dcsimg

Physical therapists provide treatments to those who have been involved in accidents, who have experienced trauma or have disabling or chronic conditions. These treatments are designed to relieve or alleviate pain, strengthen muscles, improve range of motion, or improve function and mobility. Conditions that are addressed by physical therapists vary widely but can include arthritis, lower back pain, fractures, head injuries, or stroke recovery.

Physical Therapists picture    Physical Therapists image

Physical Therapy Schools

The following five physical therapist schools offer doctoral degrees in physical therapy. All schools are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education:

  • Alabama State University: This state university offers a three-year clinical doctorate that prepares students to sit for the National Physical Therapy Exam.
  • Medical University of South Carolina: With a long background of educating physical therapists (since 1973), this school's Doctor of Physical Therapy program provides students with the opportunity for clinical learning and community-based service.
  • Regis University: Located in Denver, Colorado, this university's Doctor of Physical Therapy program provides evidenced-based education with a focus on clinical technique.
  • The University of New England: This university in Portland, Maine aims to prepare graduates to meet the latest needs in the field of physical therapy by analyzing clinical decision-making and diagnosis.
  • The University of North Florida: This school in Jacksonville, Florida offers a doctoral program in physical therapy that prepares students to take the national licensure exam to become generalist practitioners.

Physical Therapist Education Requirements

The physical therapist education requirements dictate that students have a minimum of a master's degree to practice in their field, and many obtain doctorates.

Physical therapy degree programs require both classroom and laboratory instruction in addition to clinical hours. Undergraduates should pay special attention in their science and math courses. Physical therapy master's and doctoral degree programs typically include instruction in the following:

  • Biology
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Exercise physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Biomechanics
  • Pharmacology
  • Behavioral science

Clinical work is a must and many programs require volunteer work in a physical therapy environment prior to being accepted into a program.

Physical Therapist Licensing

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, all states require physical therapists to obtain licensure to practice. Licensure requirements vary from one state to the next, but all require physical therapists to earn at least a master's degree from an accredited physical therapy school and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination. Additionally, you may need to meet additional state-specific physical therapist training requirements. Continuing education units (CEUs) in physical therapy are mandatory for maintaining your license -- a requirement designed to keep physical therapists up to speed on advances in knowledge or technology affecting the field.

Physical Therapist Resources

Sources:

  1. Alabamba State University, http://www.alasu.edu/academics/colleges -- departments/health-sciences/physical-therapy/index.aspx
  2. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Physical Therapist, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm
  3. Medical University of South Carolina, https://www.musc.edu/chp/pt/
  4. Regis University, http://www.regis.edu/RHCHP/Schools/School-of-Physical-Therapy.aspx
  5. University of North Florida, https://www.unf.edu/brooks/movement_science/graduate_program.aspx
  6. The University of New England, http://www.une.edu/wchp/pt/doctor-pt

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Physical Therapists

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Physical Therapists jobs , as of 2016

     
Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 7,320 $93,790
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 5,700 $95,300
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn 4,030 $92,610
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 3,840 $80,250
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 2,970 $97,660
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 2,840 $86,340
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 2,750 $89,820
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 2,680 $87,570
Pittsburgh 2,630 $78,570
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 2,600 $84,920

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Physical Therapists

Use our handy tool to see what employment and salary numbers look like for two different metro areas

Select State
Select Metro Area 1
Select Metro Area 2
Employment
Salary

Total employment and salary for professions similar to physical therapists

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Physical Therapists

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Medical Office 85,180 51% $72,850
Hospital 53,410 32% $73,000
Nursing And Residential Care 12,310 7% $76,370
Education 6,680 4% $63,830
Government 3,530 2% $71,840
Office Services And Staffing 2,750 1% $74,370
Social Service 1,990 1% $73,500
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.
 
Results:  10
Matching School Ads
  • For the 12th consecutive year, Cal U was named one for the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review 
  • Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017
  • Quality Online courses at Cal U have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors.
  • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost. Student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1
  • CAL U online programs complete an annual assessment of student learning to ensure outcomes are focused on your success in career entry, advancement or enhancement!
  • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
  • Teaches in an environment that promotes learning and encourages empathetic and compassionate therapists.
  • Career service professionals work directly with students from the start of their program, and help them pursue employment in day spas, luxury hotels, cruise ships, and other locations.
  • Students can work in the SOCHI Massage Clinic to gain experience and build their career skills.
  • Financial aid representatives help students develop a personalized financial plan to finance their tuition.
camnpus icon
Reseda
Request Info

Trade schools in Los Angeles are built on a solid foundation of academic experience, especially Advanced College in South Gate. The founders of Advanced College have 40 years of experience when they opened their own institute of higher learning in 1999, which means Advanced College was student-oriented from day one. Our reputation as a leading vocational nursing & Allied Health school in Los Angeles is well-established, but that is just the beginning. Our expansive South Gate Campus has grown in our time as a school in order to make room for our daily operations. However, our expansion goes beyond the boundaries of our walls.

camnpus icon
Stockton
Request Info
  • Ready to earn your business degree? If you identify with at least one of the statements below, GCU could be a good fit for you!
  • I have worked in the business field for a number of years and want to further my education in order to qualify for promotions, leadership positions, and salary increases.
  • I am graduating from high school and am interested in pursuing a career in a business field, but I first need the skills experience.
  • I am interested in a Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral degree in my specialized business area of focus.
  • I want flexible course offerings, such as the option of 100% online, evening or campus classes.
  • I need a university that provides quality educational offerings through academic excellence and real-world relevance. Does this sound like you? Apply today!
  • • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *BestColleges.com Gold Medal of Distinction
  • **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Offers a program that translates work and military experience into college credit, transfers in credit from other college programs, and offers the flexibility of day, evening and online coursework.
  • Provides in-person tutoring, IT support, access to library resources, and job placement assistant for graduates.
  • Features a new blended-learning curriculum, which involves a mix of campus and online courses.
  • Has 11 campuses across Southern California, Washington, and Alaska, and online courses with campus support. 
camnpus icon
Oxnard
Request Info
  • For more than 45 years, PMI has been dedicated to quality healthcare education
  • 17 campuses across 9 states including Arizona, California, Texas, Colorado & more
  • Accredited by the ABHES with multiple accreditations per specific program
  • Certificates, associates, and bachelor’s programs in leading healthcare fields
  • PMI offers financial aid to students who qualify for assistance
camnpus icon
San Marcos
Request Info
  • Offers career programs in accounting, cosmetology, massage therapy, physical fitness training, and more.
  • Provides hands-on training led by instructors who have relevant, on-the-job experience.
  • Each campus features a public salon and spa for student practice.
  • Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 11 campuses across California, Texas, Nevada and Idaho, as well as 8 additional Milan Institute of Cosmetology campuses.
camnpus icon
Visalia
Request Info
  • Current RNs can choose from RN to BSN or RN to MSN online programs
  • RN-to-BSN program offers courses in Illness and Disease Management, Principles of Assessment, and Holistic Professional Nursing
  • RN to MSN specializations include Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology and more
  • Courses help develop students’ assessment, patient care, and community outreach skills
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
  • One of the largest massage therapy schools in the nation teaching since 1979.
  • First massage school in California to be nationally accredited.
  • Has a successful job placement record— 86% of graduates get placed into work in massage therapy.
  • Provides massage therapist education with multiple methods to ensure every student learns the material.
  • Offers lifetime career placement assistance and holds partnerships with a variety of employers.
camnpus icon
Petaluma
Request Info

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Physical Therapists.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

Back to Top