Physical Therapists

General Information

Description

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.

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Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure

Industry areas

  • Offices of Other Health Practitioners
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
  • Home Health Care Services

Job Outlook

Employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 25 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for physical therapy will come in part from the large number of aging baby boomers, who are staying more active later in life than their counterparts of previous generations. Older people are more likely to experience heart attacks, strokes, and mobility-related injuries that require physical therapy for rehabilitation. In addition, a number of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, have become more prevalent in recent years. More physical therapists will be needed to help these patients maintain their mobility and manage the effects of chronic conditions. Advances in medical technology have increased the use of outpatient surgery to treat a variety of injuries and illnesses. Medical and technological developments also are expected to permit a greater percentage of trauma victims and newborns with birth defects to survive, creating additional demand for rehabilitative care. Physical therapists will continue to play an important role in helping these patients recover more quickly from surgery.

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Related Military Careers

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Salary

Average Salary

Salary

$88,830

Military salary*

$102,154

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State-by-state Salary

Gray states indicate no data available

$97,870
$44,050
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Education

Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • Master's degree 38%
  • Doctoral degree 37%
  • Bachelor's degree 8%
  • Post-master's certificate 6%
  • First professional degree 5%
  • Post baccalaureate 4%
  • High school 0%
  • Some college 0%
  • Associate's degree 0%
  • Less than high school 0%
  • Post-doctoral training 0%
  • Post-secondary certificate 0%

Related College Majors

Select major to see colleges that offer it

Knowledge

  • Education and Training
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Dentistry

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
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