Physical Therapy Careers: What To Know When Considering One

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Physical Therapy Careers

A career in physical therapy may be a rewarding option for someone who wants to work in healthcare and help others. While the field offers numerous benefits, it also has its challenges. If you’re contemplating a career as a physical therapist, consider these factors as you decide.

Defining the Role

Those considering a job in physical therapy must learn about the role. A PT or physical therapist is a provider who offers physiotherapy services. Through rehabilitative techniques like manual therapy and exercise coaching, PTs help patients regain mobility, recover from injuries, and reduce pain. Physical therapists work with patients at all stages of the recuperative process, from diagnosis to recovery.

Career Security

The physiotherapy field is experiencing rapid growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is expected to grow by up to 31% by 2031, which is significantly higher than average. The push for more PTs is attributable to the need to address conditions like chronic illness, injury, diabetes, and aging.

Pay Scales

The national average salary for a physical therapist is nearly $85,000, depending on education, location, specialization, and experience. Physical therapists who practice specialties may earn more.

Specializations and Career Paths

If you are willing to complete more training after earning a physical therapy degree, you’ll be able to choose from multiple specializations and focus on certain areas of interest. PT specialties include:

  • Sports
  • Geriatrics
  • Pediatrics
  • Orthopedics
  • Pulmonary and cardiovascular
  • Oncology
  • Women’s health
  • Neurology

No matter which specialty you choose, you’re sure to experience a richly rewarding career.

Diverse Work Environments

Physical therapists work in various places thanks to the demand for their services and skills. PTs may help patients of every background and age, and they provide services in diverse environments. As a physical therapist, you’ll have the chance to work in settings that align with your interests and goals.

Work-Life Balance

Working as a PT offers flexibility without sacrificing earning potential. Physical therapists can choose per diem, part-time, or full-time schedules, depending on when and where they plan to work. While those working in clinics and hospitals have less control over their schedules, PTs who open their own practices can set their hours.


Physical therapists often have a great deal of career satisfaction because they work directly with patients and can see the results of their efforts. As a PT, your daily responsibilities may include helping patients recover from injuries, which means progress is easily measured.


PTs sometimes work on healthcare teams. If you’re interested in a career as a physical therapist, you’ll collaborate with others to care for patients appropriately and form enduring relationships. A PT career may also help you build knowledge in other medical areas.

Respect in the Physical Therapy Field

Most people respect healthcare providers, especially those specializing in certain fields. Through your training and continuing education, you will develop expertise that allows you to care for others and offer healthcare advice. It can be rewarding to know others see you as a trusted authority and respect your skills.

The Road Ahead as a Physical Therapist

Finding the right career in physical therapy requires consideration of your goals, interests, and priorities. Consider these factors as you start the search for a PT job that’s financially rewarding and personally fulfilling.

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