Master’s or Doctoral degree from an accredited physical therapy education program; then completion of a Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (DPT). Click here for more information
Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree (DPT)
American Society for Clinical Pathology(ASCP) Certificate Click here for more information
$80K - $95K Annually
High Job Demand
Physical therapists (PTs) are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility - in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects.
Physical therapists can teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan, using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness-and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.
Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices.
The scope of practice of a physical therapist varies greatly around the world. Physical therapists deal in areas such as wound care, geriatrics, respiratory/cardiopulmonary, orthopedics/musculoskeletal, home care, neurology, pediatrics, sports, and more.
PTs supervise physical therapist assistants and physical therapy aides and other members of a team that includes doctors and other specialists such as occupational therapists and speech pathologists.
- Perform and document an initial exam, evaluating data to identify problems and determine a diagnosis prior to intervention.
- Confer with patients, medical practitioners or appropriate others to plan, implement or assess an intervention program.
- Test and measure patient’s strength, motor development and function, sensory perception, functional capacity or respiratory or circulatory efficiency and record data.
- Administer manual exercise, massage or traction to help relieve pain, increase patient strength or decrease or prevent deformity or crippling.
- Administer treatment involving application of physical agents, using equipment, moist packs, ultraviolet or infrared lamps or ultrasound machines.
- Confer with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying or coordinating treatment.
- Identify and document goals, anticipated progress and plans for reevaluation.
- Evaluate effects of treatment at various stages and adjust treatments to achieve maximum benefit.
- Record prognosis, treatment, response and progress in patient’s chart or enter information into computer.
- Instruct patient and family in treatment procedures to be continued in the home.
- Discharge patient from physical therapy when goals or projected outcomes have been attained and provide for appropriate follow-up care or referrals.
- Conduct or support research and apply research findings to practice.
Skills and Abilities Needed to Perform Job:
- Knowledge of medical information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat injuries, diseases and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions and preventive health-care measures.
- Knowledge of psychology relative to human behavior and performance, individual differences in ability, personality and interests; learning and motivation, psychological research methods and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Knowledge of therapy and counseling principles, methods and procedures for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions and for career counseling and guidance.
- Knowledge of customer and personal service principles and processes for providing customer and personal services.
- Knowledge of analytical or scientific software (Cedaron Dexter Evaluation & Impairment Rating).
- Knowledge of medical software (Clincient Insight, Medical procedure coding, MEDITECH, Rehab Documentation, REDOC Suite).
- Knowledge and use of Action games (Biometrics video game software).
- Knowledge and use of Microsoft software programs (Excel, Word and Office).
- Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, etc.
- Oral Comprehension – Ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning – Ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning – Ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusion (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Problem Sensitivity –Ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
- Written Comprehension – Ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression – Ability to communicate information in speaking so that others will understand.
Desired Work Style Attributes:
- Concern for Others – Sensitive to needs of others
- Integrity – Honest and ethical
- Dependability – Reliable and responsible
- Social Orientation – Preferring to work with others rather than alone
- Self-Control – Maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger and avoiding aggressive behavior even in very difficult situations.
- Analytical Thinking – Ability to analyze information and use logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Adaptability/Flexibility – Ability to being open to change (positive or negative)
- Cooperation – Pleasant with others