A physical therapist is a health professional who helps people improve how their bodies move. They help manage symptoms like pain, stiffness and weakness that make it hard to do the things they want to do. A physical therapist also works with patients to prevent future problems by teaching them ways to move more confidently and safely.

People work with physical therapists in many different settings. They may treat patients in private practice, hospital-based outpatient facilities, schools, sports teams or as part of home health services. Some professionals choose to become board-certified in a specific area of physical therapy and may find themselves working in specialty clinics.

The annual median wage for a physical therapist is $122.30 per hour. Salaries for this position vary by region and are affected by the amount of experience a PT has, the number of clinical hours required in their degree program, whether they work at a private practice or other factor. Some PTs who own their own practices earn a higher salary than the median, but that comes with additional opportunities and responsibilities.

People interested in becoming a physical therapist can find more information on education, career growth and pay on resources like O*NET. They can compare the average salaries of physical therapists across regions and employers, as well as see how their wages compare to other health care professionals. It is also possible to search for job listings and apply for positions online.