Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Become A Registered Physical Therapist

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As A Registered Physical Therapist

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $84,300

    Average Salary

What Does A Registered Physical Therapist Do

Physical therapists, sometimes called PTs, help injured or ill people improve their movement and manage their pain. These therapists are often an important part of rehabilitation, treatment, and prevention of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries.

Duties

Physical therapists typically do the following:

  • Review patients’ medical history and any referrals or notes from doctors, surgeons, or other healthcare workers
  • Diagnose patients’ functions and movements by observing them stand or walk and by listening to their concerns, among other methods
  • Develop individualized plans of care for patients, outlining the patients’ goals and the expected outcomes of the plans
  • Use exercises, stretching maneuvers, hands-on therapy, and equipment to ease patients’ pain, help them increase their mobility, prevent further pain or injury, and facilitate health and wellness
  • Evaluate and record a patient’s progress, modifying a plan of care and trying new treatments as needed
  • Educate patients and their families about what to expect from the recovery process and how best to cope with challenges throughout the process

Physical therapists provide care to people of all ages who have functional problems resulting from back and neck injuries; sprains, strains, and fractures; arthritis; amputations; neurological disorders, such as stroke or cerebral palsy; injuries related to work and sports; and other conditions.

Physical therapists are educated to use a variety of different techniques to care for their patients. These techniques include exercises; training in functional movement, which includes the use of equipment such as canes, crutches, wheelchairs, and walkers; and special movements of joints, muscles, and other soft tissue to improve movement and decrease pain.

The work of physical therapists varies by type of patient. For example, a patient working to recover mobility lost after a stroke needs different care from a patient who is recovering from a sports injury. Some physical therapists specialize in one type of care, such as orthopedics or geriatrics. Many physical therapists also help patients to maintain or improve mobility by developing fitness and wellness programs to encourage healthier and more active lifestyles.

Physical therapists work as part of a healthcare team, overseeing the work of physical therapist assistants and aides and consulting with physicians and surgeons and other specialists.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become A Registered Physical Therapist

Physical therapists need a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. All states require physical therapists to be licensed.

Education

In 2015, there were more than 200 programs for physical therapists accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). All programs offer a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.

DPT programs typically last 3 years. Most programs require a bachelor’s degree for admission as well as specific educational prerequisites, such as classes in anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics. Some programs admit college freshmen into 6- or 7-year programs that allow students to graduate with both a bachelor’s degree and a DPT. Most DPT programs require applicants to apply through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS).

Physical therapist programs often include courses in biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, and pharmacology. Physical therapist students also complete at least 30 weeks of clinical work, during which they gain supervised experience in areas such as acute care and orthopedic care.

Physical therapists may apply to and complete a clinical residency program after graduation. Residencies typically last about 1 year and provide additional training and experience in specialty areas of care. Therapists who have completed a residency program may choose to specialize further by completing a fellowship in an advanced clinical area.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require physical therapists to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state but all include passing the National Physical Therapy Examination administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Several states also require a law exam and a criminal background check. Continuing education is typically required for physical therapists to keep their license. Check with state boards for specific licensing requirements.

After gaining work experience, some physical therapists choose to become a board-certified specialist. The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties offers certification in 8 clinical specialty areas, including orthopedics, sports, and geriatric physical therapy. Board specialist certification requires passing an exam and at least 2,000 hours of clinical work or completion of an American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)-accredited residency program in the specialty area.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Physical therapists are often drawn to the profession in part by a desire to help people. They work with people who are in pain and must have empathy for their patients.

Detail oriented. Like other healthcare providers, physical therapists should have strong analytic and observational skills to diagnose a patient’s problem, evaluate treatments, and provide safe, effective care.

Dexterity. Physical therapists must use their hands to provide manual therapy and therapeutic exercises. They should feel comfortable massaging and otherwise physically assisting patients.

Interpersonal skills. Because physical therapists spend a lot of time interacting with patients, they should enjoy working with people. They must be able to clearly explain treatment programs, motivate patients, and listen to patients’ concerns to provide effective therapy.

Physical stamina. Physical therapists spend much of their time on their feet, moving as they demonstrate proper techniques and help patients perform exercises. They should enjoy physical activity.

Resourcefulness. Physical therapists customize treatment plans for patients. They must be flexible and able to adapt plans of care to meet the needs of each patient.

