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What Exactly Does a PT Do?

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

What exactly does a physical therapist know and what do they do for a job? How are they different than personal trainers?

I have found during my years throughout school and now as a PT that the answers to these questions are not super clear to people in general. Honestly, I had no idea what a PT was up until about 5 years ago when someone suggested that I make a career change to PT. We can also be confused with personal trainers. So, I thought I would break the two careers to help distinguish the difference! With this post, I am not saying that PTs or personal trainers are better/worse/(fill in whatever other adjective you want here) than the other. I am simply wanting to break down the difference between the two jobs in order for people to have a better understanding as to what I do as a PT.

PTs and personal trainers make excellent teams. During my last clinical rotation, a personal trainer was a part of my work team. We saw the same patients and collaborated with one another to best meet the needs of the patients. It was such a great experience and I am sure more outpatient clinics will adopt this model because we work so well together! PTs do well with getting injured patients back to baseline so that personal trainers can take over and help those individuals continue to reach their fitness goals!

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