Physical therapist help people improve their movement range and mange pain after an injury (or a pain that arise due to an illness). It can be a rewarding career choice. How much does a physical therapist makes? The salary of a physical therapist depends on various factors such as education, state and city one is working in, experience, school they obtained their certification from, the specialization they choose and the demographics of clients they are catering to.
What is Average Physical Therapy Salary?
The annual mean wage for PTs as per the most recent data released by BLS is $81,110. That translated to $38.99/hour salary for physical therapist. The annual median wage is $79,860, which translates to $38.39.
Salary of a physical therapist is higher in comparison to other related profession as shown in the chart below.
Physical therapy salary range
The range of salary is very wide and can vary from $55K to $122k from the bottom 10% to the top 10%. The wide range is a function of the difference in compensation by state and various other factors mentioned earlier. The chart below depicts this range.
States by State information
Highest Paying and Lowest Paying states
The mean wages are the highest by a large margin in Nevada ($110,670) followed by Alaska ($89,950) New Jersey ($89,830) Texas ($89,790) and California ($89,370).
Chart comparing US average with top paying States
The states (and territories) with the lowest mean wages was Puerto Rico ($39,800) followed by North Dakota ($64,350), Montana ($66,880), South Dakota ($70,330) and Vermont ($73,070)
Chart comparing US average with least paying States
Best and the Worst States to Work In
Employment opportunities are the highest in California, New York, Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania. While the state with least opportunities for employment are Virgin Islands, Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota and Delaware.
How to become a PT?
In order to work as a PT you must be licensed and to take the licensure exam you must graduate from a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredited school. There are over 200 accredited schools by CAPTE that provide Doctoral programs all over the US.
What is the Job outlook?
With a 36% growth in employment expected for Physical therapists between 2012 and 2022, the job outlook is very strong. There are currently over 200K practitioners and most of them work full-time. By 2022 the number is expected to reach over 277K. The growth rate expectations is also significantly above any other related professions. The growth is expected to be fueled by the aging baby boomer population who may require help to stay active in later years of their lives.