NFL Physical Therapist

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

An NFL Physical Therapist is a highly trained medical professional that specializes in treating injured athletes in the National Football League (NFL). In this job, they play a crucial role in helping NFL players recover from injuries and return to the field as quickly and safely as possible.

NFL Physical Therapists work closely with athletes, trainers, and doctors to create customized treatment plans for each injured player. They use a variety of techniques, such as exercise, manual therapy, and electrical stimulation, to reduce pain and improve mobility.

Aside from treating injuries, NFL Physical Therapists also work to prevent them by providing education and training to players and coaches. They may also be called upon to perform emergency medical procedures on the field.

To become an NFL Physical Therapist, one must earn a bachelor's degree in a related field, followed by a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Additionally, they must be licensed to practice in the state they work in.

Overall, an NFL Physical Therapist plays a critical role in helping pro football players stay healthy, recover from injuries, and perform at their best.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Work with athletes to prevent injuries
  • Help athletes recover from injuries and surgeries
  • Develop and carry out rehabilitation plans for athletes
  • Use manual therapy techniques to ease pain and increase motion
  • Communicate with doctors, coaches, and athletic trainers about a player's progress
  • Educate athletes on exercises and stretches to prevent future injuries
  • Use heat, ice, and electrical stimulation to ease inflammation and pain
  • Create customized conditioning plans for athletes to improve strength and flexibility
  • Conduct injury evaluations and assessments to determine the severity of injuries.

Experience and Education Requirements

To work as a physical therapist for an NFL team, you need a lot of education and practical experience. You usually need to have a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree or a Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) degree. This means you need to attend college for a long time – at least 7 years, sometimes more. 

You also need to complete a lot of hands-on experience. This means doing internships, volunteering, and working with sports teams. Once you have your degree and experience, you need to get a license to practice. Different states have different requirements for licensing, so you need to research your state's guidelines. Once you have your license, you can apply for a job with an NFL team!

Salary Range

If you're interested in becoming an NFL Physical Therapist, you might be wondering about salary range. According to Payscale, the average annual salary for a Physical Therapist in the United States is around $70,000, with a range of $53,000 to $96,000. However, the salary range for an NFL Physical Therapist could be significantly higher due to the high-pressure environment and specialized skills required for the job.

In fact, according to Indeed, the average salary for an NFL Physical Therapist is around $100,000 per year. This number can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the team you work for. For example, Physical Therapists working for teams in larger markets may have a higher salary than those in smaller markets.

Outside of the United States, data is more limited, but a 2019 survey found that Sports Physiotherapists in the United Kingdom typically earn between £24,214 and £49,446 per year, which is roughly equivalent to $31,000 to $63,000 USD.


Career Outlook

The career outlook for an NFL Physical Therapist looks to be growing over the next five years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the field of Physical Therapy is projected to grow 28% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. In addition, the National Football League is expanding and more teams are being added, which will create more job openings for Physical Therapists. This means that people who are interested in this career path can expect to see more opportunities to work for NFL teams in the coming years. Overall, the future looks bright for NFL Physical Therapists who have a passion for helping athletes stay healthy and reach their full potential.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is an NFL Physical Therapist?

A: An NFL Physical Therapist is responsible for diagnosing, treating, and preventing injuries to NFL players.

Q: What does a typical day look like for an NFL Physical Therapist?

A: A typical day might include evaluating injuries, creating treatment plans, and providing therapy, as well as working closely with other medical professionals to ensure optimal care for players.

Q: What education and training do you need to become an NFL Physical Therapist?

A: At a minimum, a Bachelor’s degree in physical therapy is required, followed by a degree in physical therapy or a related field. Many NFL teams require additional training and certification.

Q: What kinds of injuries do NFL Physical Therapists treat?

A: NFL Physical Therapists treat a wide range of injuries, from minor sprains and strains, to more serious injuries like fractures and torn ligaments.

Q: What are the most important qualities for an NFL Physical Therapist?

A: The most important qualities for an NFL Physical Therapist include strong communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to work well under pressure, and a deep knowledge of anatomy and physiology.

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