Post-Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy: Career Outlook

Help your patients heal and excel in a vital healthcare role.

Earn your Doctor of Physical Therapy and take control of the entire physical therapy process—from consultation to diagnosis to developing a treatment plan that meets your patient's needs.

  • Top 10% of physical therapists earn $122,650 annually1
  • 28% job growth projected, 2016–20261
  • DPT now the entry-level degree for licensed practice

Demand for experts in this field is increasing alongside the nation's aging population, with 28 percent growth projected by 2026.1 As baby boomers stay active later in life, they need support from physical therapists for mobility-related injuries as well as the side effects of heart attacks, diabetes, and strokes.

In addition, advances in medical technology are helping trauma survivors and newborns with birth defects thrive while increasing the need for rehabilitative care. As a physical therapist, you'll play a crucial role in helping people of all ages heal and live better lives.

As a doctor of physical therapy, you could earn up to $120,000 per year and qualify for 307,000 new job opportunities by 2026.1 Stay competitive in this bustling field and prepare for top-earning roles in specialized disciplines:

Neurological Rehab Physical Therapist


A neurologic physical therapist specializes in the evaluation and treatment of individuals with movement problems due to disease or injury of the nervous system. Physical therapists can help improve or restore the mobility patients need to move forward with life.2

Senior Physical Therapist


A senior physical therapist helps ill or injured individuals with physical movement and pain management. They design programs to increase function and allow patients to better complete daily activities. A senior physical therapist must work with patients to explain, carry out, and update the plan as necessary.3

Additional roles for doctors of physical therapy:

  • Lead Physical Therapist
  • Physical Therapist Director
  • Geriatric Physical Therapist
  • Acute Care Physical Therapist

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          Key Skills Employers Need

          • Demonstrate the ability to locate and critically analyze literature to develop hypotheses to guide clinical decisions for patient/clients

          • Use technology to address clinical questions and understand the efficacy of practice

          • Integrate cultural competence into professional behavior and clinical encounters with all clients

          • Appraise levels of sensitivity and specificity of evidence to make clinical judgments

          • Integrate research evidence, patient values and preferences, ethics, and clinical experience to examine patients or clients across their lifespan

          • Display adherence to physical therapy core values and professional standards

          Beyond the Degree

          We have the tools to help you make your next career move:

          One-on-One Mentors

          Work with your program director and professors for professional mentorship and support.

          Job Search Assistance

          Build your résumé, do mock interviews, and find new opportunities in your area.

          Career Counseling

          Have our experts review your résumé and LinkedIn and learn to stand out from the crowd.

          UC Career Connect

          Register for events, create a visual profile for employers, and apply for jobs and internships through our online portal.


          1Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018, April 13). Physical Therapists. Retrieved June 15, 2018, from
          2Glassdoor (n.d.). Orthopaedic & Neurological Rehabilitation Physical Therapist Jobs in United States. Retrieved June 15, 2018, from,43_KO44,62_IL.63,65_IN1.htm?irs=C2J_TAB_SALARIES
          3PayScale (n.d.). Average Senior Physical Therapist Salary. Retrieved June 15, 2018, from