Physical Therapists focus on restoring, maintaining, and improving a person’s movement and function; this includes treatment to limit disabilities resulting from injury or disease. Physical therapists perform a variety of services:
- evaluate injuries and develop a plan of care
- educate clients about health, wellness, and safety
- provide manual therapies (e.g., massage and joint mobilization)
- use physical agents, such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation
- manage pain and direct therapeutic exercise
- train patients in daily living activities
Physical Therapist Assistants provide treatment according to a plan developed by and under the supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist.
Salary and Projected Growth
Physical Therapist salary range: $75,584 - $123,555
Physical Therapist Assistant salary range: $50,443 - $72,913
Projected growth: much faster than average
Where Could I Work?
Hospitals and outpatient clinics
Home health agencies
Private or group practice
Your Interests and Abilities
Preparation in the sciences, including biology and physics
Planning and performing health care treatments
Concern for others
Problem solving and critical thinking
Communication and interpersonal skills
Physical Therapist- Complete a master’s or higher degree in physical therapy. Note: all active Department-registered PT licensure programs award the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
Physical Therapy Assistant- Complete a two-year college program in a Department-registered physical therapist assistant licensure program or equivalent.
Physical Therapist- National Physical Therapy Examination, or equivalent.
Physical Therapy Assistant- National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination
What Interests You?
Match your interests and personality to career options! Explore a free career tool at mynextmove.org/explore/ip
Tip: try searching for mentoring programs—talk to a physical therapist about what they do and how they got started! In addition, contact a local clinic to see if it has opportunities for students to observe practice.