What are the Different Physical Therapist Careers?

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  • Written By: Sandra Koehler
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 December 2018
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Physical therapist careers can be as varied as an individual’s personality. There are physical therapist (PT) jobs with flexible hours and changing scenery, and jobs that follow a traditional venue of nine-to-five. Physical therapists can be found in a growing number of settings and the entrepreneurial opportunities are endless.

Physical therapist careers often begin in a healthcare facility. Whether a hospital, outpatient facility or a rehab center, most new grads prefer to work with experienced physical therapists for a few years. After gaining valuable experience, many PTs venture into new and exciting positions that in today’s world, the physical therapist can tailor-make for their needs.

Since physical therapists careers are so flexible, many PTs can work part time and still make the monthly bills. Most therapists choose to work inside the traditional nine-to-five, but there are many positions available for evenings or “split” shift work where you may work a few hours in the morning and then again in the afternoon or early evening. This frees up your mid-afternoon hours. For those wishing to travel there are temporary positions where the company pays for relocation every six to eight weeks and often pays for room and board. The company also assists in attaining the licensing required for each state in which you work.


Many physical therapists have moved from the traditional type settings. PTs can now be found in health and fitness centers. Working with sports teams is another popular career choice. These PTs can be found working hand-in-hand with the training professionals to advance training routines while preventing injuries or assisting with the recovery of an injury.

Some PTs choose to specialize. Some specialized physical therapist careers include orthopedics, pediatrics, sports medicine, neurology,geriatrics and pain management. PT’s can work alongside many healthcare experts including doctors, chiropractors and other allied health professionals. PTs can also be a valuable asset to insurance companies specializing in the rehabilitation of work-related injuries to assure proper care of the client and proper use of funds allocated for rehab.

Physical therapist careers can also be found in the school system. A PT can work with developmentally or mentally disabled children or adults. A PT can also decide to be an educator for fellow PTs or physical therapist assistants. Physical therapists are often found in the continuing education forum where they can educate fellow professionals in a specific technique or theory studied and practiced.

In recent years, many physical therapist careers have been created through the entrepreneurial spirit of PTs. Home health agencies and private practices are just a couple of opportunities that have experienced a recent surge. Much-needed job security can be found by choosing a physical therapy career.



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