolaczynski in Miami, Florida

2 months ago

mskolaczynski in Miami, Florida said: This whole feed has been informative - I am considering USAF officer candidacy but am looking at OTA or PTA or mainly MOT - and trying to figure out what route or path to take to become an OFFICER and Therapist is best.
This helped with the information you provided. I plan to talk to a recruiter officer and gather more information on this career track I am passionately looking into. All the advice and path you provided has been informative and helpful. Thank you for this
Kat

Also to be clear of myself - I have my BA in studio ART and minor in Psychology with a certification in Personal Training and specialty in sports conditioning.

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