Best Physical Therapy Resume Examples

Nilda Melissa Diaz
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, Career Advice ContributorRated 4.8/5 Stars
Last Updated: September 15, 2023
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A career in physical therapy is a rewarding profession which gives you the opportunity to help people recover from injuries, illnesses and surgeries. Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and backgrounds, helping them to regain strength, range of motion and independence. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects an impressive growth for physical therapy jobs over the next decade, with about 154,000 new positions expected through 2031. 

To succeed as a physical therapist, you must write a resume to help you stand out. That’s why we’re here. We’ll help you build the perfect physical therapy resume or CV, and create an effective cover letter to accompany it. Plus, we offer some great resume examples, CV examples and cover letter examples to get you started.

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Physical Therapy resume FAQ

1. What’s the ideal resume format for a physical therapy job resume?

There are three standard resume formats. The one you choose should depend on your level of work experience and career goals.

  • Functional format: Entry-level applicants will benefit from this format. The layout focuses on skills, allowing you to showcase everything that you can do.
  • Combination format: This format puts the skills and work experience on equal footing. It’s a great option if you have a few years of experience in physical therapy.
  • Chronological format: Ideal for seasoned physical therapy applicants with many years of experience, this format showcases expertise through a detailed work history section.

2. What are some common skills required for physical therapy jobs?

Hiring managers for physical therapy jobs look for applicants who have a mix of soft and hard skills, specifically: 

  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Dedication
  • Verbal communication
  • Technology
  • Flexibility
  • Medical knowledge
  • Strategy
  • Self-discipline
  • Agility
  • Flexibility
  • Attention to detail
  • Focus
  • Curiosity

3. What qualifications and certifications do employers look for in this industry?

Physical therapy careers tend to require significant education. In the United States, prospective physical therapists must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited graduate program. Admission to a DPT program usually requires a bachelor’s degree and prerequisite coursework in subjects like anatomy, physiology, biology and psychology. Once you’ve completed your DPT degree, you’ll need to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) to become licensed to practice. In addition, many states require continuing education to maintain your license and stay up to date with current practices and techniques.

4. What is the salary potential for a professional physical therapy?

The average salary for a physical therapist in the United States in 2021 was $95,620. This is typical of a full-time licensed physical therapist, but other careers in physical therapy and similar fields may expect different earnings. For example:

  • Physical therapist assistants and aides: $49,180 per year.
  • Occupational therapists: $92,800 per year.
  • Home health and physical care aides: $30,930 per year.

5. What does the career progression for a professional physical therapy look like?

The physical therapist career is a growing one. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a growth outlook of 17% for physical therapy careers over the course of the next decade.

Careers for physical therapy assistants and aides are expected to grow by a staggering 24% between 2021 and 2031 with 25,500 new openings per year during this period.

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Physical Therapy Resume Example

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