Rewards of Being A Physical Therapist That Go Beyond Money

There are so many professions that are embedded within the field of healthcare. If someone knows they want to work with patients but is unsure of which career to pursue, here is some advice. Walk around the hospital and see which professionals are smiling more throughout the day. It wouldn’t be surprise if your answer was a physical therapist.

The ability to serve, the lack of overhead, the work-life balance, and the access to knowledge make being a physical therapist one of the best professions to pursue, not just in the field of healthcare, but amongst all esteemed occupations.

Being a physical therapist, you don’t want to have to deal with bodily fluids or blood. If you want work in that type of profession, nursing, speech therapy, and respiratory therapy might be an option for you.  

You dislike the idea of having to work under someone your entire career, being a physician assistant should go right out the door. 

A career as a Doctor of Physical Therapy allows one to connect with patients, provide continuous service, perform with no overhead, have great work-life balance, gain knowledge consistently, and provides a respectable income. Said reason makes physical therapy still one of the best professions to pursue, not just in the field of healthcare, but amongst all esteemed occupations. 

Although you receive excellent pay for the position, the rewards of being a physical therapist go beyond money. 


Physical therapists (PTs) rarely come home wondering if they produced meaningful work. The direct positive impact PTs make on another human’s life is palpable. Every profession cannot genuinely make this claim.
To serve is to live with purpose. To do something greater than yourself. And makes one feel accomplished and fulfilled.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. affirmed, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”

As a physical therapist, somedays will be tough, and others will be incredible. But every working day will be spent in service. That is special. That is a life well-lived.

Physical Therapist
Dr. Nduka Unaka prepares a prosthetist before rendering care on his next patient. (Image: Michael Banning)

Work/Life Balance

Careers in healthcare will always be in demand. How much PT supply is solely up to each clinician. Within standard business hours, physical therapists can work any day of the week, as much or as little as they want.
There will be moments in life that require more time. As a PT, it’s nice to know that when your children are born, one can create a schedule that optimizes the ability to see them grow up. It’s comforting to know that if my aging parents need more assistance in the future, a work situation can be developed to allow for my presence.

There will be moments in life that require more money. If you have not been there already, you will be. The unexpected home renovation due to an issue, a car that was totaled, a medical bill that is not well covered by insurance, etc. There will be emergencies that only money can fix. As a PT, you can work any and every day of the year. The opportunity to make extra money is always at your fingertips. Thus, financial peace is attainable through this profession.

Home health is the best situation for PTs to accept as much work as wanted and own their schedule. Interestingly, it is also the sector that pays the most for work. It is truly the best of both worlds and has been one of the greatest opportunities this profession offers.

Working Per diem In the Medical Field


Becoming a PT and encountering a plethora of patients in home health has made the following clear – you never know what life will throw at you. Seeing patients unable to live at home due to changes in their health is heartbreaking. What would be sadder is to witness these situations and not to learn from them. As I prepare for life as a senior, I have realized the following things are a must-have in the future:

  • Access in and out of my residence that does not involve using stairs
  • Access to a bedroom and bathroom that does not include using stairs
  • Money to fund a part-time caregiver

PTs meet new people every week, if not daily. If taken advantage of, there is access to endless knowledge. Every person, especially geriatric patients, have the wisdom to pass on. I have learned so much about being an investor, homeowner, husband, father, and grandfather before even acquiring these titles. It has helped me avoid mistakes and live more successfully.

Nduka Unaka

Dr. Nduka Unaka, PT, DPT, is a licensed physical therapist born, raised, and practicing in Los Angeles County, California. He attended the University of California Irvine, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health.

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