Types of Degrees Physical Therapy Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many physical therapy/therapist graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Physical Therapy Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, physical therapy majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Physical Therapy Majors
According to O*NET survey takers, a major in physical therapy should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Skills for Physical Therapy Majors
When studying physical therapy, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for Physical Therapy Majors
Physical Therapy majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
What Can You Do With a Physical Therapy Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with physical therapy:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Health Specialties Professors||25.9%||$97,370|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of physical therapy majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||8|
|Hispanic or Latino||22|
Physical Therapy appeals to people across the globe. About 1.8% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do Physical Therapy Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
Physical Therapy majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $88,880 to $122,320 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Physical Therapy
Some careers associated with physical therapy require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to physical therapy have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||1.0%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||1.6%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||2.6%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||4.2%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||3.4%|
Online Physical Therapy Programs
In 2018-2019, 271 schools offered a physical therapy program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||0||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||0||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||42||4|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||221||13|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||9||0|
Is a Degree in Physical Therapy Worth It?
The median salary for a physical therapy grad is $88,880 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 123% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $979,600 after 20 years!
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Majors Related to Physical Therapy
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to physical therapy.
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Barbara E. Carver under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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