Career and Job Search Guide

Physical Therapist

Physical Therapist A survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago discovered that next to members of the clergy, physical therapists had the most satisfying jobs.

Physical therapists enjoy their jobs because:
    - They work one-on-one with patients suffering from physical problems
    - They witness their patients making progress. For example, a patient could enter treatment in a wheelchair and leave walking
    - They spend up to an hour with a patient unlike doctors who usually spend 12 minutes
    - They have flexibility and autonomy helping patients solve problems, and receive steady pay unlike most self-employed workers
    - They work as generalists seeing a variety of patients, from injured athletes, amputee war veterans, or recovering stroke patients
    - They can choose where to work whether at hospitals, clinics, patients' homes, schools, or doctors' offices
    - They work normal weekly hours
    - Because of aging baby boomer populations and increasing numbers of people injured during recreational activities, future demand for physical therapists will be good Physical therapy jobs also have downsides:
    - The job is physically demanding
    - Physical therapists work with disabled, suffering, and frustrated people which can take an emotional toll on therapists
    - Physical therapists now have more training requirements. Candidates must earn a master's degree while many candidates must earn a 3 year doctor of physical therapy degree
Salary Data

Median (8 years of experience): $70,200

25-75 percentile (8 or more years of experience): $66,000-84,800


Physical therapists must earn a master's degree from an accredited therapy program; however, many candidates earn a 3 year doctor of physical therapy degree.