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A Career as a Physical Therapist

What's so Great about Physical Therapists?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014), physical therapy is currently one of the fastest growing fields, showing a projected increase in growth of 36% between 2012 and 2022.


With a median yearly pay of $79,860 per year, this career is well worth the expense of education and training. But it's not all about money. Physical therapy is a career where you can make a difference in the lives of many people from improving their mobility to managing their pain. (1)

About Physical Therapy Careers

A Day in the Life...

A physical therapist can work with people of all ages and abilities. Some therapists specialize and others work with a variety of people. During a typical day, a physical therapist might:


  • Read each patient's doctor referrals and medical chart.
  • Diagnose issues through observation, discussion, or other methods.
  • Create a care plan for each patient.
  • Work with the patient with hands-on activities or equipment.
  • Track each patient's progress and adjust the plan as needed.
  • Provide education to patients for the best recovery or outcome. (3)
Career Profile of a Physical Therapist

What Will It Be Like?

Physical therapy is a physically demanding job, and you can expect to find yourself on your feet for much of the time. You might have to help or lift patients who cannot move themselves, and you'll have to work with a variety of equipment. Physical therapy takes place in many venues from hospitals to health centers. The table below shows averages of physical therapy work environments for 2012. (1)
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How Do I Get There?