Physical Therapists

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About the Job

Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.

It is also Called

  • Treatment Coordinator
  • Staff Physical Therapist (Staff PT)
  • Sports Physical Therapist
  • Rehabilitation Services Director
  • Registered Physical Therapist (RPT)
  • Pulmonary Physical Therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Physical Therapist, Director of Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapist (PT)
  • Per Diem Physical Therapist
View All

What They Do

  • Construct, maintain, or repair medical supportive devices.
  • Direct group rehabilitation activities.
  • Participate in community or community agency activities or help to formulate public policy.
  • Conduct or support research and apply research findings to practice.
  • Evaluate, fit, or adjust prosthetic or orthotic devices or recommend modification to orthotist.
  • Refer clients to community resources or services.
  • Teach physical therapy students or those in other health professions.
  • Administer treatment involving application of physical agents, using equipment, moist packs, ultraviolet or infrared lamps, or ultrasound machines.
  • Provide educational information about physical therapy or physical therapists, injury prevention, ergonomics, or ways to promote health.
  • Confer with the patient, medical practitioners, or appropriate others to plan, implement, or assess the intervention program.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SIR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Investigative and Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Achievement and Recognition in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Wages

In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $85,510 with most people making between $56,740 and $120,820

Outlook

2.57%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 11,110 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 13,970 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 286 openings due to growth and about 294 replacement openings for approximately 580 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education