Physical Therapist 

Occupational Therapist 

Diagnose physical problems restricting movement because of an illness or injury

Use exercises and other techniques to ease pain and boost mobility and muscle strength

Develop fitness and wellness programs aimed at preventing injuries and encouraging a more active lifestyle

 Help patients with daily living skills and self-care tasks (i.e., "occupations") such as getting dressed

Support patients with memory loss or other cognitive issues

Make recommendations about adaptive equipment

Advise architects and contractors about patients' accessibility needs

Most practicing physical therapists hold a doctorate, which usually takes three years to complete. Master's degrees take two years and both require an undergraduate degree. More degree options.

Occupational therapists need at least a master's degree to practice (two years). A doctoral degree takes between two and three years. More degree options.


Physical therapists must be licensed. To sit for the National Physical Therapist Examination, you have to be a graduate of an accredited physical therapy school. More on certification.

Licensing laws vary by state but common requirements include graduating from an accredited occupational therapy school, meeting fieldwork requirements and passing a national certification exam.More on licensing and certification.


$81,000 p.a.

$75,400 p.a.
Furthering Your Career

Seek certification from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties after meeting clinical practice requirements by working with patients in a specialty area, such as:

  • Geriatrics
  • Neurology
  • Orthopedics
  • Pediatrics
  • Sports
  • Women's health

OTs can seek board certification in gerontology, mental health, pediatrics or physical rehabilitation after meeting clinical practice requirements; or specialty certification in:

  • Driving
  • Community mobility
  • Environmental modification
  • Low vision
  • Feeding, eating and swallowing
  • School systems.

Find out more from the American Occupational Therapy

 How do you get into PT school? 

Dr. Merrill Landers tells it like it is. 

For more information on careers in Physical and Occupational therapy check out these links:

U.S. News & World Report, Money Edition 

American Physical Therapy Association