Details Report for:
29-1123.00 - Physical Therapists
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.
Sample of reported job titles: Chief Physical Therapist; Home Care Physical Therapist; Outpatient Physical Therapist; Pediatric Physical Therapist; Per Diem Physical Therapist; Physical Therapist (PT); Physical Therapist, Director of Rehabilitation; Registered Physical Therapist (RPT); Rehabilitation Services Director; Staff Physical Therapist (Staff PT)
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
Tools used in this occupation:
- Back or lumbar or sacral orthopedic softgoods — Sacro-illiac joint lumbar corsets
- Balance beams or boards or bolsters or rockers for rehabilitation or therapy — Balance beams; Balance boards; Bolsters/wedges
- Blood pressure cuff kits — Blood pressure cuffs
- Canes or cane accessories — Canes
- Cardiac output CO monitoring units or accessories — Heart rate monitors; Portable cardiac monitors
- Cervical collars or neck braces — Neck braces
- Cognitive or dexterity or perceptual or sensory evaluation or testing products — Digital inclinometer range of motion measurement instruments; Electronic manual muscle testers; Muscle testing equipment
- Continuous passive motion CPM devices or accessories — Continuous passive motion CPM machines
- Crutches or crutch accessories — Crutches
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras; Digital video equipment
- Digital cameras
- Dynamometers — Muscle strength dynamometers
- Electric vibrators for rehabilitation or therapy — Massagers
- Electromyography EMG units or accessories — Electromyographs EMG; Surface electromyography equipment
- Electronic blood pressure units
- Electrotherapy combination units — Interferential electrical stimulation machines; Iontophoresis equipment
- Exercise trampolines — Rebounders
- Extremity hydrotherapy baths or tanks — Fluidotherapy equipment
- Force or torque sensors — Force sensors
- Full body immersion hydrotherapy baths or tanks — Whirlpool therapy baths
- Gait belts for rehabilitation or therapy — Gait belts
- Galvanic or faradic stimulators — High-voltage Galvanic stimulation machines; Low volt muscle stimulators
- Grip strengthener — Hydraulic hand dynamometers; Isotonic exercise equipment
- Infrared lamps
- Knee brace or support — Knee braces
- Laser printers
- Lower body resistance machines — Isokinetic lower body testing/rehabilitation equipment
- Lower extremity prosthetic devices — Above-the-knee prosthetics; Below-the-knee prosthetics
- Mats or platforms for rehabilitation or therapy — Biomechanical ankle platform system BAPS systems
- Medical acoustic stethoscope or accessory — Mechanical stethoscopes
- Medical hydrocollators or accessories — Hydrocollator heating units
- Neuromuscular stimulators or kits — Functional electrical stimulation FES equipment; Neuromuscular stimulation equipment
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Ophthalmoscopes or otoscopes or scope sets — Otoscopes
- Orthopedic traction hardware or weights — Traction equipment
- Orthopedic traction softgoods for general use — Traction belts
- Orthotics or foot care products — Orthotics
- Parallel bars for rehabilitation or therapy — Parallel bars
- Patient care beds or accessories for general use — Hospital roto beds
- Patient care beds or accessories for specialty care — Adjusting tables; Standing tables; Tilt tables
- Patient lifts or accessories — Hoyer lifts; Total lift chairs
- Patient shifting boards or accessories — Sliding boards
- Pedal exercisers for rehabilitation or therapy — Exercise bicycles
- Pelvis or back traction supplies — Pelvic traction equipment
- Personal computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
- Pivotal traction therapy supplies — Cervical pivots; Lumbar pivots; Occipivots; Thoracic pivots
- Powder boards for rehabilitation or therapy — Powder boards
- Pulleys or accessories for rehabilitation or therapy — Pulley exercise systems; Wall pulleys
- Reachers for the physically challenged — Reachers
- Reflex hammers or mallets — Babinski hammers; Neurological hammers; Percussion hammers
- Resistive exercise bands or putty or tubing or accessories for rehabilitation or therapy — Resistive exercise bands; Resistive tubing
- Rowing machines
- Short wave diathermy units — Diathermy equipment
- Stair climbers — Stepper exercisers
- Therapeutic balls or accessories — Exercise balls; Swiss exercise balls
- Therapeutic cryo compression therapy system and accessories — Cryotherapy equipment
- Therapeutic heating or cooling pads or compresses or packs — Ice packs; Moist hot packs
- Therapeutic paraffin baths or accessories — Paraffin baths
- Training stairs for rehabilitation or therapy — Training stairs
- Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation units — Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation TENS equipment
- Treadmill exercisers for rehabilitation or therapy — Aquacisers; Therapeutic treadmill exercisers
- Ultrasonic therapy apparatus or supplies — Phonopheresis equipment; Ultrasound machines
- Ultraviolet UV lamps
- Upper body resistance machines — Isokinetic upper body testing/rehabilitation equipment
- Upper extremity prosthetic devices — Arm prosthetics
- Vascular or compression apparel or support — Compression garments
- Vestibular motion devices for rehabilitation or therapy — Computerized dynamic posturography (CDP) balance test systems
- Walkers or rollators — Walkers
- Walking braces
- Weight machines for rehabilitation or therapy — Fitness machines; Multiaxial exercise equipment
- Weights or sets or accessories for rehabilitation or therapy — Weights
- Work tables or stations or accessories for rehabilitation or therapy — Axial-resistance shoulder wheels; Shoulder wheels; Traction and mobilization physical therapy tables; Upper body ergometers (see all 5 examples)
- Wrist exercisers for rehabilitation or therapy — Shoulder finger ladders
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — MediGraph software
- Action games — Biometrics video game software
- Analytical or scientific software — Cedaron Dexter Evaluation & Impairment Rating
- Calendar and scheduling software — SpectraSoft AppointmentsCS
- Medical software — Clinicient Insight; Hands On Technology TheraWriter.PT; MEDITECH software ; Rehab Documentation Company ReDoc Suite (see all 6 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Exercise routine creation software; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Record patient medical histories.
- Monitor patient progress or responses to treatments.
- Examine patients to assess general physical condition.
- Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
- Process healthcare paperwork.
- Treat patients using physical therapy techniques.
- Develop medical treatment plans.
- Explain medical procedures or test results to patients or family members.
- Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.
- Adjust prostheses or other assistive devices.
- Fabricate medical devices.
- Communicate detailed medical information to patients or family members.
- Test patient heart or lung functioning.
- Train patients, family members, or caregivers in techniques for managing disabilities or illnesses.
- Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
- Enter patient or treatment data into computers.
- Evaluate patient outcomes to determine effectiveness of treatments.
- Train medical providers.
- Refer patients to other healthcare practitioners or health resources.
- Establish treatment goals.
- Direct healthcare delivery programs.
- Advise medical personnel regarding healthcare issues.
- Supervise medical support personnel.
- Conduct research to increase knowledge about medical issues.
- Communicate health and wellness information to the public.
|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||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).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
|25-1071.00||Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary|
|25-1072.00||Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary|
|29-1122.00||Occupational Therapists Bright Outlook|
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$40.40 hourly, $84,020 annual|
|Employment (2014)||211,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Much faster than average (14% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||128,300|
|Top industries (2014)||
Health Care and Social Assistance (89% employed in this sector)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Physical therapists . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.
- American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) , 1111 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1488. Phone: (800) 999-2782. Fax: (703) 684-7343.