Keep servicemembers mission ready as a Navy Physical Therapist Physical Therapy

A servicemember's injury or impairment that hinders performance and puts the mission at stake. A wounded Marine who needs extensive treatment following a tour of duty. Or a humanitarian mission’s patient whose severe tendinitis doesn’t allow him to work.

A Physical Therapist's role in the Navy is crucial. With your medical expertise and guidance, young Sailors and Marines can overcome injury and continue to pursue an honorable career. Plus a fulfilling life. And the world’s less fortunate have a chance to receive gold-standard treatment for the first time in their lives.

While you’re developing a physical therapy treatment plan for each patient, you’ll also be developing a solid plan for your own career advancement.

Your experience will be unrivaled. You’ll use the best medical technology available. In some of the most dynamic working environments around the globe. And attain skills you can take anywhere.

Become a Physical Therapist (PT) in the Navy, and get help repaying educational loans along with a competitive salary, a manageable workload and guaranteed vacations. With specialty training and continuing postgraduate education that allow you to maintain a competitive edge. Then choose from the best PT jobs when you return to civilian life.

Job Description

As a Navy Physical Therapist, you will practice comprehensive orthopedics for Sailors, Marines, their families and those in need around the globe. You’ll work in a wide variety of settings, including Naval hospitals and clinics in the U.S. and overseas. On aircraft carriers. And with Navy and Marine Corps Special Operations units.

In the Navy, you’ll find the freedom to treat patients as you see fit, taking into account their best interests instead of limitations from civilian organizations or insurance companies.

Specific Responsibilities

As an Officer and Clinical Care Provider, you will focus on preventing injuries as well as helping people recover and recuperate from:

  • Wartime, work-related or leisure-activity injuries
  • Muscular-skeletal disorders or impairments

You’ll perform just about every task a civilian PT does, and then you’ll take it further. Operating with a certain degree of independence.

Plus, you’ll partner with first-rate health care providers, such as physicians and occupational therapists. Use your direct access skills and practice as a critical part of a multidisciplinary team.

Navy Physical Therapists have unique opportunities to:

  • Specialize in orthopedics, sports, electromyography and manual therapy
  • Earn specialty certification and additional pay
  • Take on clinical and management positions throughout the world
  • Pursue advanced degrees in physical therapy or related fields, on a limited basis

Work Environment

As a Navy Clinical Care Provider, you may serve at any one of more than 250 Navy and medical facilities around the globe. In some of the most dynamic environments imaginable, from Hawaii to Japan, Germany to Guam, and Washington, D.C., to Washington state.

You could also find yourself working at one of the highly acclaimed National Naval Medical Centers in Bethesda, Maryland; Portsmouth, Virginia; and San Diego, California. Or you could provide PT support to Navy and Marine Corps Special Operations Units, aircraft carriers or even aboard one of two dedicated hospital ships: the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy.

No matter where you serve, you’ll provide leadership and expertise to support your country, in support of the men and women who defend it, and the world at large.

Education Opportunities

Wherever you are in your professional career, the Navy can help ease your financial burdens and advance your career with financial assistance and continuing education programs.

There's an alternative to spending years paying down the cost of your graduate education. If you're currently a practicing professional, you could potentially be eligible to receive financial assistance through the Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP). Talk to a Navy Officer Recruiter for more information.

Offers have many variables. To get information and find out which offer would benefit you most, request that a Navy Officer Recruiter contact you.


To qualify for Active Duty employment consideration as a Physical Therapist in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you must meet these basic requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen currently practicing in the U.S. (contact a
    Navy Medical Recruiter for details)
  • Degree in physical therapy (entry-level) from an American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)-accredited institution
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Be willing to serve a minimum of three years of Active Duty
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 41
  • Be in good physical condition and pass a full medical examination

You may also be expected to meet certain preferred requirements:

  • Master of Science or doctoral degree in physical therapy (entry-level or advanced)
  • Previous experience as a physical therapist (constructive credit for work experience now offered to physical therapists)
  • Letter of recommendation from a physical therapist currently serving in the military
  • Professional and personal recommendations (letter of reference from professor[s] for new graduates, or letter of reference from supervisors in physical therapy for workforce applicants)
  • Current licensure required for workforce applicants (newly graduated therapists have one year to become licensed)
  • Personal interview with an Active Duty Physical Therapist


After the Navy

In the Navy, you’ll find unrivaled training and educational opportunities. Incomparable benefits and experience. Deeper pride and purpose. The best medical technology available. And superior career advancement opportunities that will pay off when you return to the civilian world.

Consider Your Service Options.

There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America's Navy. Besides full-time opportunities in Active Duty, part-time Reserve positions are also available in this career area.