Physical Therapist

Makenna Baker

Physical Therapist Job Description

Physical Therapist's job is to help people improve their movement and manage pain after being injured or ill.


  • Each person must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
  • States require physical therapists to become certified, but it varies in each state
  • You can also become a board-certified specialist in one of the 8 specialty areas through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists
  • Many states require a law exam and criminal background check

Daily Activities

Physical therapists have to diagnose patients and create a plan of care that physical therapist assistants and other physical therapists will have to follow. They use hands-on therapy to increase mobility in patients and evaluate patient's progress.

Education Requirements

To become a physical therapist, it requires:

  • 3 year Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree
  • 1 year residency for additional training

The program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education

Average Income

The average annual wage is $79,860. However across the U.S., the income ranged from $55,620 to $112,020

Necessary Skills

Some important qualities for physical therapists include:

  • Compassion
  • Dexterity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Physical stamina

Practice Settings

Some places physical therapists work are:

  • Offices for physical, occupational and speech therapists (sometimes audiologists)
  • Hospitals
  • Home health care
  • Nursing and residential care facilities
  • Offices for physicians

Interesting Facts

  • The demand for physical therapists will increase 30% between 2008-2018
  • More than 21% of physical therapists have their own practice
  • Forbes ranked physical Therapists have having one of the "Ten Happiest Jobs"
Physical Therapist - A Day in the Life


"The Role of Physical Therapists." APTA. American Physical Therapist
Association, 3 Apr. 2014. Web. 14 Jan. 2015.

"Physical Therapists." Bureau of Labor Statistics. United States Department of
Labor, 8 Jan. 2014. Web. 15 Jan. 2015. <>.