Pediatric Physical Therapist

Help children bounce back from illnesses, injuries, or surgeries.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$54,000 – $108,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Pediatric Physical Therapists do?

As you might guess from the title, Pediatric Physical Therapists are Physical Therapists who work with kids. In this role, you help children who are suffering from a range of issues, like poor balance or weak motor skills, as well as those in need of basic rehabilitation after an injury or surgery.

When you’re a Pediatric Physical Therapist, the amount of time you spend with each patient varies depending on the individual. When your patients are kids building up their muscles after a broken bone or surgery, you might only work with them for a few months. When they have more severe issues, like developmental delays, you might work with them for years.

While you work with your patient, you create goals for them to reach. These goals are based on your initial assessment, and can include things like learning to walk with braces, improving coordination, and enhancing basic motor skills. As they accomplish each goal, you change their focus to another area of weakness.

One of the best parts about being a Pediatric Physical Therapist is the amount of creativity you’re allowed when it comes to deciding how to help your patients. You might suggest water therapy for a child who needs help improving their muscular strength and coordination abilities, or horseback riding for a child with head control and spatial awareness issues. Other treatment options include therapeutic dance, ball work, electrical stimulation, and massage.

You’re also the one who fits children for specialized seating, braces, walkers, or wheelchairs. In the case of specialized seating, you work with the child and the parents to ensure that they understand how to use and care for their new equipment.

Should I be a Pediatric Physical Therapist?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • How to Become a
    Pediatric Physical Therapist

    Most Pediatric Physical Therapists have a Doctorate or a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaar9m&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2830%25%29|master%27s+%2843%25%29|doctorate+%2827%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,43
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