Physical Therapist Resume Example

Strengthen your resume by improving your skills section and verb choice, along with a host of other tips!

Written by Katerina Frye • Last updated on Jul 21, 2020
Physical Therapist Resume Example
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Physical Therapist Resume Example

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Physical Therapists

Physical Therapists help people to move better, manage their pain, and optimize their physical performance. They help people stretch, exercise, and heal after injuries or illnesses. 

How to Write a Summary for a Physical Therapist

  1. Mention your previous experience. Did you ever play a sport? Have you completed any internships?
  2. Describe your greatest strength. Are you patient? Are you good at helping your parents determine what’s wrong?
  3. Explain what you’re eager to accomplish in the next stage of your career. Are you looking to work with student athletes? Do you prefer to work with the elderly?

How to List Your Work Experience as a Physical Therapist

  1. Use reverse chronological format. List your most recent jobs first, as this shows managers how you’ve gained experience in the industry. 
  2. Use action verbs related to being a Physical Therapist. Verbs are critical to demonstrating what you can do for the company. Review the following list for some powerful examples.
  • Communicated 
  • Conducted
  • Created
  • Determined 
  • Devised 
  • Evaluated
  • Instructed
  • Maintained 
  • Motivated 
  • Prepared 
  • Promoted
  • Provided 
  • Reviewed 

See our list of over 350 action verbs to find more.

Senior Level Work Experience as a Physical Therapist

  • Conducted research using online federal regulations, Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) policy, standards of medical practice, CMS contractor manuals, coverage issues manuals, and medical literature to complete an accurate and well-supported decision
  • Identified and met patients’ goals and needs
  • Stayed abreast of changes in medical practices, policies and procedures
  • Determined sound, independent decisions based on medical evidence in accordance with statutes, regulation, rulings, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) policy, and local Medicare policy, or other authoritative sources.
  • Implemented and documented patient status
  • Instructed and counseled patients by describing therapeutic regimens
  • Prepared documentation, progress notes, reports, and discharge summaries, as required
  • Provided assessments, treatments, instructions and other physical therapy services
  • Evaluated patients, developed a plan of care with associated goals including quantifiable physical and functional targets
  • Created fitness- and wellness-oriented programs tailored to patients’ specific needs
  • Motivated patients during treatment in order to help them function optimally
  • Promoted clients’ healthy lifestyles by improving strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination

Junior Level Work Experience as a Physical Therapist

  • Devised detailed treatment plans to achieve patients’ needs and goals
  • Exercised personal judgement (i.e., made modifications as needed) during treatment execution to ensure patient safety and continued progress
  • Motivated and encouraged patients throughout the treatment process
  • Devised detailed exercise techniques, stretches, and self care programs for patients to complete between sessions
  • Evaluated effects of therapy and keep detailed records of patient appointments and progress
  • Communicated with patients’ physicians regularly to ensure consistent care
  • Reduced patients’ needs for medications and surgeries by means of improving range of motion, strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance
  • Complied with federal and state physical therapy regulations
  • Maintained patient confidentiality

How to List Your Skills as a Physical Therapist

Physical Therapists not only need to be knowledgeable about the body and how it works, but they also need to be good at communicating with people. Check out the skills below and add them to your resume:

  • Communication
  • Compassion 
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Dexterity
  • Physical Stamina
  • Resourcefulness
  • Time Management Skills

How to List Your Education as a Physical Therapist

Physical Therapists generally require both a bachelor’s degree and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Physical Therapists then complete one year of residency. 

They must also be licensed, which includes passing the National Physical Therapy Examination administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.  

Requirements for licensure vary by state but generally involve the following:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree
  • One year of residency 
  • Apply for a license in the state you’re located in 
  • Complete a background check

Physical Therapist Career Overview

Job Outlook

The job outlook for Physical Therapists is growing at 22% per year, which is considered to be much faster than average. In 2018 there were 247,700 jobs available.

Average Salary 

Physical Therapists make $89,440 per year on average. However, salaries could be as high as $124,740 depending on  experience, certifications, and location. 

Top Paying Salaries by State

  • $108,550 -- Nevada
  • $102,650 -- Alaska
  • $99,920 -- California

Search for Physical Therapist Jobs

With a background in Psychology and Marketing, Katerina devotes her time to understand people, their careers, and their goals to help them succeed. She also has experience in social media, science writing, and fiction. When she isn't writing, she's hitting the gym, playing with her cats, or eating chocolate.
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