How long does it take to become a Physical Therapist

How Long Does It Take To Become a Physical Therapist?

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In this guide, we are going to see how long it takes for one to become a Physical therapist, but before that, let us consider who a physical therapist is, the career prospect and top schools offering the program.

Who Is a Physical Therapist?

Physical therapists are movement experts who use prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education to improve people’s quality of life.

Physical therapists work with people of all ages, from babies to the elderly. Many of the patients have injuries, impairments, or other medical issues that require treatment. PTs, on the other hand, help those who only want to get healthier and avoid difficulties in the future.

Physical therapists analyze each patient and establish a treatment plan to help them move better, manage pain, regain function, and avoid disability. Physical therapists have a huge impact on the lives of their patients. They assist individuals in achieving fitness goals, regaining or maintaining independence, and leading active lives.

How Much Does a Physical Therapist Earn?

A physical therapist’s average pay is $85,000. Salaries differ depending on the role, years of experience, level of education, geographic area, and type of practice.

Physical therapist demand varies by geographic region and practice area, but overall, PT unemployment is low. Physical therapists are likely to be in high demand as the US population ages and demand for their services rises.

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Where Can You Work as a Physical Therapist?


Some physical therapists work in hospitals, providing extensive rehabilitative treatment to patients recovering from severe surgeries or traumatic experiences. Patients may receive therapy from more than one physical therapist throughout treatment in hospital PT departments because of the rotating personnel. Working in a hospital setting has the advantage of following the hospital’s hours, making it a flexible alternative for those who have schedule issues.

Private Practice

Physical therapists are commonly associated with hospitals, but they work in a variety of settings, including private practice. You may pick a career that incorporated one or more of these locations or settings, depending on your training, abilities, and level of comfort with different patients. Your knowledge of sports physical therapy, for example, could be useful in a work at a neighborhood gym, a government organization that helps veterans, a college athletics program, or an occupational environment. Physical therapy can be practiced without working at a hospital.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Physical Therapist

To become a board certified and licensed physical therapist, you must complete a CAPTE-accredited program and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). The usual DPT program lasts roughly three years.

Of course, you must first complete an undergraduate degree before applying to a DPT program. In fact, you can apply through PTCAS with any major in college as long as you complete the necessary prereqs for PT school. The Physical Therapy Central Application System (PTCAS) is the central application system for physical therapy schools.

If you’re still in high school (or need to finish your bachelor’s degree), a 6-year Freshman Entry DPT program might be right for you. If you are accepted into this type of program, you will be able to acquire a bachelor’s degree as well as a DPT degree in around 6 years if you maintain the program’s required GPA.

Overall, this can save you around a year, as the average undergraduate program is four years plus three years for the DPT. It’s absolutely something to think about for those who are serious about physical therapy and know this is the vocation for them. You can complete the undergraduate section of the program without completing the DPT if you decide that physical therapy is not the vocation for you.

Average GPA For Physical Therapist Schools

To be admitted to a physical therapy program, different colleges may require different grades and scores. Most institutions demand a minimum GPA of 3.0, however many schools’ acceptance rates may be as high as 3.75. As a result, it is not uncommon for it to vary. So we advise that you do your homework and find out what score your dream school accepts.

Top Schools Offering Physical Therapist Programs

If you are planning to pursue a career in Physical Therapist, you can consider enrolling in the following Physical Therapist schools that offer qualitative education.

University Of Pittsburg

The University of Pittsburg’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) is one of the world’s top physical therapy institutions. Academic and clinical quality, as well as high-impact, multidisciplinary research, are all hallmarks of the institution.

The institution has been a trailblazer in assisting people of all ages and stages of life with movement, function, and mobility issues. The University of Pittsburg School of Health and Rehabilitation is ranked as the second-best approved physical therapy school in the US.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is ranked as the world’s third best physical therapy school. Graduates can select from three degree programs to help them achieve their goals and become industry leaders.

The vast majority of students are enrolled in our three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, which is offered in both hybrid and residential formats. With a master’s degree and a PhD, the school also offers one of the best kinesiology programs in the country. Neurological, orthopedic, pediatric, and sports physical therapy residency programs are among the best in the country.

Washington University

The Washington University Program in Physical Therapy is a national leader in enhancing human health through movement by combining multidisciplinary research, excellent clinical treatment, and the education of tomorrow’s leaders to achieve function optimization across the lifetime.

The Physical treatment Program has created a movement-based approach to physical therapy that is unlike any other. The physical therapy program at Washington University is recognized as the fourth finest in the country.

Emory University

For many aspiring physical therapists, the Department of Physical Therapy has been a top choice. Something about the curriculum develops remarkable abilities, creativity, reflection, and humanity while building self-confidence as students grow into exceptional professionals.

The Department of Physical Therapy’s mission is to promote individual and community well-being by providing exemplary leadership in physical therapy education, research, and service. The physical therapy program is ranked fifth best in the country.

North Western University

Northwestern University’s Department of Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences provides the most comprehensive educational environment for students pursuing physical therapy degrees.

In a diverse academic community, Northwestern is dedicated to exceptional teaching, cutting-edge research, and students’ personal and intellectual development. Physical therapy education is offered at Northwestern University, which is ranked sixth best.

How Much Does a Physical Therapist Make?

Physical therapist wages vary greatly, as they do in other occupations, depending on the number of years a therapist has worked in the field. In fact, a therapist’s number of years in clinical practice determines his or her compensation far more than his or her school background.

Physical therapists with less than 16 years of experience earned an average of $66,000 in 2011, while those with more than 16 years of experience earned an average of $84,000. A therapist who falls midway between these two extremes—not new out of school, but not nearly a seasoned vet—should expect to make around $82,390 in 2014.

What does a Physical Therapist do?

The progress of a patient is evaluated and recorded by physical therapists. Physical therapists assist persons who have been wounded or are unwell in regaining mobility and managing pain. Patients with chronic ailments, illnesses, or injuries frequently use them as part of their preventive care, rehabilitation, and therapy.

Is a Physical Therapist Doctor?

A Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) or Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPhysio) degree is a post-baccalaureate 3-4 year degree awarded after completion of a professional doctoral program. Both degrees prepare students to sit for the physical therapy license exam in all 50 states. To practice professionally, all physical therapists must have a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree by 2020. So, sure, a physical therapist is a doctor with the training and credentials to safely and successfully perform their medical speciality.

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