Physical Therapist Salary Information

Physical Therapist Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ current Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for physical therapists is $85,400. 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 FieldMedian Annual Salary*
Occupational Therapists$81,910
Chiropractors$67,520
Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides$45,290
Recreational Therapists$46,410

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018-19 Occupational Outlook Handbook,Occupational Therapists;ChiropractorsPhysical Therapist Assistants and AidesRecreational Therapists.

Physical Therapist Job Outlook

Employment of physical therapists is expected to grow by 25 percent through 2026, 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.

Student Loan Forgiveness for Physical Therapists

When you’re considering your financial outlook as a physical therapist, don’t forget about the student loan forgiveness options available to healthcare workers. Depending on career path and other factors, many physical therapists and physical therapy assistants may qualify. There are full and partial loan forgiveness programs at the federal and state level, as well as for people in public service careers. If you’re interested in a physical therapy career, it’s a good idea to explore your student loan forgiveness options in advance so you can be aware of what’s available as you enter the job market.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018-19 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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