How much does physical therapy get paid
Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics
Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021
29-1123 Physical Therapists
Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.
National estimates for Physical Therapists
Industry profile for Physical Therapists
Geographic profile for Physical Therapists
National estimates for Physical Therapists:
Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for Physical Therapists:
Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3) Mean hourly
wage Mean annual
wage (2) Wage RSE (3) 225,350 1.0 % $ 44.67 $ 92,920 0.4 %
Percentile wage estimates for Physical Therapists:
Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median) 75% 90% Hourly Wage $ 29.77 $ 37.38 $ 45.97 $ 49.00 $ 61.11 Annual Wage (2) $ 61,930 $ 77,750 $ 95,620 $ 101,920 $ 127,110
Industry profile for Physical Therapists:
Industries with the highest published employment and wages for Physical Therapists are provided. For a list of all industries with employment in Physical Therapists, see the Create Customized Tables function.
Industries with the highest levels of employment in Physical Therapists:
Industries with the highest concentration of employment in Physical Therapists:
Top paying industries for Physical Therapists:
Geographic profile for Physical Therapists:
States and areas with the highest published employment, location quotients, and wages for Physical Therapists are provided. For a list of all areas with employment in Physical Therapists, see the Create Customized Tables function.
States with the highest employment level in Physical Therapists:
State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2) California 23,840 1.44 0.90 $ 49.77 $ 103,510 New York 16,130 1.86 1.16 $ 44.18 $ 91,890 Texas 14,040 1.15 0.72 $ 47.28 $ 98,340 Florida 13,220 1.54 0.96 $ 43.57 $ 90,630 Pennsylvania 10,700 1.92 1.20 $ 45.39 $ 94,400
States with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Physical Therapists:
State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2) Maine 1,420 2.40 1.50 $ 41.17 $ 85,620 Montana 1,120 2.39 1.49 $ 39.74 $ 82,660 Alaska 680 2.30 1.44 $ 46.63 $ 96,980 Vermont 630 2.21 1.38 $ 41.08 $ 85,440 Wyoming 570 2.20 1.38 $ 42.88 $ 89,190
Top paying states for Physical Therapists:
State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2) Nevada 1,860 1.44 0.90 $ 50.10 $ 104,210 California 23,840 1.44 0.90 $ 49.77 $ 103,510 Connecticut 3,410 2.17 1.36 $ 48.64 $ 101,180 Delaware 870 1.99 1.25 $ 48.31 $ 100,490 New Jersey 7,400 1.92 1.20 $ 47.85 $ 99,530
Metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in Physical Therapists:
Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Physical Therapists:
Top paying metropolitan areas for Physical Therapists:
Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest employment in Physical Therapists:
Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Physical Therapists:
Top paying nonmetropolitan areas for Physical Therapists:
About May 2021 National, State, Metropolitan, and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates
These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors, all metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, and all states and the District of Columbia. The top employment and wage figures are provided above. The complete list is available in the downloadable XLS files.
The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall. The median wage is the 50th percentile wage estimate—50 percent of workers earn less than the median and 50 percent of workers earn more than the median. More about percentile wages.
(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.
(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a “year-round, full-time” hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.
(3) The relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the reliability of a survey statistic. The smaller the relative standard error, the more precise the estimate.
(9) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.
Other OEWS estimates and related information:
May 2021 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates
May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates
May 2021 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates
May 2021 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates
May 2021 Occupation Profiles
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Median Annual Salary
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:
Median Salary: $95,620
Projected job growth: 16.9%
10th Percentile: $61,930
25th Percentile: $77,750
75th Percentile: $101,920
90th Percentile: $127,110
Projected job growth: 16.9%
State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10% Alabama $95,450 $59,810 $130,000 Alaska $99,810 $38,960 $128,450 Arizona $95,590 $72,500 $127,740 Arkansas $93,560 $59,640 $126,600 California $101,180 $50,230 $135,570 Colorado $93,100 $60,960 $125,670 Connecticut $100,070 $76,660 $129,210 Delaware $97,630 $75,710 $129,450 District of Columbia $95,870 $75,710 $127,370 Florida $95,450 $61,750 $120,750 Georgia $95,590 $71,410 $124,450 Hawaii $95,110 $37,190 $127,160 Idaho $80,340 $61,990 $102,060 Illinois $97,690 $65,380 $122,370 Indiana $95,390 $62,830 $120,500 Iowa $78,930 $60,750 $103,170 Kansas $88,570 $61,080 $120,650 Kentucky $81,850 $59,840 $116,790 Louisiana $95,590 $63,630 $129,270 Maine $79,170 $61,990 $102,060 Maryland $94,960 $62,760 $120,260 Massachusetts $96,410 $61,200 $123,620 Michigan $79,870 $56,680 $102,060 Minnesota $80,130 $72,880 $101,510 Mississippi $95,770 $73,870 $129,270 Missouri $79,050 $59,830 $108,340 Montana $78,950 $61,210 $102,060 Nebraska $80,990 $61,740 $120,500 Nevada $99,360 $60,800 $152,420 New Hampshire $83,700 $61,740 $102,370 New Jersey $99,730 $76,980 $128,330 New Mexico $95,590 $75,220 $130,430 New York $95,620 $62,270 $121,140 North Carolina $79,240 $60,900 $106,980 North Dakota $78,270 $61,350 $100,620 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 Vermont $78,320 $61,250 $102,060 Virginia $94,260 $62,000 $121,780 Washington $99,330 $76,090 $126,940 West Virginia $96,970 $68,930 $121,200 Wisconsin $95,480 $61,790 $120,260 Wyoming $79,630 $75,320 $126,780
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries may 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.
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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
Employment of physical therapists
through 2031, 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.