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Salary Guide for Physical Therapists

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Median Annual Salary

To get started, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics cites the median annual salary for physical therapists as $95,620.

Take a look at median annual PT salaries by state:

Physical Therapists

National data

Median Salary: $95,620

Projected job growth: 20.5%

10th Percentile: $61,930

25th Percentile: $77,750

75th Percentile: $101,920

90th Percentile: $127,110

Projected job growth: 20.5%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alaska $99,810 $38,960 $128,450
Alabama $95,450 $59,810 $130,000
Arkansas $93,560 $59,640 $126,600
Arizona $95,590 $72,500 $127,740
California $101,180 $50,230 $135,570
Colorado $93,100 $60,960 $125,670
Connecticut $100,070 $76,660 $129,210
District of Columbia $95,870 $75,710 $127,370
Delaware $97,630 $75,710 $129,450
Florida $95,450 $61,750 $120,750
Georgia $95,590 $71,410 $124,450
Hawaii $95,110 $37,190 $127,160
Iowa $78,930 $60,750 $103,170
Idaho $80,340 $61,990 $102,060
Illinois $97,690 $65,380 $122,370
Indiana $95,390 $62,830 $120,500
Kansas $88,570 $61,080 $120,650
Kentucky $81,850 $59,840 $116,790
Louisiana $95,590 $63,630 $129,270
Massachusetts $96,410 $61,200 $123,620
Maryland $94,960 $62,760 $120,260
Maine $79,170 $61,990 $102,060
Michigan $79,870 $56,680 $102,060
Minnesota $80,130 $72,880 $101,510
Missouri $79,050 $59,830 $108,340
Mississippi $95,770 $73,870 $129,270
Montana $78,950 $61,210 $102,060
North Carolina $79,240 $60,900 $106,980
North Dakota $78,270 $61,350 $100,620
Nebraska $80,990 $61,740 $120,500
New Hampshire $83,700 $61,740 $102,370
New Jersey $99,730 $76,980 $128,330
New Mexico $95,590 $75,220 $130,430
Nevada $99,360 $60,800 $152,420
New York $95,620 $62,270 $121,140
Ohio $95,620 $66,460 $124,380
Oklahoma $79,220 $60,720 $126,210
Oregon $95,040 $73,600 $120,750
Pennsylvania $95,890 $68,430 $121,230
Rhode Island $95,930 $61,990 $121,140
South Carolina $79,830 $49,870 $104,390
South Dakota $78,040 $61,570 $100,920
Tennessee $95,370 $61,990 $106,040
Texas $99,040 $62,240 $136,870
Utah $81,190 $55,660 $127,740
Virginia $94,260 $62,000 $121,780
Vermont $78,320 $61,250 $102,060
Washington $99,330 $76,090 $126,940
Wisconsin $95,480 $61,790 $120,260
West Virginia $96,970 $68,930 $121,200
Wyoming $79,630 $75,320 $126,780

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2030. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

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. And of course, your education will factor into the equation, and post-degree certification as well. Do you specialize? Are you board certified? All these things play a part in how much you could earn.

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?

Career Median Annual Salary
Physical Therapists $95,620
Occupational Therapists $85,570
Chiropractors $75,000
Physical Therapist Assistants $61,180
Recreational Therapists $47,940

Which Cities Pay the Best?

Take a look at the 10 top-paying metro areas for physical therapists according to the BLS:

Metro Area Median Annual Salary
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $124,710
Napa, CA $121,060
Santa Rosa, CA $120,340
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $120,060
Midland, TX $117,790
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT $105,630
Salinas, CA $104,830
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $103,460
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL $102,930
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA $102,370

Physical Therapist Job Outlook

21%

Employment of physical therapists

through 2030, much faster than average for all professions.

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. You might also want to consider exploring the career of physical therapy assistant. PTs and PT assistants work in the same field, but the educational path of an assistant is much shorter. Also, PT assistants are among some of the most in-demand allied heath careers.

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’ 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics.

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.