Physical Therapist for Higher Education

Last Updated:
July 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Physical Therapist for Higher Education is a professional who provides physical therapy services to students and staff within higher education institutions like colleges and universities. They work with people of different ages and physical abilities, from athletes to those with chronic issues. The Physical Therapist for Higher Education job description includes assessing patients, developing treatment plans, and implementing interventions to alleviate or manage physical impairments or disabilities. They also educate their clients on proper body mechanics, good posture, and other preventive measures to reduce injuries and promote overall well-being. Additionally, Physical Therapists for Higher Education work closely with other healthcare providers on campus to coordinate care, ensure patient safety, and facilitate optimal outcomes. To qualify for this position, candidates need a degree in physical therapy and must be licensed in the state where they practice.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assess and treat physical impairments and functional limitations in students and faculty members.
  • Develop individualized treatment plans and exercise programs to improve mobility, strength, and flexibility.
  • Educate students and faculty members on injury prevention, proper body mechanics, and ergonomics.
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, athletic trainers, and occupational therapists, to provide comprehensive care.
  • Maintain accurate and timely documentation of evaluations, treatment sessions, and progress notes.
  • Participate in departmental meetings and professional development activities to stay current with best practices and new research.
  • Provide guidance and support to students with disabilities to enhance their academic experience and success.
  • Conduct outreach activities, such as health fairs and workshops, to promote wellness and physical activity on campus.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a physical therapist for higher education, you need to finish a bachelor's degree in physical therapy, kinesiology or a similar field. You also need to have a license to practice physical therapy in the state where you'll be working. Most employers want you to have at least 2-3 years of experience working as a physical therapist, either in private practice or in a hospital setting. You should have good communication skills and be able to work well with students, faculty and staff. Continuing education is also important in this field to stay up-to-date on the latest treatments and techniques. With these qualifications, you'll be able to apply for a job as a physical therapist at a university or college.

Salary Range

Physical therapist for Higher Education salary range in the United States typically ranges from $66,000 to $98,000 annually. The average annual salary for this profession in the US is $80,540, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, it's important to note that salaries may vary depending on the type of industry, years of experience, and location. For example, physical therapists working in universities or colleges may earn higher salaries compared to those in elementary or secondary schools. In Canada, a similar job position called "Physiotherapist for Higher Education salary range" has a median salary of CAD 79,040 annually according to Payscale.


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 :
  2. Payscale - Physiotherapist Salary in Canada:

Career Outlook

If you’re interested in becoming a Physical Therapist for Higher Education, the career outlook is pretty optimistic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 18 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand is increasing due to a growing aging population and a rise in chronic conditions like diabetes or obesity. As universities and colleges continue to expand, there will be a growing need for physical therapists to work in higher education to help promote injury prevention and wellness activities for students and faculty. With the ongoing emphasis on health and wellness, the job opportunities in this field are constantly growing and evolving, and can provide a stable and rewarding career path for those interested in the healthcare and education industries.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Physical Therapist for Higher Education do?

A: A Physical Therapist for Higher Education provides rehabilitation services to college students, faculty and staff members, and designs prevention and health promotion programs for the campus community.

Q: What education and training do I need to become a Physical Therapist for Higher Education?

A: You need to have a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) degree and a license to practice as a Physical Therapist. Additional training in sports medicine, exercise science, and injury prevention is beneficial.

Q: What skills should I possess to be a successful Physical Therapist for Higher Education?

A: You should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, proficiency in developing and implementing exercise programs, familiarity with electronic medical records, and the ability to work collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Q: Where can I find job opportunities for Physical Therapists in Higher Education?

A: You can search job boards, higher education institutions’ career pages, and professional organizations’ websites for job postings. Networking with other physical therapists and higher education professionals can also help open doors to job opportunities.

Q: What is the average salary for a Physical Therapist for Higher Education?

A: According to, the average salary for a Physical Therapist in Higher Education is $81,675 per year, but this may vary based on geographic location, level of education, and work experience.

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