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Physical Therapist Job Description

This is an example of a Physical Therapist job description for a reference when building your resume. Analyze the qualifications and requirements listed to get an understanding of what you need to include on your resume for what employers would look for in this field.


Physical Therapists are healthcare professionals who assess, diagnose, and treat individuals with physical impairments or disabilities. They work with patients of all ages to improve their physical function, mobility, and quality of life. Physical Therapists work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, and private practices.

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  • Patient Evaluation and Assessment: Perform comprehensive evaluations of patients’ physical abilities, including range of motion, strength, balance, posture, and functional mobility. Assess patients’ medical history, review diagnostic tests, and consult with other healthcare professionals as necessary.
  • Treatment Planning and Implementation: Develop individualized treatment plans based on assessment results and identified goals. Establish treatment objectives and implement therapeutic interventions to improve physical function, reduce pain, restore mobility, and enhance overall well-being.
  • Therapeutic Interventions: Provide hands-on interventions and therapeutic exercises to address specific impairments and promote functional recovery. Utilize various techniques such as manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, electrotherapy, heat or cold therapy, and assistive devices.
  • Patient Education and Home Exercise Programs: Educate patients and their families on exercises, activities, and self-care techniques to improve strength, flexibility, and function. Provide guidance on injury prevention, ergonomics, and strategies for managing symptoms.
  • Progress Monitoring and Documentation: Regularly assess and document patients’ progress towards treatment goals. Modify treatment plans as needed based on patient responses and objective measures. Maintain accurate and detailed records of treatments, evaluations, and outcomes.
  • Collaboration and Communication: Collaborate with interdisciplinary teams, including physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists, to ensure coordinated patient care. Communicate effectively with patients, families, and caregivers to provide updates, educate on treatment progress, and coordinate discharge planning.
  • Equipment and Assistive Device Recommendation: Assess the need for and recommend appropriate assistive devices, such as crutches, canes, wheelchairs, or orthotics. Instruct patients on proper use and fit of assistive devices.
  • Pain Management: Utilize pain management techniques, including modalities, manual therapy, and therapeutic exercises, to alleviate pain and improve function.
  • Professional Development: Stay updated on advancements in physical therapy research, evidence-based practices, and industry standards through continuing education and professional development activities. Attend conferences, workshops, and seminars to enhance knowledge and skills.


  • Education and Licensure: Completion of a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program from an accredited institution. Successful completion of national licensing exams and obtaining a state license to practice as a Physical Therapist.
  • Physical Therapy Knowledge: In-depth understanding of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and biomechanics as they relate to human movement and function. Proficiency in evidence-based assessment and treatment techniques.
  • Manual Therapy and Therapeutic Skills: Proficiency in manual therapy techniques, therapeutic exercises, and modalities commonly used in physical therapy practice. Ability to develop individualized treatment plans based on patient needs and goals.
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills: Excellent communication skills to effectively interact with patients, families, and healthcare professionals. Ability to explain complex concepts in a clear and understandable manner. Active listening skills to understand patients’ concerns and goals.
  • Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking: Strong problem-solving skills to analyze patient situations, develop appropriate treatment plans, and modify interventions as needed. Ability to think critically and adapt treatment approaches based on patient progress.
  • Empathy and Patient-Centered Care: Compassion, empathy, and cultural sensitivity to provide patient-centered care. Respect for patients’ autonomy, preferences, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Time Management and Organization: Strong organizational skills to manage caseloads, prioritize responsibilities, and meet deadlines. Ability to balance multiple tasks and handle interruptions effectively.
  • Ethics and Professionalism: Demonstrate professionalism, integrity, and ethical conduct in all aspects of work. Adherence to professional codes of conduct and regulatory guidelines.

Remember that specific job descriptions for Physical Therapists may vary depending on the healthcare setting, specialization, and specific requirements. The above description provides a general overview of the responsibilities and qualifications typically associated with Physical Therapist roles.

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