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Physical Therapist Career Overview

Learn how you can help others with a career in physical therapy.

woman physical therapist works with two seniors

Physical therapists can play an extremely important role in helping patients recover from injury or surgery. For those who have faced serious injuries or lost mobility or limb function for any reason, physical therapy offers a long-term plan to reestablish a positive state of health.

What You’ll Do

  • Consult with clients to assess their physical state
  • Analyze clients’ abilities and recovery needs
  • Develop treatment and workout plans for multiple clients
  • Keep track of client progress
  • Meet with patients regularly to go through exercises and track progress
  • Provide a safe environment for patients to recover and regain physical strength
  • Help clients set and achieve goals

In order to succeed as a physical therapist, you’ll need to establish an extensive understanding of human physiology and how our bodies function.

Based off of this knowledge, you’ll meet with patients, assess their physical state, and then develop a treatment plan to restore health as fully as possible. Great physical therapists have a desire to help people and see them fully recover—for many patients, high-quality physical therapy treatments are life-changing.

If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in physical therapy and want to maximize your earning potential, take a look at some of the following characteristics of excellent physical therapists and see if you’d be a good fit:

You are…You should have…
SupportiveAbility to motivate
PositiveA passion for fitness
Capable of crafting plansA respect for other people’s bodies
RespectfulAbility to set goals
PatientA strong commitment to good health
Goal-orientedExcellent communication skills
DependableA desire to help people

Think you’re a good fit for the profession? Your next step is to find a school and attain a physical therapy education. But be sure to evaluate the institutions teaching style, exam pass rates, faculty, and clinical requirements beforehand.