How Much Does a Physical Therapist Make?

A Physical Therapist ’s job is not just about earning a living; it’s about getting people up and moving. In this role, you work with people of all ages, from infants to senior citizens, treating medical problems that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities such as walking, standing, and sitting. Your work promotes movement, reduces pain, restores full mobility, and prevents permanent disability.

To be successful, you must be understanding, be able to communicate with individuals from all backgrounds, and enjoy working with people. This hands-on position provides an opportunity to see patients recover and take those all-important first steps.

How much do Physical Therapists make?

Physical Therapist salary, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, averages $72,790 annually. The majority of Physical Therapists earn between $60,300 and $85,540 per year, so your chances of making more than the average salary are pretty good. Only 10 percent of Physical Therapists are paid less than $50,350, and an equal number earn more than $104,350 annually. Physical Therapists working in home health care services, nursing care facilities, and hospitals earn more than the average amount.

What determines physical therapy income?

As with nearly all other career salaries, Physical Therapist income is determined by a number of factors. Typically, the biggest factors are the location of employment, the type and size of the organization, and the Physical Therapist’s years of experience and training.

For example, Physical Therapist income in New York City is likely to be larger than that of a comparable position in St. Louis, Missouri. Also, when you factor in the amount of experience, it’s easy to understand why the playing field is not level. As you gain more experience, you can expect your Physical Therapist income to grow.

Will I be able to make a career out of physical therapy?

Simply put, yes. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the physical therapy field will increase at a much faster rate than average — by as much as 30 percent by 2018. Many health insurance companies cover physical therapy now, and this change alone has increased the demand for services. The aging population will also increase the need for Physical Therapists, as more people are likely to suffer strokes and heart attacks that will increase the demand for physical rehabilitation.

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