Division of Physical Therapy

UCF School of Kinesiology and Physical Therapy

About Physical Therapists

Physical therapists (PTs) assist in the prevention and treatment of illness and injury in order to promote the optimal physical functioning of more than 100,000 people every day in the United States. They are able to diagnose and manage movement dysfunctions, restore and promote physical function, and make a positive difference in the quality of people’s lives.

PTs take a personal approach to assisting others with injury or illness. They can assist patients to walk again, relieve pain, drive a car, dress or bathe, or return to a leisure or sporting activity. Physical therapy is a dynamic and rewarding profession with a well-established scientific and theoretical base.

PTs are a highly respected member of the healthcare team. They work with many other health care providers such as physicians, occupational therapists, rehabilitation nurses, dentists, psychologists, social workers and speech-language pathologists. They work with patients of all ages, races, religions and ethnic backgrounds.

Graduates with an entry-level degree in physical therapy may work in a variety of areas including orthopedics, sports, neurology, pediatrics, women’s health, aquatics, cardiopulmonary, education, acute care and geriatrics. PTs may later choose to receive specialist certification in certain areas.

Professional Opportunities

According to numerous national reporting agencies, the job outlook for competent PTs should remain strong well into the 21st century.

Although PTs may work in hospitals or medical centers, more than 70 percent are employed in rehab centers, sports facilities, home health settings, pediatric facilities, research institutions, nursing centers and many other large organizations. In addition, PTs may be employees or serve as owners or partners in private practice settings.

For further information on training, other qualifications, employment, job outlook, earnings and other sources, visit www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Physical-therapists.htm. Also see U.S. News & World Report Best Jobs: Physical Therapy.

According to a recent article in Yahoo! Financials, physical therapy is one of the fastest growing fields in the United States today. Here are facts from the report:

Median pay: $85,400
Top pay: $122,130
10-year job growth: 25%
Total jobs: 239,800

Personal satisfaction: A
Benefit to society: A
Low stress: C
Flexibility: B