daily life of a Physical Therapist
are Physical Therapists happy with their job

Physical Therapists

Other names for this job might include Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapist, Chief Physical Therapist, Geriatric Physical Therapist, Home Care Physical Therapist, Kinesiotherapist, Orthopedic Physical Therapist, Outpatient Physical Therapist, Pediatric Physical Therapist, Per Diem Physical Therapist, Physical Therapist (PT)

  • $85790
  • 79%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


Being A Physical Therapist: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Physical Therapists do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Physical Therapist or not.

Job summary

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.

We asked Physical Therapists how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


79% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 90% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical day

On a daily basis, Physical Therapists Plan, prepare, or carry out individually designed programs of physical treatment to maintain, improve, or restore physical functioning, alleviate pain, or prevent physical dysfunction in patients. They Perform and document an initial exam, evaluating data to identify problems and determine a diagnosis prior to intervention.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Physical Therapist is to Evaluate effects of treatment at various stages and adjust treatments to achieve maximum benefit.

Some may also Administer manual exercises, massage, or traction to help relieve pain, increase patient strength, or decrease or prevent deformity or crippling.

In a normal work day, another thing that Physical Therapists do is they Instruct patient and family in treatment procedures to be continued at home.

In addition to that, they Confer with the patient, medical practitioners, or appropriate others to plan, implement, or assess the intervention program..

A typical day for A Physical Therapist look like this:

Develop medical treatment plans.
Examine patients to assess general physical condition.
Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.
Record patient medical histories.
Monitor patient progress or responses to treatments.
Evaluate patient outcomes to determine effectiveness of treatments.

We asked some Physical Therapists a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?67% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?37% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?74% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?100% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?56% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?84% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?14% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?68% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Physical Therapists do, they Discharge patient from physical therapy when goals or projected outcomes have been attained and provide for appropriate follow-up care or referrals. They might also Evaluate, fit, or adjust prosthetic or orthotic devices or recommend modification to orthotist.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Physical Therapists Refer clients to community resources or services. and Construct, maintain, or repair medical supportive devices.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Refer patients to other healthcare practitioners or health resources.
Process healthcare paperwork.
Adjust prostheses or other assistive devices.
Advise medical personnel regarding healthcare issues.
Refer patients to other healthcare practitioners or health resources.
Fabricate medical devices.

Working life

Working hours

40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as A Physical Therapist, you can expect to work 40 hours per week.

Do Physical Therapists work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Physical Therapists work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Physical Therapists work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Helpers and The Thinkers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

You also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

How we can help

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Rank: A+
Salary: $80000

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Career type

Healthcare and Medical
Health Informatics, Therapeutic Services

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Related to Physical Therapists Job Description

Physical Therapists job description, what do Physical Therapists do, typical day for Physical Therapists, what is it like to work as a Physical Therapist, how many hours do Physical Therapists work, day to day work of a Physical Therapist

Additional resources


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