Physical Therapist How to Hire, Salary Data, and Job Descriptions

Physical therapists diagnose and treat people who have medical problems or conditions that hinder their ability to enjoy an active lifestyle. They provide treatment to relieve pain, improve mobility, and reduce the need for medication and surgery. Physical therapists work in hospitals, nursing homes, private offices, fitness facilities, and other settings. They spend a lot of time on their feet, interacting with patients. All states require physical therapists, which are sometimes called PTs, to have a degree and be licensed.

Sample job description #1

ABC Company is currently seeking a Full-Time Physical Therapist to provide physical therapy to children with neuromuscular disorders and atypical or delayed development. ABC Company provides medical, therapy, special education, and family services to infants and young children with cerebral palsy and other developmental delays and their families.

Essential functions include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide assessment and physical therapy treatment for agency children, in client homes, other community sites, and in the center
  • Assess and evaluate the children
  • Establish and carry out a treatment program according to the child’s needs
  • Evaluate home and/or school situation by making site visits, if indicated
  • Educate parents or caretaker and educational staff in specific handling of child
  • Act as consultant to therapy and educational staff in regard to specific children
  • Seek consultation from appropriate team members when necessary
  • Participate in developing or making adaptive equipment for their child
  • Perform case management and other administrative requirements
  • Act as case manager for specific children
  • Provide adequate medical records and documentation (e.g., IFSP) on assessment, progress, and program of each child in accordance with clinic policy
  • Schedule minimum hours of therapy as established by therapy department policy
  • Participate at staff conferences and meetings and in-services
  • Organize specific areas in therapy department and order supplies and equipment as needed
  • Keep time records and billing sheets weekly
  • Coordinate services with other therapy and educational programs, having contact with involved medical and educational personnel within this facility and at outside agencies
  • Provide training, care coordination, assistance with access, program planning, interagency coordination, and administrative functions to support Medicaid programs
  • Perform training related duties
  • Organize therapy in-services on rotating basis
  • Facilitate professional growth of team members. Keep abreast of development of own professional field
  • Assist with demonstration in courses as appropriate
  • Share information from courses, etc. in staff in-services

Education & experience:

  • Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy is required; Master’s of Science degree in Physical Therapy or Doctorate of Physical Therapy preferred
  • Previous experience as a physical therapist working with children desired
  • Training and experience in the handling of children with cerebral palsy and the treatment of neuromuscular and developmental problems is desirable

Required licenses and/or certifications:

  • Must possess a State PT License
  • Current First Aid and CPR certification are required
  • Must possess valid State Driver’s License, automobile insurance, and a reliable means of transportation

Required abilities & skills:

  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with children, parents, staff, co-workers, and physicians
  • Ability to instruct parents and other persons involved in the handling and management of the child
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to pass State DSHS criminal history and background check and FBI fingerprint check

Sample job description #2

Our ESIT (Early Support for Infants and Toddlers) Team is hiring a Physical Therapist to work with children from newborns to age three, and their families! Join our team of providers and our mission as we partner with families to build healthy foundations and community where all children thrive.

You will be joining a team that is focused on holistic, wrap around care to meet the critical individual needs of the developing child and support for the family. You will be working with a team of providers offering multidisciplinary care in a community that connects with, encourages, and build relationships with one another.

The Physical Therapist is responsible for the planning and implementation of physical therapy goals for children ages birth to three years old in a home-based setting.

Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Provide services to children and families, offering parent participation during treatment to encourage parent involvement and training
  • Provide parent/family coaching support
  • Monitor treatment progress
  • Evaluate children for program qualification
  • Develop on-going individualized goals and regular progress reports
  • Participate with team members on a regular basis and provide inter-disciplinary consultations with other therapists as needed
  • Complete written daily treatment notes in a timely manner to document services rendered
  • Maintain records on each child as mandated to monitor progress
  • Provide daily insurance billing information to facilitate timely reimbursement
  • Include parents in decision making opportunities at progress report/reassessment periods
  • Monitor and track caseload requirements with on-going new referrals
  • Participate in staff development/training opportunities
  • Willingness and ability to work closely with families
  • Ability to work as a member of a team, and experience working with young children in a clinic, home, or community setting
  • Other duties as assigned



  • Graduate of an accredited Physical Therapy program with valid State Licensure
  • Pass State DSHS criminal history and background check and FBI fingerprint check if not in state for more than the past 3 years
  • Infant and child CPR, first aid, and blood borne pathogens training within 90 days of hire
  • Ability to work as a member of a team

Sample job description #3

The ideal candidate will take ownership of this position. They will sustain the existing physical therapy department, oversee the existing ABC Company PT staff, communicate with other ABC Company physical therapists at the other ABC Company office locations for best practices and clinical care coverage, while continuing to focus on growth in the City area.

Responsibilities include:

  • Provide physical therapy to orthopedic but predominantly spine patients with the goal to avoid surgery but also to expedite recovery in the postoperative period
  • Work directly with neurosurgeons, orthopedic spine surgeons, pain management doctors, and physiatrists within the same City office
  • Evaluate each patient to develop, implement, and modify the treatment plan in accordance with the patient’s needs as they evolve and communicate any concerning observations to the treating physician either in person, phone call, or HIPAA compliant texting service provided by ABC Company
  • Responsible for identifying the need to refer and the delegation of referrals for any discipline-specific treatment services for assigned patients
  • Ensures the design of functional treatment programs allowing for an effective return to desired lifestyle activities
  • Performs other professional duties associated with the care of the patient, development of discipline-specific therapy services, and design of program delivery
  • Expands the physical therapy patient base and referral base

Valued attributes:

  • Efforts efficiency and maximization of patient scheduling without reducing patient care
  • Maintains clean and orderly gym floor to provide a professional atmosphere that is appreciated and inviting to patients
  • Knowledge of eClinicalWorks a plus

Education & experience (including licenses):

  • Current state licensure as a Physical Therapist required
  • Certified BLS required

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a physical therapist is $92,350 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$91,850$124,250
Los Angeles, California$103,600$140,200
Denver, Colorado$86,350$116,800
Washington, DC$105,200$142,300
Miami, Florida$85,950$116,300
Orlando, Florida$79,300$107,250
Tampa, Florida$80,050$108,350
Atlanta, Georgia$84,000$113,650
Chicago, Illinois$96,550$130,650
Boston, Massachusetts$104,400$141,250
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$83,200$112,600
New York City, New York$109,900$148,700
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$89,500$121,050
Dallas, Texas$87,150$117,900
Houston, Texas$86,350$116,800
Seattle, Washington$100,500$135,950
National Average$78,500$106,200

Sample interview questions

  • What made you want to become a physical therapist?
  • What do you enjoy the most about being a physical therapist, and what is one thing you wish you could change about the job?
  • Do you have a degree in physical therapy?
  • When you work closely with a patient, how do you schedule and create an ideal appointment or session?
  • What is the most common aspect of physical therapy you will use?
  • How would you manage or treat a movement disorder?
  • What are some relevant certifications you have which would help you be a better physical therapist?
  • Are you knowledgeable in kinesiology?
  • How would you resolve an issue you had with a coworker or patient?
  • As a physical therapist, what is one thing you enjoy about helping your patients?
  • Give me a sample treatment plan for someone with a bad back.

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