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Physical Therapy

Help people with injuries and health conditions improve their movement and reduce pain. Physical therapists are highly-educated, healthcare professionals who diagnose, treat and prevent mobility problems. 

Degree Programs 

Requirements

To become a physical therapist, you must have a doctoral degree and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).

Jobs 

  • Pediatric physical therapy
  • Geriatric physical therapy
  • Vestibular rehabilitation.
  • Neurological physical therapy
  • Orthopedic physical therapy
  • Cardiovascular/pulmonary physical therapy

Work Settings

  • Hospitals
  • Private practices
  • Out-patient facilities
  • Home health agencies
  • Schools
  • Work settings
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Sports and fitness facilities

Career Outlook & Pay

Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for Physical Therapists are expected to grow much faster than average: 28% in the next 10 years, national, 29% in California. 

Annual median wage

  • CA: $93,100
  • US: $87,900

Interests, Skills & Values  

Service orientation

Physical therapists want to help people improve their ability to move around in the world.

Professional duty

Physical therapists demonstrate professional standards of integrity, accountability, and the client’s best interests.

Cultural competency

Physical therapists should be able to effectively treat clients with different backgrounds and needs.

Science skills

Physical therapists require scientific knowledge to diagnose patients, evaluate progress, and provide care. 

Physical abilities

Physical therapists enjoy physical activity. They spend a lot of their time on their feet and use their hands to provide manual therapy.  

Compassion

Physical therapists should have empathy for patients who are experiencing pain and discomfort. 

Detail-oriented

Physical therapists require strong observational and analytical skills to diagnose patients, evaluate progress, and provide care. 

Interpersonal skills

Physical therapists enjoy working with people. They listen to concerns and motivate their patients. 

Resourcefulness

Physical therapists create individualized treatment plans that meet the specific needs of their patients.

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