Physical Therapist

Help patients recover from physical illnesses, injuries, or surgeries.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$54,000 – $108,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Physical Therapists do?

Physical Therapists help patients who have medical issues, injuries or illnesses that inhibit their ability to move freely. A Physical Therapist might work with someone who has temporary back problems due to a car accident, an elderly person with arthritis or a person who has been confined to a wheelchair their whole life. No matter who you’re dealing with it’s your job as a Physical Therapist to improve that person’s ability to move and function in their daily life.

Your job starts with a medical chart. For each new client you need to understand what exactly their injury is and what treatments they’ve done in the past. Once you understand what you’re dealing with you create a plan for improving health. You deal with things like improving the client’s mobility, flexibility or motor control; always working to decrease the client’s overall pain.

There are a number of ways to accomplish your objectives and you might use massage therapy, whirlpool baths, different weight exercises or aerobic workouts to make a client stronger and feel healthier. Throughout their therapy you keep a detailed reports tracking and monitoring their progress.

This job is a physical one. You show patients how to perform different exercises, serve as a spotter to them as they go through their prescribed fitness regime or even be the one to physically move their muscles to strengthen them when they can’t themselves. In addition to showing different exercises you make sure clients understand how to use and clean their equipment, things like crutches, wheelchairs or artificial limbs.

Should I be a 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.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.

  • Also known as: Home Care Physical Therapist, Orthopedic Physical Therapist, Outpatient Physical Therapist, Physiotherapist See More

    How to become a Physical Therapist

    Most 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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