Physical Therapy

Kirstin Parks

Occupation Description

Physical therapists work to help the injured or ill people improve their movement and to manage their pain. They are often an important part in the treatment of patients with chronic injuries and conditions.


Summary. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-1




Certifications Necessary

The certification needed for physical therapy is passing the National Physical Therapy Examination which is administered through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service. This occupation requires a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.


How to Become a Physical Therapist. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-4

Daily Activities/ Nature of the Work

Physical therapists duties:



  • Review patients' medical history and referral notes from doctors or surgeons.
  • Diagnose patients' dysfunctional movements by observing them.
  • Set up a plan of care for patients, and outline goals and expected outcome of plan.
  • Use exercise and equipment to ease patients' pain to prevent further injury.
  • Evaluate patients progress and try new treatments as needed.


What Physical Therapists Do. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-2


Education Requirements

Most physical therapist programs require a bachelor's degree for admission as well as some prerequisites, such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and physics. Students also complete clinical internships where they gain experience in areas such as orthopedic care.


How to Become a Physical Therapist. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-4

Payday/ Average Income

The average income for a physical therapist is $79,860. However, the payday can range from $55,620 to $112,020.



Pay. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-5

Skills Necessary to be Successful in this Profession

Some of the skills necessary are:


  • Compassion: they work with people who are in pain and need to have empathy for their patients.
  • Detail oriented: should have strong observational skills to diagnose a patients' problem or injury.
  • Interpersonal skills: they should enjoy working and being around people and must be able to listen to patients and their concerns.
  • Physical stamina: they spend a lot of time on their feet and should enjoy physical activity.
  • Resourcefulness: they customize treatment plans for patients and must be flexible and patient.


How to Become a Physical Therapist. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-4

Practice Settings

Physical therapists typically work in private offices and clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. Physical therapists spend most of their time on their feet and working with patients. Most physical therapists also work full time.



Work Environment. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-3

Job Outlook

Employment for physical therapists is rapidly rising. It is expected to grow 36 percent from 2012 to 2022. Advances in medical technology have increase the use of outpatient surgery to treat a variety of injuries and illnesses. Job opportunities will likely be good for licensed physical therapists in all settings.


Job Outlook. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-6


A Day in the Life - Physical Therapist