Physical therapists, or PTs, use a variety of techniques to help patients of all ages improve movement and manage pain. They review patients’ medical histories and notes from other healthcare professionals, diagnose patients’ ability to move and function, develop physical therapy plans, use exercises, stretching, and hands-on therapy to help patients increase mobility and ease pain. Physical therapists work as part of a healthcare team, consulting with doctors and surgeons.
Physical Therapy Education & Requirements
Physical therapists must earn their doctor of physical therapy degree (DPT). Most DPT programs take three years and require a bachelor’s degree. Physical therapists must be licensed, meeting their specific state’s needs. Compassion, attention to detail, dexterity, interpersonal skills, physical stamina, and resourcefulness are qualities required to do a physical therapist’s job.
Physical Therapy Jobs Outlook
Job prospects for physical therapists are projected to be excellent. The demand to fill physical therapist jobs is expected to grow 34 percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — that is much higher than the average for all occupations. This projected growth is based on the market’s demand, including the health needs of our large, aging population and the number of patients being diagnosed with chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity.
Physical Therapy Job Salary
Median annual salary for physical therapists is $85,400, according to the BLS, and the type of facility the physical therapist is working in can have an impact on the amount.