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A registered physical therapist's job ranges from diagnosing patients who have health challenges affecting their movement to helping injured people manage their pain and improve movement in the trouble areas. As a registered physical therapist, you have to assist people in restoring their physical mobility. To do this, you will schedule appointments with patients and monitor their improvements.

You will also help enhance patients' general well-being and increase the quality of their lives. Physical therapists can work in so many places, from hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and nursing homes, to outpatient clinics and schools. However, becoming a physical therapist requires serious education and clinical experiences.

A bachelor's degree in a science-related field is usually the starting point. To practice, you need to obtain a master's degree or a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited physical therapist program. The median hourly pay for a Registered Physical Therapist is $44.08 an hour or $87,930 yearly.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a registered physical therapist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $37.4 an hour? That's $77,802 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 22% and produce 54,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Registered Physical Therapist Do

There are certain skills that many registered physical therapists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed compassion, detail oriented and dexterity.

Learn more about what a Registered Physical Therapist does

How To Become a Registered Physical Therapist

If you're interested in becoming a registered physical therapist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 58.0% of registered physical therapists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 19.3% of registered physical therapists have master's degrees. Even though most registered physical therapists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a registered physical therapist. When we researched the most common majors for a registered physical therapist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on registered physical therapist resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a registered physical therapist. In fact, many registered physical therapist jobs require experience in a role such as physical therapist. Meanwhile, many registered physical therapists also have previous career experience in roles such as physical therapy internship or respiratory therapist.

Average Salary for a Registered Physical Therapist

Registered Physical Therapists in America make an average salary of $77,802 per year or $37 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $117,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $51,000 per year.
Average Registered Physical Therapist Salary
$77,802 Yearly
$37.40 hourly
$51,000
10 %
$77,000
Median
$117,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Registered Physical Therapist Education

Registered Physical Therapist Majors

6.0 %

Registered Physical Therapist Degrees

Bachelors

58.0 %

Masters

19.3 %

Associate

11.8 %

Top Colleges for Registered Physical Therapists

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. Tufts University

Medford, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,382
Enrollment
5,597

5. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

6. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

7. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

8. Emory University

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,306
Enrollment
6,975

9. Kettering College

Kettering, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,960
Enrollment
610

10. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

Top Skills For a Registered Physical Therapist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 24.3% of registered physical therapists listed respiratory care on their resume, but soft skills such as compassion and detail oriented are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Registered Physical Therapist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Registered Physical Therapist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Registered Physical Therapist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Registered Physical Therapist Demographics

Registered Physical Therapist Gender Distribution

Female
Female
66%
Male
Male
34%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among registered physical therapists, 66.2% of them are women, while 33.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among registered physical therapists is White, which makes up 73.6% of all registered physical therapists.

  • The most common foreign language among registered physical therapists is German at 33.3%.

Online Courses For Registered Physical Therapist That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Prehospital care of acute stroke and patient selection for endovascular treatment using the RACE scale
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Acute stroke is a time-dependent medical emergency. In acute ischemic stroke, the first objective is to restore brain flow using sistemic thrombolytic treatment and, in patients with large vessel occlusion, by endovascular treatment. In hemorrhagic stroke there are also specific treatments that can improve the clinical outcome. The sooner the initiation of all these therapies the higher the clinical benefit. Thus, the organization of Stroke Code systems coordinated between emergency medical syst...

Trauma Emergencies and Care
coursera

Welcome to Trauma Emergencies and Care. In this course, you will learn about some of the mechanics and physics of trauma on the human body, and how this can cause injury. You will continue to expand your new vocabulary with medical terminology, and learn how to describe the different injuries you may see. You will also learn about the trauma system itself- and when it is important to transport patients to a trauma center. Then we will dive into specific injuries based on what part of the body ma...

Vohra Wound Care Certification for Facility-Based Nurses
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Vohra’s expert physicians developed this advanced wound care program to help you deliver excellent healthcare: Understand the latest, most innovative wound care techniques and treatment options Identify the different types of wounds and recommended treatment plan for non-healing wounds Review the primary wound dressing options and wound care products Treat wound patients confidently, leading to improved medical outcomes Benefit from an enhanced knowledge share from Vohra´s healthcare...

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Best States For a Registered Physical Therapist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a registered physical therapist. The best states for people in this position are California, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington. Registered physical therapists make the most in California with an average salary of $109,215. Whereas in New Jersey and Connecticut, they would average $106,908 and $103,061, respectively. While registered physical therapists would only make an average of $95,502 in Washington, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Jersey

Total Registered Physical Therapist Jobs:
1,183
Highest 10% Earn:
$162,000
Location Quotient:
1.08 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. California

Total Registered Physical Therapist Jobs:
4,139
Highest 10% Earn:
$156,000
Location Quotient:
1.03 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. North Dakota

Total Registered Physical Therapist Jobs:
194
Highest 10% Earn:
$139,000
Location Quotient:
1.51 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Registered Physical Therapists

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Top Registered Physical Therapist Employers

Most Common Employers For Registered Physical Therapist

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1John Knox Village$102,871$49.461
2The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics$101,394$48.751
3CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield$99,166$47.681
4Genesis HealthCare$95,576$45.951
5Life Care Centers of America$92,119$44.294
6Amsterdam Nursing Home$88,322$42.461
7Functional Pathways$83,318$40.062
8Restore Therapy$82,439$39.631
9Ability Center$82,347$39.591
10Austin State Hospital$81,741$39.302