Hiring a Physical Therapist: Job Description, Pay, and More

light blue background. image of physical therapist assisting patient. Hiring a Physical Therapist: Job Description, Pay, and More

From recovering from an accident to getting back on your feet after surgery, physical therapists are essential in rehabilitative care and contribute to a patient’s health and well-being. 

Hiring a physical therapist for your office can make it easier to coordinate care, reduce costs, and simplify the patient’s journey. Let’s look at what to include in a job description, essential skills, qualifications, and interview questions to help you find the best candidate for your business. 

Skills To Include in Your Physical Therapist Job Description 

A comprehensive job description can help attract qualified physical therapists. Here are some hard and soft skills to look for. 

Technical Skills 

  • A strong understanding of the musculoskeletal system, including bones, muscles, nerves, and their functions 
  • Manual therapy, exercise prescription, ultrasound/electrical stimulation, and other therapeutic techniques 
  • Understanding of common medical conditions that affect movement, like arthritis, osteoporosis, or neurological disorders 
  • Knowing how to properly document a patient’s condition, progress, and treatment 
  • Familiarity with electronic health records (EHR) and physical therapy-specific software  

Soft Skills  

  • Verbal and written communication 
  • Active listening  
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving  
  • Patience 
  • Collaboration 
  • Time management  

Related: 14 Vital Allied Health Professionals and What They Do

Physical Therapist Education and Qualifications 

The minimal educational requirement for a physical therapist is a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. DPT programs are typically three years long and require a bachelor’s degree in a related field like biology or kinesiology. 

After graduating, a physical therapist must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to obtain a license. Each state has licensing requirements, typically passing the NPTE and completing a background check. 

Some physical therapists may complete an optional residency or fellowship in specific areas, like pediatrics, sports medicine, or geriatrics. Some may also prove their expertise by becoming board-certified, but this is not required to excel in the field. 

Physical Therapist Pay and Outlook 

The average pay for physical therapists can vary by location and experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for these professionals is $99,710. 

Physical therapy is a field with strong job growth, with a projected increase of 15% over the next decade, outpacing the national average for all occupations. 

Related: 7 Top Careers for an Enneagram Type 9

Physical Therapist Interview Questions 

The interview questions you use to assess a physical therapist candidate’s qualifications and suitability for the role are important. Consider incorporating the following questions to get a solid sense of their skills and experience. 

  1. Can you describe your experience treating patients with (mention conditions commonly seen in your medical office)? 
  1. Can you walk me through a typical evaluation process for a new patient with (mention a specific condition)? 
  1. What process do you use to develop individualized treatment plans for your patients? 
  1. Can you give an example of a time you had to modify a treatment plan based on a patient’s progress or limitations? 
  1. How do you stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in physical therapy? 
  1. How do you explain complex medical concepts to patients in a way they can understand? 
  1. Walk me through your approach to building rapport and trust with patients. 
  1. How do you handle patients who are hesitant or resistant to following a treatment plan? 
  1. Can you give an example of a time you had to communicate effectively with a physician or other healthcare provider about a patient’s care? 
  1. How do you prioritize your time when managing multiple patients throughout the day? 
  1. What is your experience working collaboratively with other healthcare professionals? 
  1. When working with physical therapy assistants or technicians, can you describe your leadership style? 
  1. What is your approach to documentation and ensuring clear communication within the medical record? 
  1. What aspects of working in a medical office setting appeal to you? 
  1. Are you comfortable working within the constraints of insurance guidelines and protocols? 
  1. Do you have experience using our specific EHR system or similar software? 

Hire a Physical Therapist 

Hiring a skilled physical therapist can enhance your medical office’s service quality and patient satisfaction. Insight Global’s extensive network of qualified candidates and experienced team of recruiters can help you find the right candidate to meet your healthcare needs. 

Are you ready to add a great physical therapist to your team? Contact us today!