A Detailed Physical Therapy Resume Example

A physical therapist job is rewarding and fulfilling as you get to help patients regain their mobility and relieve them of their pain. As the demand for physical therapy services increases, so do the jobs. Whether you are starting out or want to advance in your career, our resume guide will help you write an exceptional physical therapy resume.


A resume template or resume builder can also help you write a strong resume that highlights your achievements in a unique way and ensures you do not leave out any important information.

Let’s look at some more resume writing tips to help you write a physical therapist resume that gets you that new job.

Additional Information About The Physical Therapy Resume

Based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates, the employment of physical therapists will grow eighteen percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Due to the prevalence of health conditions such as strokes and diabetes, these demographics require physical therapy.

The industries with the highest levels of employment for Physical Therapists include offices of other health practitioners, general medical and surgical hospitals, home health care services, nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities), and offices of physicians.

The average yearly salary for physical therapists, including overtime pay, bonuses, and tips, is as follows:

  • Entry-level $67,000
  • Early career $71,000
  • Mid-career $78,000
  • Late-career $84,000
  • Experienced $88,000

The average salary for a Physical Therapist (PT) is $71,000 (Payscale).

Example of a Physical Therapy Resume

Matthew Burns
Physical Therapist

San Diego CA

An astute and proactive Physical Therapist with eight years of experience in manual therapy. Highly skilled at providing immediate care for patients, assessing patients’ rehabilitative needs, formulating therapeutic exercise programs, and working closely with staff to ensure everything operates successfully. Dedicated to achieving top-quality communication, accurate triaging, and overall patient care.

Work Experience
Sharp Memorial Hospital
Senior Physical Therapist
October 2016-Date

    Provided treatment to patients suffering a stroke, head trauma, coma, and traumatic brain injury.

    Assisted physicians in patient assessment and treatment, including suture removal, by ensuring the availability of supportive devices, injection serums, and equipment.

    Facilitated cooperation between medical care professionals and community organizations to provide proper and adequate care to residents who have Parkinson’s disease.

Scripps Memorial Hospital
Assistant Physical Therapist
June 2014-September 2016

    Verified and approved employee time cards and submitted them on time for processing by the payroll department.

    Instructed patients in the safe use of assistive devices and helped them with manual stretching during physical therapy.

    Responsible for the creation of absentee charts and nursing schedules and recording minutes of staff meetings.

Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy
University of Pittsburgh
April 2014


    Clinical case analysis

    Therapeutic massage

    Patient case management

    Excellent customer service


    Physical stamina

    Head injury knowledge

    Analytical skills

Member of the American Physical Therapy Association

How to make a Physical Therapy Resume

A physical therapist resume follows the general rules of writing a resume. However, you have to ensure that you personalize and tailor each resume you send out to ensure you include all the required qualifications.

Some of the ways you can personalize your physical therapy resume include:

  • Using a resume format that is easy to read and understand and best suits your qualifications.
  • Adding a resume summary that introduces your resume and interests the hiring manager to read the rest of your resume.
  • Adding physical therapy-related keywords and action verbs to help your resume beat the ATS systems.
Hiring managers are able to filter out resumes that do not match the minimum requirements with ATS systems. Make sure you put specific keywords on your resume that will help it get past the applicant tracking systems. Check the job description for specific keywords.

The layout of the Physical Therapy Resume

The ideal format/layout for your physical therapist resume is the reverse-chronological order. If you have a couple of years of experience, you should consider this format because it focuses on experience. It is also easy to scan in the ATS systems making it a favorite for most hiring managers.

The structure of the Physical Therapy Resume

You can also consider the functional resume or the combination resume format for your physical therapist resume.

The functional resume is also called a skills-based resume because it focuses on your skills. It is great for candidates who are changing careers or recent graduates who do not have much experience.

The combination resume focuses on skills and experience. It blends the best features of the reverse-chronological order and the functional resume format and is great if you have some experience.

The structure of your physical therapist resume should have the following sections:

  • A header section
  • Resume summary/resume objective
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Skills section
  • An additional section (volunteer work, awards/honors, certifications, interests, languages, and computer skills)

Start with the Header of the Physical Therapy Resume

The information in the header section should be accurate to allow the hiring manager to reach you. It has your full name, job title, contact information, and a link to your Linkedin profile or personal website.

