Physical Therapists


Salary Median (2017)


Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)

+28% (much faster than the average)

Most Common Level of Education

Master's Degree


What Physical Therapists Do

Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.

Other Job Titles Physical Therapists May Have

Chief Physical Therapist, Home Care Physical Therapist, Outpatient Physical Therapist, Pediatric Physical Therapist, Per Diem Physical Therapist, Physical Therapist (PT), Physical Therapist, Director of Rehabilitation, Registered Physical Therapist (RPT), Rehabilitation Services Director, Staff Physical Therapist (Staff PT)

How Leaders Describe a Typical Day at Work

Physical Therapist ,

I make my schedule in the morning and drive to patients' homes. They are usually happy to see me because I can teach them ways to help them to recover from their impairments/injuries faster.

Early Intervention Physical Therapist ,

Prince Georges County Public Schools

On a great day, I would visit four different families. I would use a coaching model to help the caregiver help their child. It might be through information on play activities and exercises to help the child learn to roll over, sit up or walk. Or info on what types of toys to get to help build their child's cognitive or motor skills. I would provide hands on physical therapy for the child. There is great satisfaction in seeing a child sit up by themselves, crawl or take their first steps.

Tasks & Responsibilities May Include

  • Plan, prepare, or carry out individually designed programs of physical treatment to maintain, improve, or restore physical functioning, alleviate pain, or prevent physical dysfunction in patients.
  • Perform and document an initial exam, evaluating data to identify problems and determine a diagnosis prior to intervention.
  • Evaluate effects of treatment at various stages and adjust treatments to achieve maximum benefit.
  • Administer manual exercises, massage, or traction to help relieve pain, increase patient strength, or decrease or prevent deformity or crippling.
  • Instruct patient and family in treatment procedures to be continued at home.

This page includes information from theO*NET 25.0 Databaseby the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under theCC BY 4.0license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.