$84k $84k
210k 210k
34.0% 34.0%
2.9/5 2.9/5
Masters Masters


Physical therapists are required to have a postgraduate professional degree. Physical therapy programs usually award a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, although a small number award a Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) degree. Doctoral programs typically last three years; MPT programs require two-to-three years of study. Most programs require a bachelor’s degree for admission, and many require specific prerequisites, such as anatomy, physiology, biology, and chemistry.

Physical therapy programs often include courses in biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, and pharmacology. Students also complete clinical rotations, enabling them to gain supervised work experience in areas such as acute care and orthopedic care.

Physical therapists may apply to and complete residency programs after graduation. Residencies last nine months to three years and provide additional training and experience in advanced or specialty areas of care.

After gaining work experience, some physical therapists choose to become board certified in a particular clinical specialty, such as pediatrics or sports physical therapy. Board certification requires passing an exam.

What are Physical Therapists like?


Based on our pool of users, physical therapists tend to be predominately social people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Industrial Designers by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 101 Sokanu users

Are Physical Therapists happy?


Physical therapists rank highly among careers. Overall they rank in the 71st percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Industrial Designer Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Physical Therapists

The most common degree held by physical therapists is Biology. 4% of physical therapists had a degree in biology before becoming physical therapists. That is over 1 times the average across all careers.

Physical Therapist Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Physical Therapist, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of physical therapists % of population Multiple
Biology 3.9% 2.7% 1.4×

Physical Therapist Education Levels

50% of physical therapists have a master's degree. 37% of physical therapists have a doctorate degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 0%
Associate's degree 0%
Bachelor's degree 13%
Master's degree 50%
Doctorate degree 37%

How to Become a Physical Therapist

Think you might be interested in becoming a Physical Therapist? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good physical therapist? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education

    • Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington | Wilmington, DE
      Offers: Associates
    • Delaware State University | Dover, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • University of Delaware | Newark, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Wesley College | Dover, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Wilmington University | New Castle, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
  3. Get Hired
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Further Reading

  • Physical Therapist (PT) Education Overview www.apta.org

    All PTs must receive a graduate degree from an accredited physical therapist program before taking the national licensure examination that allows them to practice.

Find your perfect career

Would you make a good physical therapist? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

80% Match?
Take the free career test

Recommended Books

  • Physical Therapy Documentation: From Examination to Outcome www.amazon.com

    Complete and accurate documentation is one of the most essential skills for a physical therapist to develop and use effectively. Necessary for both new and experienced practitioners, the new and updated Second Edition of Physical Therapy Documentation: From Examination to Outcome will teach and explain physical therapy documentation from A to Z.

  • Differential Diagnosis for Physical Therapists: Screening for Referral www.amazon.com

    Following the standards for competency established by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) related to conducting a screening examination, Differential Diagnosis for Physical Therapists, 5th Edition gives you a consistent way to screen for systemic diseases and medical conditions that can mimic neuromuscular and musculoskeletal problems.

  • Physical Rehabilitation www.amazon.com

    Rely on this comprehensive, curriculum-spanning text and reference now and throughout your career! It focuses on the rehabilitation management of adult patients, integrating basic surgical, medical, and therapeutic interventions to explain how to select the most appropriate evaluation procedures, to develop rehabilitation goals, and to implement a treatment plan.

  • SO YOU WANT TO BE A THERAPIST? How to become a Physical or Occupational Therapist www.amazon.com

    This is the only current book out there made for those aspiring to enter the field of physical therapy or occupational therapy. It shows you the steps and unknown tips needed to put you in the best position to ultimately get into the very competitive U.S. physical therapy and occupational therapy schools.

  • Physical Therapy Professional Foundations: Keys to Success in School and Career www.amazon.com

    Physical Therapy Professional Foundations: Keys to Success in School and Career is a comprehensive new text that provides an in-depth guide for physical therapy students from the start of their education to clinical practice.

  • A Career as a Physical Therapist www.amazon.com

    Introduces the profession of physical therapy, including its history, tools, training programs, and areas of specialization.

Become a Physical Therapist