Physical Therapist Salary

The average salary of physical therapist in US is $82,390.

Physical therapists work in rehabilitation centers, hospitals and other healthcare institutes. A physical therapist (PT) helps people who are injured in accidents or have life-changing disabilities overcome ambulatory issues.

Median physical therapy salary

  • $82,390 per year
  • $39.61 per hour

The median physical therapy salary is not the average, but the mid-point of a set of salary data. Based off of data supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a physical therapist’s median salary is $82,390 per year, or $39.61 per hour.

Salary range for middle 50% of physical therapists

  • $68,690-$96,060 per year
  • $33.02 – $46.18 per hour

Median salary is not the best indicator of a true salary range. Instead, a range provided by removing the top and bottom 25% of salaries provides a better measure of a salary a physical therapist can earn. The middle 50% salary in this field is between $68,690 and $96,060 per year. This figure comes out to $33.02 to $46.18 per hour.

Lowest and highest salary

  • Lowest – $56,800 ($27.31/hour)
  • Highest – $116,090 ($55.81/hour)

Data from the top and bottom 10th percentile show workers that earn the least and most in this field. Physical therapists in the lower 10th percentile earn $56,800 per year, or $27.31 an hour. The top 10th percentile earns double the salary at $116,090 annually, or $55.81 per hour.

The total salary package

Data supplied through Salary.com demonstrates the total salary package a physical therapist can expect to earn when working in the field. This salary is drastically different than the average due to benefits being given a monetary value. As such, the total salary package comes out to $111,138 per year. This figure includes a value for health, social security and retirement benefits.

Cities with the highest paid physical therapists

  • Physical therapists in Las Vegas, Nevada make $141,490 a year.
  • Physical therapists in Laredo, Texas earn $130,110 annually.
  • Physical therapists in Brownsville, Texas earn $121,010 each year.
  • Physical therapists in Lake Havasu City, Arizona make $117,560 per year on average.

States with the highest paid physical therapists

  • Nevada at $127,900 a year.
  • Alaska at $96,350 per year.
  • New Jersey at $92,380 a year.
  • California at $92,120 per year.
  • Texas at $91,560 a year.

Factors affecting physical therapy salaries

Physical therapists are in high demand. The salaries provided indicate that location plays a major role in the salary of a physical therapist, but other factors, such as experience and industry, also affect earnings.

Nevada pays far more than any other state when it comes to a PT’s salary. Alaska, the second highest paying state in the industry pays their physical therapists $30,000 less than Nevada. Metropolitan areas routinely pay more than their suburb counterparts.

Experience can lead to being a head physical therapist in a facility, which will pay more. Typically, the more experience a person has, the higher the salary they can demand.

Industry plays a major role in salary. Physical therapists who make house calls in the Home Health Care Service will earn $94,600 per year, while working in a nursing care center will provide a salary of $88,890 per year. These salaries are based on the mean wage in an industry.

Physical therapists are in very high demand and their job outlook between 2012 and 2022 shows growth of 36%, which is much faster than average.

Training and certification requirements for physical therapists

Physical therapists will need to obtain a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. This degree must come from an accredited university or college.

Before entering into a DPT program, a person must have a bachelor’s degree. The degree that the person majors in is not of importance, but the person will need to take classes in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics and biology. The pre-requisite requirements will vary from one program to the next.

After admission, a person will need to remain in a program for an average of 3 years before obtaining their degree. Studies will include biology and physiology among many other science-based core classes.

A clinical internship is required and will be done under supervision.

A clinical residency may or may not be required and will start after a person graduates. Residences last approximately 1 year, and provide extra education and experience for a physical therapist who wants to specialize in a particular area of therapy, such as sports medicine

Practicing physical therapists will be required to be licensed. Every state in the country has their own exam, and a therapist must also complete the National Physical Therapy Examination.

Continued education is a requirement and will allow a therapist to remain licensed.

There are also board-certified specializations that a therapist can earn. There are 8 total specializations all administered by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.

International Physical Therapy Salaries

£21,000 to £51,285 on average in the U.K.

C$72,000 C$97,000 in Canada

AU$54,052 – AU$80,590 in Australia

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