Physical Therapist

By: Katie Pohl

Description of Occupation

Physical Therapists help injured or ill people improve their movement and manage their pain. They are a very important part of rehabilitations, treatment, and prevention of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries.

Certifications Necessary to Practice

  • National Physical Therapy Examination
  • To be a board certified specialists: American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties

Daily Activites

  • Diagnose patients' functions and movements by observation and considering concerns.
  • Use exercises, stretching maneuvers, hands-on therapy, and equipment to ease patients' pain
  • Evaluate and record patient progress

Education Requirements

Physical therapists need a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Most programs require a bachelor's degree as well as classes like anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics.


  • Average Income: $82,390
  • Low: $56, 800
  • High: $116,090

Skills Necessary

  • Compassion or desire to help people.
  • Willingness to use hands to provide manual therapy and therapeutic exercises.
  • Physical stamina, because of their time spent on their feet.

Practice Setting

  • Office of physical, occupational, and speech therapists
  • Hospitals
  • Home healthcare services

Job Outlook

Employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 34% from 2014-2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Physical Therapist - A Day in the Life