Career Awareness

Physical Therapist

 Daily Tasks
Physical therapists treat patients who have impairments, functional limitations, disabilities, or changes in physical function and health status resulting from injury, disease or other causes. Physical therapists provide examinations, evaluations, diagnosis and interventions to obtain and maintain an individual's highest level of function. Physical therapists also promote health, wellness and fitness.
Physical therapists should have strong interpersonal and communication skills to be able to educate patients about their physical therapy treatments. Physical therapists also should be compassionate and possess a desire to help patients. They need to have the ability to adapt to change and the professionalism to work with patients and their family members.
 Work Setting
Hospitals; outpatient clinics or offices; rehabilitation facilities; long-term care facilities; education and research centers; school systems; corporate or industrial health centers; athletic facilities; fitness centers and sports training facilities.
 Work Hours
Generally, physical therapists work daytime hours Monday through Friday with weekend rotations. Some programs have evening hours as well.
Must have a Master's or Doctoral degree in physical therapy from an accredited college or university.
Must have a current Minnesota physical therapy license and comply with necessary continuing education requirements to maintain state licensure. Physical therapists may also be certified as clinical specialists through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS).
 Recommended High School Classes
College prep, business, English composition, health education, advanced sciences (biology and chemistry), anatomy/physiology, fitness education, second language, and psychology