Show More

Show Less

Registered Physical Therapist jobs

Add To My Jobs

Registered Physical Therapist Demographics

Gender

  • Female

    65.5%
  • Male

    31.0%
  • Unknown

    3.6%

Ethnicity

  • White

    64.6%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    15.1%
  • Asian

    13.9%
  • Unknown

    5.9%
  • Black or African American

    0.4%
Show More

Languages Spoken

  • German

    25.0%
  • Japanese

    25.0%
  • Hindi

    25.0%
  • Dutch

    25.0%
Show More

Registered Physical Therapist

Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.

Registered Physical Therapist Education

Registered Physical Therapist

Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Registered Physical Therapist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Registered Physical Therapist/Staff Golden Age Home Health Care, LLC Greenwood, IN Mar 17, 2014 $104,350 -
$125,220
Registered Physical Therapist East Bay Physical Therapy Richmond, CA Sep 29, 2014 $100,176
Registered Physical Therapist Mariner Health Care Managment Compnay San Pablo, CA Apr 08, 2013 $93,915
Registered Physical Therapist Mariner Health Central Inc. San Pablo, CA Apr 26, 2013 $93,915
Registered Physical Therapist Rehab Pathways, LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $87,500
Registered Physical Therapist United Health Care Staffing, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 01, 2013 $87,360
Registered Physical Therapist/Staff Golden Age Home Health Care, LLC Greenwood, IN Nov 04, 2016 $83,480 -
$125,220
Registered Physical Therapist East Bay Physical Therapy Richmond, CA Dec 15, 2010 $83,480
Registered Physical Therapist United Health Care Staffing, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 01, 2013 $82,320
Registered Physical Therapist United Health Care Staffing, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 20, 2013 $82,320
Registered Physical Therapist United Health Care Staffing, Inc. San Jose, CA Mar 25, 2013 $82,250
Registered Physical Therapist United Health Care Staffing, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 12, 2013 $82,250
Registered Physical Therapists United Health Care Staffing, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 01, 2013 $82,250
Registered Physical Therapist United Health Care Staffing, Inc. Fort Smith, AR Feb 28, 2012 $82,000
Registered Physical Therapist Achieve Rehab, Inc. Farmington Hills, MI Oct 01, 2013 $76,000
Registered Physical Therapist Professional Home Care Advantage, Inc. Calumet City, IL Dec 27, 2009 $75,967
Registered Physical Therapist Alpena Regional Medical Center Alpena, MI Apr 12, 2015 $75,132
Registered Physical Therapist Omega Pt LLC. Rochester Hills, MI Dec 20, 2013 $73,045
Registered Physical Therapist Omega Pt LLC. Rochester Hills, MI Sep 01, 2014 $73,045
Registered Physical Therapist Physicians Homecare, Inc. Lafayette, IN Jul 22, 2011 $73,045 -
$93,915
Registered Physical Therapist Alpena Regional Medical Center Alpena, MI Sep 20, 2012 $70,541
Registered Physical Therapist Alliance Rehab, Inc. Arlington Heights, IL Oct 01, 2010 $68,871
Registered Physical Therapist Achieve Rehab, Inc. Bolingbrook, IL Sep 17, 2015 $68,640
Registered Physical Therapist Achieve Rehab, Inc. Oak Park, IL Sep 17, 2015 $68,640
Registered Physical Therapist Achieve Rehab, Inc. Farmington Hills, MI Sep 17, 2015 $68,640
Registered Physical Therapist Professional Therapy Solutions, LLC Madison Heights, MI Oct 06, 2013 $65,000
Registered Physical Therapist Professional Therapy Solutions, LLC Madison Heights, MI Oct 07, 2013 $65,000

No Results

To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.

Show More

Top Skills for A Registered Physical Therapist

PhysicalTherapyServicesFacilityAcuteCareSettingTreatmentPlansTraumaticBrainInjuryRehabilitationDepartmentTreatmentProgramsLong-TermCarePatientsFunctionalAbilitiesIntensiveCareUnitTreatmentGoalsPrognosticExamsCarePlanComplexPatientsMuscleReeducationDischargePlanningGeriatricPatientsHeat/Water/Ice/Electrical/LightStimulationPTAPatientPlan

Show More

Top Registered Physical Therapist Skills

  1. Physical Therapy Services
  2. Facility
  3. Acute Care Setting
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided physical therapy services at a 70-bed, specialized acute-care hospital.
  • Established own outpatient facility from ground-up.
  • Assisted Director of Rehabilitation in managing and supervising the rehabilitation department and effectively manage staff, customers, and referral sources.
  • Assisted in incorporating latest professional developments in the Physical therapy evaluation and treatment programs.
  • Performed diagnostic and prognostic exams to evaluate muscle, nerve, joint and functional abilities.

Top Registered Physical Therapist Employers