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What is the typical salary range for physical therapists?

Physical therapy is about helping people regain mobility, function, and overall quality of life, which is essential for folks recovering from injuries or dealing with long-term health issues. The need for rehab services is steadily growing, making pursuing a physical therapy career a pretty smart move. If you're thinking about it, getting a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree is your ticket to jump into this thriving and rewarding field.

Physical Therapist Salary
Top-Paying Physical Therapy Specialties:

Median Salary: The median annual salary for PTs based in the U.S. was $97,960 in 2022.

Top Earners: The highest 10% of PTs had an annual income exceeding $128,830.

Factors Influencing Salary: It's essential to note that these average PT salaries don't consider variables like location, years of experience, type of facility, credentials, or specific specializations.

Top-paying Industries (As of May 2022)
Industry/SpecialtyAnnual Salary (2022)
Outpatient Care Centers$118,800
Home Healthcare Services$113,970
Educational Support Services$110,390
Individual and Family Services$108,100
Nursing Care Facilities$103,590

Physical Therapist Salaries by State(Top 10)

Salaries for physical therapists can vary significantly based on the state of practice. Here are the top ten states with their respective annual mean salaries:

Rank State Annual Mean Salary (2022)
1 California $114,230
2 Nevada $105,880
3 New Jersey $105,430
4 Alaska $104,470
5 Connecticut $103,920
6 New York $103,580
7 Texas $102,300
8 Washington $101,130
9 Hawaii $100,130
10 Arizona $99,980

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Board-Certified Specialization Salaries

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Specialist Certification program offers ten clinical specialties for physical therapists. Salaries can differ based on location, skills, and job type. Here are some average salaries for these specializations in the U.S.:

Specialization Average Annual Salary
Wound Management $72,000
Geriatrics $76,000
Orthopedics $81,000
Sports $75,000
Clinical Electrophysiology $75,000
Neurology $74,000
Oncology $77,000
Pediatrics $70,000
Women’s Health $146,121

Tips for Achieving a Higher PT Salary

1. Specialization: Combining management with PT practice can lead to roles like Rehabilitation Director ($92,373), Physical Therapy Director ($91,894), Director of Managed Care ($123,219), and Senior Director of Clinical Services ($134,498).

2. Geographic Targeting: PT salaries can differ based on city and state. It's beneficial to compare nationwide salary averages with the cost of living to identify the best opportunities.

3. Negotiation: When accepting a new PT job or seeking a salary raise, it's crucial to advocate for oneself. Researching salary ranges in your area and highlighting your qualifications can be beneficial during negotiations.

Benefits of Becoming a Physical Therapist

Physical therapists enjoy numerous benefits, including the opportunity to assist others in their recovery journey, work in diverse environments, collaborate with other healthcare professionals, and receive competitive salaries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 17% employment growth for physical therapists between 2021 and 2031.

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