Physical Therapist Salary Information

Find out what you’ll earn as a physical therapist.

Physical Therapist Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for physical therapists is $82,390. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.

There are many factors that affect a physical therapist salary. For instance, where you live will affect how much you’ll earn. The cost of living in your area will cause the average physical therapist salaries in your area to go up or down, accordingly.

Your work environment will also determine your pay. If you work for a large company, they may be able to offer more in terms of salary and benefits. Your area of specialty or type of certifications you earn can also influence your earning potential.

How Do Physical Therapist Salaries Compare?

Health Care Field Median Annual Salary*
Occupational Therapists $78,810
Chiropractors $66,720
Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides $41,640
Recreational Therapists $44,000

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition,Occupational Therapists, Chiropractors; Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides, Recreational Therapists.

Physical Therapist Job Outlook

Employment of physical therapists is expected to grow by 34 percent through 2024, much faster than average for all occupations.

Demand for physical therapy services will come, in large part, due to the aging baby boomer population, who are staying active. And as advancements in medical technology increase the use of outpatient surgery to treat injuries and illnesses, physical therapists will continue to play an important role in recovering quickly.

Job opportunities are likely to be strong for licensed physical therapists in all settings. They may be found particularly in acute hospital, skilled nursing, and orthopedic settings, where the elderly are most often treated. And the outlook is especially favorable in rural areas, because many physical therapists live in highly populated urban and suburban areas.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook; Physical Therapists.   

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

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