Army Physical Therapy Specialists (MOS 68F) complete patient care under the direction of a physical therapist.
The Physical Therapy Specialist works to decrease physical disabilities and promote physical fitness.
They assist patients following a medical referral and will supervise or administer physical therapy to patients.
Qualifications, Training, and Duty Stations
This entry-level position requires recruits to pass all physical and medical examinations.
Training includes 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training.
It also includes 28 weeks of Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.
Skills that are helpful in this MOS include:
- Effective communication
- Ability to work in stressful conditions
- Compassion and care for others
- Interest in biology, general science, and algebra
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Those serving in the Army in MOS 68F can expect to be potentially based at one of the following duty stations:
Inside the Continental US (CONUS)
- Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
- Fort Belvoir, VA
- Fort Bliss, TX
- Fort Campbell, KY
- Fort Carson, CO
- Fort Cavazos, TX
- Fort Drum, NY
- Fort Eustis, VA
- Fort Gordon, GA
- Fort Huachuca, AZ
- Fort Jackson, SC
- Fort Johnson, LA
- Fort Knox, KY
- Fort Leavenworth, KS
- Fort Leonard Wood, MO
- Fort Liberty, NC
- Fort Meade, MD
- Fort Moore, GA
- Fort Riley, KS
- Fort Sill, OK
- Fort Stewart, GA
- Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA
- Joint Base Myer–Henderson Hall, VA
- Joint Base San Antonio, TX
- Naval Support Activity Bethesda, MD
- The Pentagon, Washington D.C.
- United States Military Academy West Point, NY
Outside the Continental US (OCONUS)
- Fort Wainwright, AK
- Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany
- Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii
- USAG Benelux-Shape, Belgium
- USAG Italy
- USAG Japan
- USAG Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
- USAG Wiesbaden, Germany
- USAG Yongsan-Casey, South Korea
What Does a Physical Therapy Specialist Do?
Physical Therapy Specialists work with a Physical Therapist on a medical team.
The specialist assists with rehabilitative physical training.
Soldiers in this Army MOS may work in a fixed facility or field unit.
Often, the hours are standard working hours but can vary based on location or if in a deployed operation.
Army Physical Therapy Uses
Physical Therapy is used to assist with injuries, illnesses, joint stiffness, overuse injuries, combat-related injuries, overuse injuries, and limited muscle function.
The goal is to reduce pain and improve mobility.
Physical Therapy can also be used for human performance optimization, women’s health, and heart health.
Soldiers in this MOS can be required to work with soldiers and their families.
Physical Therapy Specialists must be familiar with human anatomy to properly perform treatment.
Performing Physical Therapy
When a soldier has received a referral for training, the Physical Therapist will direct the specialist on treatment for the patient.
The specialist will administer the treatment that the Physical Therapist recommends.
They will promote physical fitness and instruct patients on how to prevent injuries or use the correct body mechanics.
Corrective therapeutic exercises that the specialist learned during AIT will be used to treat patients.
Corrective exercises may include manual therapy or exercises.
The specialist must be familiar with range of motion for all major points in the human body and test this measurement on patients.
The specialist may assist patients with using crutches, parallel bars, canes, or walkers.
Treatment types may include traction or electrical current.
The patient may need superficial or deep-heat therapies such as moist hot packs, ice massages, or cold packs.
Technology such as ultrasound machines will also be used.
Basic equipment may include medicine balls, exercise balls, resistance bands, treadmills or other basic gym equipment.
The specialist will use sports therapy techniques such as wrapping and assist in applying orthopedic devices.
Other Specialist Job Functions
Any transportation that the patient may need assistance with, such as moving from a wheelchair to the treatment table, the specialist will assist the patient.
Often, care takes place at the facility, but Physical Therapist Specialists will instruct patients in exercises that they can perform at home to improve mobility and strength.
The specialist will also provide educational materials to patients that they can refer to at home.
Physical Therapy Specialists sometimes run classes or water exercises that assist with patient recovery.
All physical therapy treatments will be documented by the specialist in patient files and reports.
This information is given to the Physical Therapist as well as the referring physician.
Any general cleaning of the physical therapy office will be performed by the specialist.
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What Does a Physical Therapy Specialist Get Paid?
Working as a Physical Therapy Specialist in the Army allows individuals to receive income based on rank and time of service.
For those individuals who are recruited into the position with no prior Military experience, you can expect to make around $23,000 a year.
This income will vary while in training and does not include Army benefits.
The base pay table below provides an example of Army pay.
|Minimum Monthly Pay
|E-1 +4 months
|Private Second Class
|Private First Class
|Sergeant First Class
|Command Sergeant Major
|Sergeant Major of the Army
The Army provides benefits that are generous in comparison to most civilian positions.
They offer education tuition assistance and scholarship opportunities.
For those living on base, housing costs are covered as well as food.
Other benefits include:
- Annual Military Clothing Allowance
- Special Pay opportunities
- Free/Low-cost medical and dental
- Low-Cost life insurance
- Paid sick time
- Tuition Assistance for college
- 30 days paid vacation annually
Previous Physical Therapy Specialists recommend the position for the experience that you gain and the satisfaction of helping other soldiers.
Reviews of this position discuss the diverse group of people you assist and get to know.
Positive reviews mention the bond you gain with co-workers, self-improvement, and benefits.
Negative reviews discuss the demand being much higher than in a regular physical therapy office.
Most reviews note that multiple patients are seen in an hour and this high patient count has an effect on completing other work such as reporting.
The review below gives an idea of an average day as a Physical Therapy Specialist.
This review discusses both positive and negative aspects of the position.
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Civilian Career Opportunities
Soldiers working in this MOS become educated for a civilian career as a physical therapist’s assistant or physical therapist’s aide.
With the Army’s COOL program, soldiers can also work towards different physical therapy certifications from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.
Some of these certifications can be funded with the GI Bill and assist with both military promotions and civilian career opportunities.
Through the Army’s recruiting PAYS program, soldiers can guarantee a job interview with a Military friendly civilian employer.
Army Physical Therapy Specialists (MOS 68F) perform physical therapy on patients at the direction of a Physical Therapist.
They perform procedures that help with physical disabilities, restore movement, and promote physical fitness.
This entry-level position requires ASVAB testing, 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training, and 28 weeks of Advanced Individual Training.
Recruits can expect to follow the Army base pay table for income and can expect to receive Army benefits.
Previous Physical Therapy Specialists recommend the position but note how demanding it can be.
Working in this MOS will allow individuals to work as Physical Therapy Assistants as a civilian.
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What does a Physical Therapy Specialist do in the Army?
Army Physical Therapy Specialists (MOS 68F) assist patience in physical therapy by supervising and administering treatment prescribed by the Physical Therapist. They are also responsible for keeping medical records and ensuring the cleanliness of the clinic.
What ASVAB scores do you need to be an Army Physical Therapy Specialist (MOS 68F)?
To qualify as an Army Physical Therapy Specialist, you’ll need a minimum score of 101 on the Skilled Technical portion and 107 on the General Technical portions of the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery.
How long is AIT for Army Physical Therapy Specialists?
To become an Army Physical Therapy Specialist, you’ll attend 10 weeks of Basic Training and 28 weeks of Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
How much are Army Physical Therapy Specialists paid?
Like all Army personnel, Physical Therapy Specialist are paid according to rank and time in service. A new recruit can currently expect a monthly base pay of about $1,700 after Basic Training.
Will the Army pay for Physical Therapy School?
The Army will pay for your training if you enlist to become an Army Physical Therapy Specialist. To advance in your career, take advantage of tuition assistance and the GI Bill to complete medical training to become a Physical Therapist.