Example of a good header

Here is an example

Justina Robinson
Physical Therapist

Lewisville, TX

Example of a bad header for Physical Therapy

Here is an example

Justina Robinson
Physical Therapist

Date of birth 06/08/1991
4353 Giraffe Hill Drive
House number 34
Lewisville, TX

Your header section does not need too much personal information. You can also leave out the location unless you are applying for a job abroad.

Is a photo required in the Physical Therapy Resume?

You do not need a photo on your physical therapy resume. A large number of U.S companies say they would not consider applicants with a photo on their resume. However, if you need to add a photo to your resume, it should be professional.

Choosing your Physical Therapy Title

It is essential to personalize each resume title because they vary depending on the job and company. Failure to do so may cause you to miss out on great opportunities.

Professional summary for Physical Therapy

The professional summary introduces your resume by summarizing your professional achievements and experience. It is important to take your time on this section and ensure it is well-written because if it does not impress the hiring manager, they will probably not read the rest of your resume.

Licensed physical therapist with nine years of experience assessing patients’ medical and personal needs in a focused and compassionate way. A strong background in communicating patient progress to healthcare staff and family members, helping patients with sports injuries, and updating case information in computer systems.
Ambitious physical therapist with high-quality people skills and a dedicated work ethic. Highly competent in medical procedures.
A resume objective is essential for recent graduates or any other candidate without experience in the field. It summarizes your career goals, demonstrates how they align with the company goals, and shows your value proposition.

Work Experience in the Physical Therapy Resume

You have probably seen that most if not all physical therapist resume examples have a work experience section. This section is vital because it allows the hiring manager to see what you can do based on your previous experience. You can check out our resume examples.

Describe your professional experiences on your Physical Therapy Resume

The work experience section should have the most relevant experience for the job you want. If you have any other experience that is not related to the job, you can add it and mention the transferable skills you gained at the job.

Your work experience should have the name of the previous workplace, job title, and the years spent at each place, as seen in every sample physical therapist resume sample.

If you want your resume to stand out, add three to five duties or responsibilities using bullet points, then quantify them using facts and figures to show the hiring manager the value you will bring.

Examples of professional experiences for Physical Therapy Junior

Here is an example

Millwood Hospital
Junior physical therapist
June 2014-December 2017
    Used electronic medical records platform to record patients’ medical histories, vital statistics, and test results.

    Assessed the efficacy of each treatment plan and determined adjustments required to be implemented.

    Responsible for greeting visitors and determining the purpose of their visit to complete the check-in procedure on time.

Examples of work experience for Senior Physical Therapy.

Here is an example

Medical City Lewisville
Physical Therapist
January 2018-June 2020
    Provided treatments, and therapeutic exercise programs involving muscle reeducation, massage, active and passive ranges of motion, and electrical stimulation.

    Diagnosed geriatric patients, evaluated tests, and provided proper treatment even under time constraints.

    Collaborated with occupational therapists and other third-party affiliates to develop patient plans and treatment goals that ensured high quality and compassionate care.

Education in the Physical Therapy Resume

Physical therapists are required to have specific educational qualifications and should be licensed to practice. This is why you should always include an education section in your PT resume. Each physical therapist resume example has this section and can act as the perfect guide to help you with this section on your resume.

Should you start with education or work experience for Physical Therapy?

If you have previous experience as a physical therapist, you should use the reverse-chronological formats and start with experience. If you don’t have much experience, you can use the functional resume format and start with education and skills.

How to properly list your education in a Physical Therapy Resume?

You will list all your educational qualifications here, starting with the most recent qualification. If you have a Master’s degree, you don’t need to add a high school diploma. You will start with the name of the degree, the name of the school, location, and the year of graduation.

Example of the education section of a Physical Therapy Resume

MSC Physiological Sciences
University of Arizona
December 2014

Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree
University of South Alabama
June 2012

Skills to put in the Physical Therapy Resume

Qualified physical therapists need specific skills to give their patients the best care. You need to showcase these physical therapist skills in your resume; otherwise, you will not get the job. The job description is a great place to check for some of the skills that the job requires. Adding these skills to your physical therapist resume also helps you beat the ATS systems.

What are the main skills sought for in a Physical Therapy Resume?

