A physical therapist (PT) helps people with movement problems caused by injury, illness, or disability. They work to decrease pain, improve movement and mobility, and help patients return to their normal daily activities. They may work in hospitals, private practices, outpatient rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, schools, and home health agencies.
PTs diagnose and treat patients of all ages with medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform tasks. They use evidence-based treatment approaches to help individuals regain and maintain their highest level of function, reduce pain, and prevent future injury.
Physical therapy is a highly rewarding career. It usually requires between six and seven years of higher education, including a bachelor’s degree and three years in a doctoral program. Some programs compress academic requirements into a shorter time span, which can help you manage the cost of your education and enter the field sooner.
In addition to the required degree and licensing, you need a strong desire to help others and a commitment to learning new skills and techniques as your career progresses. It is also important to understand how to communicate effectively with patients and how to work well as part of a team. For more information on becoming a physical therapist, check out our dedicated page and resources, or talk to a PT in your area. physical therapist