Create Your Physical Therapy
Resume in 5 Easy Steps

  • Step 1: Add Contact Info

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  • Step 2: Include Work Experience Details

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  • Step 3: Provide Education Details

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  • Step 4: Select Your Skills

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  • Step 5: Fill in Your Background

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Get Expert Writing Recommendations for Your Physical Therapy Resume

When applying for physical therapy roles, the first thing you should rehabilitate is your resume. Writing a physical therapy resume is simple when you use the right tools.

LiveCareer’s Resume Builder offers users pre-written text that certified resume writers craft specifically for those pursuing jobs in the physical therapy field. Use the recommendations verbatim or customize them to fit your needs.

Here are some examples of text our builder might recommend for your physical therapy resume:

  • Instructed practice members how to use exercise equipment and about proper technique while lifting weights
  • Provided deep tissue massage for an average of 15 athletes a week
  • Evaluated clients using a variety of tests and equipment to determine areas of weakness
  • Created customized therapeutic exercises for rehabilitative patients
  • Educated clients and family members about injuries and developed plan for recovery
  • Presented seminar on motivation strategies for exercising and lifestyle changes
  • Performed regular evaluations of client’s progress and modified care plan when necessary

8 Dos and Don’ts for Writing a Physical Therapy Resume

  • Do use quantifiable achievements. Numbers and metrics pack a punch on a physical therapy resume. Give a potential employer a clear picture of how many clients you work with on average, the percentage of clients who showed improvement and other measurable results.

  • Do include all applicable training and certifications. Jobs in physical therapy often require or recommend additional training outside of the regular education. This may include CPR, first aid or other specialty training. Include all of these in your resume to demonstrate your abilities.

  • Do include only relevant information. A hiring manager does not need to know about past jobs that do not relate to the physical therapy industry. Focus the resume only on healthcare-related jobs, internships and volunteer positions.

  • Do proofread before submitting. Make sure your resume is in tip-top shape with no errors before sending it. Ask a friend to proofread it, too, with a fresh set of eyes.

  • Don’t forget education. Many physical therapy positions have education requirements. Include not only your degrees, the school you attended, and also all special training and licensing that relate to the industry.

  • Don’t leave out soft skills. Most people in physical therapy work both with the public and on a team as part of the job. Showcase skills like customer service, empathy, and solid communication skills.

  • Don’t be too general. An employer wants specifics about your duties as a physical therapist and how you perform as an employee in a practice. Use specific examples to describe past and current duties.

  • Don’t be humble. The physical therapy field can be competitive, and the resume is often your one chance to shine. Include all accolades and awards you have from your work experiences.

Beat the ATS with These Physical Therapy Resume Skills

The physical therapy industry has a strong growth outlook, and there are many applicants for each job. Employers often use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to help them quickly identify the most qualified applicants. An ATS searches for pre-determined keywords and will discard the resumes that don’t include them.

To pass through an ATS, look at the job description to identify the skills most valued by the employer. LiveCareer’s Resume Builder will recommend additional skills that are specific to the job title to which you are applying. Here are some skills our builder might recommend:

  • Ability to communicate with other healthcare providers
  • Good diagnostic skills to determine proper care plan
  • Athletic training certification
  • Good physical stamina
  • Ability to give detailed instructions for patient retention
  • CPR training
  • Ability to make effective decisions in an emergency situation
  • Good interpersonal skills with ability to work with clients of all personalities
  • Empathy towards patient’s condition
  • Ability to motivate clients to perform exercises

Physical Therapy Resumes for Every Professional Level


Student Physical Therapy Assistant

A student typically does not have a lot of related work experience. This job seeker uses a functional resume format, which focuses more on the professional skills and qualifications of the applicant than on work history.

There is a summary of qualifications at the top of the resume, and then the job seeker creates a list of more specific abilities under professional skills. The applicant lists past and current jobs briefly on the right-hand side, so the focus of attention is on qualifications. Build my Resume


Senior Physical Therapist

A senior physical therapist has typically acquired both a solid skill set and several years of work experience. For this applicant, a combination resume format works well, as it puts equal focus on skills and jobs. This job seeker also does a good job of showing career progression from a health coach to holding a senior position as a physical therapist. An employer can easily see how the applicant uses professional skills to achieve results. Build my Resume


Director of Rehabilitation Services

This director-level applicant has vast professional experience in the physical therapy industry and is at a high career level. This chronological resume format puts the priority and focus on professional achievements and experience. After the professional summary, it lists work experience first, including jobs in reverse-chronological order. It demonstrates consistency and career progression in the industry. The job seeker includes skills and education at the end so there is less of a focus on them. Build my Resume

Physical Therapy Cover Letter

If you find this sample helpful, we have many more physical therapy cover letter examples.

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Resume Success Stories

Statistics and Facts About Physical Therapy Jobs

Job Outlook by Job Title 2018–2028

Physical Therapist Assistants 26%
Physical Therapists 22%
Massage Therapists 20%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Median Annual Pay by Job Title

Physical Assistants $48090
Physical Therapist $87930
Massage Therapist $41420
Source: O*Net

Average Physical Therapy Salary by Gender

Female $67550
Male $84280
Source: DataUSA

Types of Physical Therapy Specialties

  • Pediatrics
  • Sports
  • Women’s Health
  • Geriatrics
  • Clinical Electrophysiology
  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary
  • Neurology
  • Orthopedics
  • Oncology

Source: O*NET

Source: College of St. Scholastica

Education Statistics

Percentage of PTs with Bachelor’s Degree 8%
Percentage of PTs with Doctoral Degree 37%
Percentage of PTs with Master’s Degree 39%
Source: O*Net

Diversity Stats

Percent of applicants accepted to physical therapy schools

White 70.3%
Asian 8.7%
Hispanic 8.2%
Black 3.3%
Source: University of Puget Sound

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