Job Choices for Physical Therapists: What is Out There For You?

Before you take your degrees, before you start the ball rolling on acquiring a license, you need to plan ahead and know what kind of job choices are available for physical therapists. Luckily for you, there are a wide number of potential careers to be had within the larger field of physical therapy.

There are five types of physical therapy careers that you can look to when deciding what path to follow within this field:

  • Orthopedic physical therapy
  • Pediatric physical therapy
  • Geriatric physical therapy
  • Neurological physical therapy
  • Cardiovascular physical therapy

Each of these types of physical therapy offers its own challenges and rewards, and suits a different type of personality. And it is equally true that each division in the field will offer you the opportunity to work in different environments.


Physical therapists, because of the nature of their work, practice in a wide variety of environments ranging from hospitals, to specialized clinics, to nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, positions in home health agencies, in school settings, daycare, and even on military bases. In addition to those positions, physical therapists get the opportunity to engage in teaching positions, training the next generation of physical therapists, and as researchers, expanding the field and improving methods of treatment and care.

But overall, the most common environment in which a physical therapist works is a hospital. This is because all five branches of physical therapy practice are performed in a hospital setting. And, in most cases, all the tools a physical therapist needs for their work will be present in a hospital setting making this the ideal place to engage in treatment.

And though a hospital is the most common setting in which physical therapists practice, there are actually some high paying industries you may want to consider if you’re going to specialize. The following list highlights the most lucrative environments in which a physical therapist works (according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics):

  • Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services
  • Home Health Care Services
  • Individual and Family Services
  • Office Administration Services
  • Nursing Care Facilities

If you’re going to make a real career out of physical therapy, consider what aspect of the industry most appeals to you. And if you’re concerned about making a lucrative living through your career, don’t worry about it going in. Each branch of physical therapy has high-earning positions. Make the choice that is right for you, and good luck!