Hard skills

  • Clinical excellence
  • Gait training
  • Data analysis
  • CPR training
  • Clinical case analysis
  • OSHA guidelines
  • HIPAA compliance
  • Knowledgeable in pediatric audiology

Soft skills

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Empathetic
  • Patient
  • Analytical skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Compassion

What skills for a junior

  • Multitasking
  • Attention to detail
  • Active listening skills
  • Adept at hearing aid fittings
  • Specimen handling
  • Medical imaging
  • Time management proficiency
  • Organizational skills

What skills for a qualified senior

  • Physical assessment
  • Hearing aid technology expert
  • Speech and language screenings
  • Adept in standardized speech tests
  • Quality assurance standards
  • Coagulation interventions
  • Cardiopulmonary
  • Team training and supervision

Write the Ideal Resume Hook for a Physical Therapy Resume.

Quotes, testimonials, personal descriptions, or achievements are the perfect way to help your resume stand out. You can use any of these as a resume hook to help you summarize your professional accomplishments and value proposition.

Example of a tagline for a junior Physical Therapist

Dedicated physical therapist with three years of experience in nursing and healthcare. Exceptionally skilled in all aspects of care, providing patients with the very best outcome. Strong leadership, delegation, and mentoring skills.

Sample tagline for a senior level Physical Therapist

Nominated for the Mary McMillan Lecture Award in 2020.

Additional Headings for your Physical Therapy Resume

You’ve probably noticed that each physical therapy resume sample has an additional section. This is because it is a critical section of your resume which allows you to talk about the other qualifications and skills that make you the best candidate for the job.

While the physical therapist jobs will increase, as we said earlier, the competition for the jobs is still high, and an additional section can help you beat the competition. You can also check out our resume templates, which will easily help you incorporate this section in your physical therapy resume.

Some of the sections you can add to this section include:

Computer skills and certifications in a Physical Therapy Resume

Listing your computer skills in a separate section makes it easy for the recruiting manager to see them. Proficiency in Microsoft Office or knowledge in programming languages will look good on your PT resume.

If you have some relevant certifications, you should list them under a certifications section.

Some of the certifications that will look good on your physical therapist resume include:

  • Certification in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary
  • Certification in Neurology
  • Certification in Geriatrics

Interests in a Physical Therapy Resume

The interests on your physical therapist resume are optional but can make a difference. If your interests fit the profile, you should add them to your resume, but you can leave them out if they don’t. Interests such as volunteering at a home for the elderly or hiking will look good on your physical therapist resume.

Languages in a Physical Therapy Resume

Your language skills should have their section to ensure the recruiting manager does not miss them. A bilingual physical therapist will always stand out, so you should list your languages using their official references as follows:

  • SIELE for Spanish
  • IELTS for English (with 30 points and above)
  • DELF for French (with 70% and above)

Summary: Key Points for Writing a Perfect Physical Therapy Resume

Here is a breakdown of the main points from this article

    The right keywords will help your resume stand out in the resume databases and allow you to get that interview.

    Using the right format will ensure your resume gets the hiring manager’s attention.

    Job titles vary depending on the company and the job, so you should always tailor and personalize each one of them.

    A strong resume will help you get the right job and contribute to your overall career success.

Write a Cover Letter That Goes With Your Physical Therapy Resume

A physical therapist cover letter allows you to talk about your career goals and how they align with the company goals. While most hiring managers do not ask for cover letters, you should accompany your physical therapist resume with one to help your application stand out.

Frequently Asked Questions for a Physical Therapy Resume

    What looks good on a physical therapy resume?

The correct format that best represents your qualifications makes your physical therapist resume look good and stand out. The right font that is easy to read, enough white space, and clear section headings all contribute to the overall look of your resume.

    How do I write a resume for physical therapy?

Your PT resume should have a header, resume summary/objective, work experience section, education, skills section, and an additional section(volunteer work, awards/honors, interests, languages, certifications, and computer skills)

    How long is a PT resume?

Your physical therapist resume should be one page long. Most hiring managers do not consider resumes that are longer than a page.

    What skills do I put on a resume?

Some of the skills you can add to your resume include communication, leadership skills, therapy intervention, patient assessment, collaboration, CPR and first aid, stress management techniques, and patient case management.