Factors that Can Affect Your Physical Therapy Salary

Factors that Can Affect Your Physical Therapy Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the Employment of physical therapists is expected to grow by 34 percent through 2024, much faster than average for all occupations. The median national annual salary for physical therapists is $82,390. Actual salaries may vary greatly on a variety of other factors.


Let’s examine a few:


Yup, you guessed it, where you work factors into how much you make. When you look at the how the cost of living varies from city to city, San Francisco and New York compared to Eugene or Des Moines. In addition to the cost of living, supply and demand also plays a role. For example, according to US News Salary Outlook, Las Vegas has one of the highest average annual salaries for PTs in the country ($124,000). Conversely, the state of Montana has the third lowest average annual salary in the country, ($71, 880) according to PhysicalTheraphySalary.org. But the state is rich in finding candidates faster and more easily according to Wanted Analytics.

Here’s a salary breakdown by state.


Your area of specialty or type of certifications you earn can also influence your earning potential. In addition, the more years of experience the higher the wage, seems to be the trend according to data at PayScale.com, a salary,  benefits and compensation information company. Here’s the median salary by level of experience:

  • Entry-level PTs (0-5 years experience) $65,000
  • Mid-career PTs (5-10 years) $74,000
  • Experienced PTs (10-20 years) $81,000
  • Late-career PTs (>20 years) $83,000

How do Physical Therapy Salaries Compare Based on Where you Treat Patients?

We’ve looked at how the location where you practice and years of experience affect PT salary, now let’s look at one final factor: where you treat patients.

Home health, long-term care, home care, and geriatric facilities are the highest paying PT areas, according to PayScale.com. On average, those annual salaries are ranging from $96,810 to $88, 890.