Finding Mobility Device Jobs for Physical Therapists

Finding Mobility Device Jobs for Physical Therapists

As a physical therapist, one of the most rewarding career paths you can pursue is helping aging individuals regain their independence and mobility through the provision of assistive technology like power wheelchairs and mobility scooters. With the senior population rapidly growing, the demand for physical therapists skilled in seating and mobility evaluations continues to rise across all healthcare settings.

Becoming a mobility device specialist allows you to make a profound difference in the lives of older adults struggling with conditions that impair mobility and independence. However, finding the right job opportunity in this specialized niche can take some strategy. In this chapter, we’ll cover key tips for locating and landing your ideal mobility device position as a physical therapist.

Obtain Specialized Credentials While not always strictly required, obtaining specialized certification in assistive technology demonstrates your commitment to the mobility device field and can make you a much more competitive job candidate. The Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certification from the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North American (RESNA) is the gold standard credential.

The ATP certifies your expertise in analyzing patient needs and training clients in the use of mobility devices, wheelchair seating/positioning, and other assistive technology. Many employers, especially those that are Medicare providers, prefer or require the ATP certification when hiring mobility specialists.

Network Within the Mobility Community Networking can open doors to job opportunities before they are ever advertised. The mobility device field is relatively niche, so getting to know others in the tight-knit mobility community is invaluable. Attend local assistive technology conferences, join online mobility device professional groups, and connect with ATP-certified specialists in your area.

Not only can you learn about job openings through your networks, but those connections can provide references and recommendations that grab employers’ attention. Having experience colleagues vouch for your skills is extremely powerful.

Research Providers and Manufacturers Many different types of employers need physical therapists with mobility device expertise, so cast your net wide in your job search. Obvious employers include wheelchair/mobility scooter manufacturers and providers, wheelchair seating clinics, rehab technology suppliers, and home health agencies.

However, don’t overlook other care providers with large numbers of elderly patients such as hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, senior living communities, and outpatient clinics. Any organization serving the aging population can potentially utilize a physical therapist trained in mobility evaluations and device provisioning.

Find out which companies and providers are the major mobility device suppliers in your area and monitor their job boards closely. You can also be proactive in reaching out with your credentials.

Consider Travel Opportunities If you’re open to traveling for work, expanding your job search nationwide can uncover even more opportunities in mobility device provision, especially with larger manufacturers and providers that serve multiple markets. Companies like Pride Mobility, Invacare, Permobil, Quantum Rehab, and others offer mobile positions for physical therapists to conduct wheelchair evaluations and fittings across different locations.

Travel positions allow you to go where the demand is highest while exploring different areas. For therapists adventurous and not tied to a specific location, these travel jobs provide great flexibility and mobility device specialization.

Look for Open ATP Positions To find mobility device jobs most efficiently, search job boards specifically for positions requiring or preferring the ATP (Assistive Technology Professional) certification. Employers will often call out the need for this credential in the job title or description.

Examples of ATP job titles include: Wheelchair Clinic Physical Therapist, Mobility Equipment Clinical Specialist, Seating and Mobility PT, Rehab Technology Physical Therapist, and ATP Physical Therapist.

Focus your search on keywords like “assistive technology,” “seating and mobility,” “wheelchair evaluation,” and similar terms. Larger job boards like allow you to search for these keywords along with your geographic preferences.

Consider All Healthcare Settings Mobility device specialists can find roles across the entire spectrum of health care settings – don’t just limit yourself to looking at providers of mobility equipment. Any facility with a significant elderly patient population has potential need for your skills, such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, senior living communities, outpatient clinics, and more.

Acute care hospitals often have specialized seating clinics or wheelchair professionals to help patients obtain mobility equipment prior to discharge. Subacute facilities need therapists to properly assess and fit patients with wheelchairs and scooters. Senior living communities utilize PTs trained in seating and mobility for their populations with varying mobility needs.

Expand your job search parameters and think creatively about types of employers where your specialized abilities could make an impact.

In summary, by obtaining your ATP credential, networking within the mobility community, researching major equipment manufacturers and providers, considering travel jobs, searching with the appropriate keywords, and exploring opportunities across diverse care settings, you can uncover a wealth of job prospects as a mobility device physical therapist.

These positions enable you to pursue your passion for improving quality of life and maintaining independence for the aging population through wheelchair seating, positioning and provisioning of mobility assistive equipment like power wheelchairs and scooters. With persistence and strategy, you can land a rewarding career helping seniors regain their freedom through mobility.