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Physical Therapist

Description: Physical Therapists (PTs) help injured or ill people improve their movement or manage their pain. They often aid in rehabilitating patients with chronic diseases, illnesses, or injuries. 

Duties:

  • Review patients’ medical history and referral notes from physicians
  • Observe patients’ movements and diagnose their condition
  • Develop a plan of treatment with goals and actions
  • Use exercises, stretches, hands-on therapy, or equipment to treat patients
  • Record progress and maintain detailed records
  • Educate patients and their families about their conditions and treatment plans

Interested in becoming a Physical Therapist? Click here for more information.

Training:

  • Bachelor’s Degree with coursework in anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics
  • Requires a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree
    • Usually takes 3 years to complete
    • Includes courses in biomechanics, anatomy & physiology, neuroscience, and pharmacology
    • Must compete 30 weeks of supervised clinical work
  • Optional 1-year clinical residency program and fellowship in a specialty 
  • Must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy

Work Environment: Therapy centers, hospitals, home healthcare services, nursing homes

Salary: $87,050 (annual mean wage in Pennsylvania)

Job Outlook: Expected to increase 28 percent from 2016 to 2026

(Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm)