Physical therapists are health care professionals who evaluate and treat people with health problems resulting from injury or disease. Among other responsibilities, physical therapists assess joint motion, muscle strength and endurance, function of heart and lungs, and performance of activities required in daily living. More than 90,000 physical therapists practice in the United States today, treating nearly one million people every day.
Although many physical therapists practice in acute care or subacute care hospitals, more than 65 percent practice in private physical therapy offices, community health centers, industrial health centers, sports facilities, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, schools or pediatric centers, work in research institutions or teach in colleges or universities.
After graduation, candidates must pass a state-administered national exam. Other requirements for physical therapy practice vary from state to state according to physical therapy practice acts or state regulations governing physical therapy.