Pulmonary Physical Therapist

Help patients with lung conditions to breathe better.
picture of Pulmonary Physical Therapist

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$54,000 – $108,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Pulmonary Physical Therapists do?

As a Pulmonary Physical Therapist, you work with patients who suffer from conditions of the lungs.Your job is to help your patient regain their health, and get back to living the fullest life possible!

Just as a Personal Trainer guides a client through exercises at the gym to build up muscle and cardiovascular strength, a Pulmonary Physical Therapist builds up strength and function within the patient’s lungs. This is done in a variety of ways, and always under the authorization of the patient’s Physician.

As a Pulmonary Physical Therapist, you evaluate the patient one step at a time by testing lung function and asking questions. Then you use your knowledge to create an individualized plan for each patient. For example, the patient might be slated for an upcoming surgery. So, following their Cardiologist ’s orders, they come to you to learn techniques that will strengthen the lungs and help them heal faster after the surgery.

Each patient is different, but most are suffering from a disease (such as lung cancer) or recovering from surgery. Sometimes, you’re able to help them heal, and other times, your goal is to slow the decline of lung function. For example, you might teach them how to clear fluid from their lungs, minimizing the need for additional medical procedures.

Should I be a Pulmonary 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: Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapist

    How to Become a
    Pulmonary Physical Therapist

    Most Pulmonary 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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