Career Pathways & Outcomes
Careers as a Doctor of Physical Therapy
Physical therapists (PTs) work with people of all ages and abilities in a variety of settings. PTs are movement experts who can improve patients' quality of life through prescribed exercises, hands-on care, and education—they help patients rehabilitate from injuries or surgeries, manage chronic conditions, and create healthy habits that can prevent future complications. Physical therapy can have a profound effect on people's life by restoring movement, reducing pain, preventing disability, and helping patients maintain or regain their independence.
A Doctor in Physical Therapy degree from an accredited program is needed to practice as a PT in the United States. Upon graduation, students must also pass a state licensure exam.
Physical Therapy Job Outlook
- Job growth rate for physical therapists is at a fast pace of 21% between 2020 and 2030
- 2020 median income is $91,010 per year for the United States
- Work is found in private offices and clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, traveling to patients’ homes, and can be done virtually with telehealth.
- Physical therapist may work with a diverse patient base or may find employment for focused patient care in areas including but not limited to, acute, pediatric, cardiovascular and pulmonary, orthopaedic, and geriatric care
- Expected 15,600 jobs openings each year during the 2020 decade
Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.