Physical Therapist

Brandon Streich

Occupation and descriptio

Physical therapist help injured people and ill people improve their movement and manage their pain.

Certifications Necessary to Practice

  • All states require physical therapists to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state but all include passing the National Physical Therapy Examination. Several states also require a law exam and a criminal background check. Continuing education is typically required for physical therapists to keep their license.


  • After gaining work experience, some physical therapists choose to become a board-certified specialist. Board specialist certification requires passing an exam and at least 2,000 hours of clinical work or completion of an APTA-accredited residency program in the specialty area.

Daily Activities: Nature of the Work

  • Review patient's' medical history and any referrals or notes from doctors or surgeons

  • Diagnose patients' dysfunctional movements by observing them stand or walk and by listening to their concerns, among other methods

  • Set up a plan of care for patients, outlining the patient's goals and the expected outcome of the plan

  • Use exercises, stretching maneuvers, hands-on therapy, and equipment to ease patients' pain, help them increase their mobility, prevent further pain or injury, and facilitate health and wellness.

  • Evaluate a patient's progress, modifying a plan of care and trying new treatments as needed

  • Educate patients and their families about what to expect from and how best to cope with the recovery process

Education Requirements

  • Most programs require a bachelor's degree for admission such as anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics. Most DPT programs require applicants to apply through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS).

  • Physical therapists may apply to and complete a clinical residency program after graduation. Residencies typically last about 1 year and provide additional training and experience in specialty areas of care. Therapists who have completed a residency program may choose to specialize further by completing a fellowship in an advanced clinical area.

Payday- What is average income?

  • It all really depends on where the minimum is 55,620 and the maximum is 112,020.

What skills are necessary to be successful in this profession?

  • Compassion

  • Detail oriented

  • Dexterity

  • Interpersonal skills

  • physical stamina

  • Resourcefulness

Practice Settings: Where would you work?

  • Employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 34 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for physical therapy services will come from the aging baby boomers, who are staying active later in life also they will be needed to treat people with mobility issues stemming from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or obesity.

Physical Therapist - A Day in the Life

Citations

  • "Occupational Outlook Handbook." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.


"Physical Therapists." : Career, Salary and Education Information, CollegeGrad.com. Web. 14 Jan. 2016. <https://collegegrad.com/careers/physical-therapists>.