Physical Therapists


Will "Physical Therapists" be replaced by AI & Robots?

There is very little chance of this occupation being replaced by robots/AI. This is further validated by our poll, which suggests a 19.1% chance of automation within the next 2 decades.

Automation Risk Level

Totally Safe

or 2% probability of automation

Projected Growth


by 2024

People Employed


as of 2019

Median Annual Wage


or $43.00 hourly

Most likely
Least likely

How this compares with other jobs: 89 out of 707

Cast Your Vote

How likely do you think this occupation will be taken over by robots/AI within the next 20 years?

People Employed (US)

Median Annual Wage (US)

Job description

Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.

SOC Code: 29-1123

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Pablo Santurbano (Small chance) says
I think that there is a small risk, because it is possible to develop an app with the best treatment protocols evidence based.

Furthermore, in most health problems that physios treats, exercise is the most recommended intervention. And many exercises can be done without a professional supervision. This scenario could allow a patient to download an app that facilitates to conduct a self treatment.
Mar 08, 2020 at 01:43 PM
mike says
physios are just a pat on the shoulder isn't it? Robots can do that
Feb 27, 2020 at 01:55 AM
To (Could go either way) says
There are already algorithm based apps being used in sports rehabilitation, nothing is impossible
Feb 23, 2020 at 07:13 PM
Frederik (No chance) says
I've had the chance to meet several physiotherapists with whom I've had in-depth discussions (not personal injury-related). I'm a prospective physiotherapy student myself.

If all physiotherapy was, was prescribing exercises, then it would definitely have a huge chance of being replaced by automation soon. Look at the field of radiology for a good example of this phenomenon—technology is getting exceedingly good at finding and diagnosing illnesses without human help. But the work physios do is diverse. Yes, prescribing exercises is a part of the job, but hands-on manual therapy is just as important. The variety of work within the field of physiotherapy is enormous as well. Physios may specialise in everything from working with athletes to patients with neurological disorders.

Physiotherapists undergo training in tangential fields, such as psychology, in order to be better able to understand their clients. After all, the goal is really to help patients in the best possible manner! Great physios also act as psychologists, guiding their patients through the mental challenges of rehabilitation and overcoming injury or illness (which may take place over the course of several months). Just like in occupational therapy (physiotherapy's sister), human-to-human interaction is a huge part of the job. This isn't something that can be replaced by a robot, at least not easily...

You never know fifty, one hundred years down the line. Just look at the difference between 2020 and 1970, 2020 and 1920. Honestly though, physiotherapy is absolutely safe considering the current situation of technological development. It will be one of the fastest growing, in-demand occupations in the next few decades.
Nov 26, 2019 at 03:45 PM
jeff (No chance) says
no chance
Jul 09, 2019 at 08:45 AM
Sarah (No chance) says
Physical therapists can't always be replaced by robots. Someone has to be there to help out.
Jul 02, 2019 at 08:57 PM

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