4 Reasons Physical Therapists Love Their Jobs

Posted on: 6 October 2016

If you have ever been injured, your physician may have sent you to physical therapy to learn how to regain control of your body. Although entirely beneficial, physical therapy can be grueling for the patients involved and for the physicians in charge of their care. So why do those therapists seem so chipper? Here are four reasons physical therapists love their jobs, and why you should consider a career in this exciting, truly service-oriented field.

1. Job Security

A staggering 7.9 million jobs were permanently lost during the last recession, which is why most people these days think about job security before choosing any career path. Fortunately, physical therapy has an excellent level of job security because the field as a whole continues to flourish.

In fact, research conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the physical therapy industry is projected to grow as much as 34% between 2014 and 2024—much faster than other fields. This means that, upon graduating with your doctorate in physical therapy and completing your state's necessary requirements, you should have a stable, secure career that you can keep for the long haul.

2. Freedom From A Desk

Paperwork isn't for everyone, and some people cringe at the mere idea of sitting behind a computer all day. One of the best things about a physical therapist job is the freedom from a traditional "desk job," which typically entails hours of sitting in the same place.

Physical therapists spend the majority of their day working with patients to improve their mobility. Activities might include evaluating someone's gait, teaching a patient how to move their legs so that they can walk again, or going through yoga positions with someone to help with flexibility. Physical therapy offices are exciting places filled with workout equipment, treadmills, and patients eager to work hard to regain their mobility—a stark contrast to most offices. 

3. Excellent Salaries

If having a job that allows you to live a comfortable lifestyle is important to you, becoming a physical therapist might be right up your alley. The American Physical Therapy Association reports that the median salary for a physical therapist is $85,000, with many therapists reporting higher-than-average salaries, depending on their local market. For example, physical therapists in Las Vegas, Nevada enjoy an average salary of $141,490, which is over 67% higher than the national average.

Physical therapists also enjoy a wide variety of work opportunities that can improve their salaries. For example, many private institutions, such as hospitals and retirement homes, hire physical therapists to become a permanent part of their staff. Some physical therapists also choose to work with oncology clinics or normal family practice offices to offer their services to different types of clientele. In addition to enjoying an impressive salary, physical therapy is an exceptionally diverse field that allows therapists to enjoy an ever-changing work environment.

4. The Opportunity to Truly Help Others

Ask any physical therapist—their answers will likely coincide. One of the biggest reasons that physical therapists love their jobs is because of the ability to help others and watch their progress in real time. In addition to offering patients the valuable skills they need to improve their mobility, physical therapists also have the opportunity to spend a lot of time with individual patients and build rewarding relationships. The opportunity to truly help other people keeps physical therapists engaged and fulfilled.

If you are considering a career in physical therapy, meet with a college counselor to talk about your educational path. Most physical therapists begin by earning a Bachelor's degree in a health-related field of study, such as biology, chemistry, physiology, or physics. To earn your physical therapy degree, students must be admitted to and complete their doctor of physical therapy degree from an accredited university, complete a residency, and then meet their state's licensing requirements. Becoming a physical therapist is challenging, but as you can see, the end results are well worth it.