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Physical Therapist Salary

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Depending upon where you work, a physical therapist can earn different salaries. Learn what you can expect to make as a physical therapist.

How much can a physical therapist make?

Your earning potential throughout your career will depend on variables like where you live and how much experience you have, but it will also depend on your work ethic. The best way to boost your earning potential is to achieve great results with patients and establish a reputable name for yourself. If you can establish a good base of clients who will return to you or recommend your practice to others, you will become increasingly more valuable in your field.

How do physical therapist salaries compare?

Physical Therapist Salaries vs. Related Careers
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Average Salary

Physical Therapists$90,170

Projected job growth: 21.9%

Avg Annual Salary$90,170
$62,120 $124,740
Bottom 10%Top 10%
Exercise Physiologists$54,750

Projected job growth: 9.7%

Avg Annual Salary$54,750
$34,990 $78,310
Bottom 10%Top 10%
Massage Therapists$47,180

Projected job growth: 22.2%

Avg Annual Salary$47,180
$21,810 $80,630
Bottom 10%Top 10%
Physical Therapist Assistants$58,520

Projected job growth: 27.1%

Avg Annual Salary$58,520
$33,450 $80,840
Bottom 10%Top 10%

Average salary information is calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and is based on the 2019 payroll records of business establishments. Actual salaries vary greatly depending on your location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and many other factors. Please note that salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

Is there a demand for this career?

There is definitely a demand for physical therapists, and this demand will only continue to grow. A large contributor to this demand is the aging baby boomer population. As this particular generation ages, there will be an increased demand for skilled physical therapists who can help these specific patients adjust to their aging bodies.

In addition to this, medical advancements are allowing greater percentages of trauma victims and newborns with serious birth defects to survive, which creates a demand for rehabilitative care through physical therapy.

How much competition will I face for a job?

The level of competition you face for a job will be mostly dependent on where you live and the type of health care facility you’re applying to. Trying to launch your own physical therapy practice right off the bat will be extremely tough, as it means you’ll be competing with other therapists with an established clientele.

For less competition, physical therapist jobs in hospitals or health practitioners’ offices are generally more plentiful; you’ll still face some competition, but since the demand for physical therapists in these environments is high and growing, you’re likely to have an easier time getting hired.

What kinds of institutions hire physical therapists?

Physical therapists are in increasingly high demand in multiple work places. You can find work in hospitals, health care practitioners’ offices, home health care services, or nursing care facilities. In addition to these options, some physical therapists choose to launch their own practice, which is no easy task, but can certainly have benefits. If you want to specialize in a specific type of patient (for instance, elderly physical therapy patients), then this will influence where you decide to work.

How do I advance in my physical therapy career?

In order to advance in your career, it’s absolutely necessary for you to stay on top of any continuing education units you need, as well as to stay abreast of physical therapy trends and research. Being knowledgeable in the present and future of your field will keep you ahead of the curve at all times.

In addition to this, your best bet for advancing in your field is to establish a great name for yourself by producing the best possible results for your patients. Your experience and success are what will ultimately help you advance and make you indispensable at any facility you work for.

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