Having a physical therapy career will mean dealing with the treatment of body disorders usually resulting from an accident, injury, or illness. These healthcare professionals work with patients to help them recover normal body movement and functions. They can also assist clients in achieving fitness goals, becoming healthier, and avoiding problems later in life. So, how much do physical therapists make?
If you’re interested in becoming a physical therapist, you might want to do some research beforehand to find out how much physical therapists make per hour, or how much you can make as a freelancer in this field. This article has the answer to these questions and more. Let’s dive in.
Physical Therapists’ Salary: An Overview of How Much Physical Therapists Make
- Average Salary: $91,010
- 10th Percentile Salary: $62,000
- 90th Percentile Salary: $116,000
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average wage for physical therapists is $91,010. The bottom 10 percent of physical therapists have annual salaries of less than $63,530, while the top 10 percent make over $126,780.
How Much Do Physical Therapists Make Per Hour?
According to BLS, physical therapists make up to $43.75 per hour. This hourly wage for physical therapists is also dependent on a myriad of other factors, including certifications, physical therapy education, experience, and other accompanying skills.
Do Physical Therapists Make Good Money?
Yes, physical therapists do make good money. The average physical therapist’s annual wage is likely to take care of the average person’s spending. This is also one of the reasons why physical therapists rank as one of the most satisfying careers to consider in 2022.
How Much Do Physical Therapists Make? A Salary Breakdown by Location, Experience, and Skills
As mentioned earlier, physical therapists’ wages, like any other profession, are dependent on factors such as geographic location, clinical experience, and skills. Below is a breakdown of the salary of physical therapists based on these factors.
Physical Therapists’ Salaries by Location
This table with information from ZipRecruiter details the salaries of physical therapists in the five states where the salary range is the highest.
|Location||25th Percentile Salary||Median Salary||75th Percentile Salary|
Physical Therapists’ Salaries by Level of Experience
The table below with information from PayScale shows how much physical therapists earn based on their level of experience. Entry-level physical therapists earn a starting salary of $68,000. Throughout a career, however, the median physical therapy salary could increase considerably.
|Experience Level||10th Percentile Salary||Median Salary||90th Percentile Salary|
Physical Therapists’ Salaries by Skill
The table below shows some high-paying skills and how they influence how much physical therapists make, according to data from PayScale. Additional training in these areas can increase a physical therapist’s typical salary by a few thousand dollars. For instance, having home health/home care skills can enable physical therapists to earn a much higher average annual income.
|Skill||10th Percentile Salary||Median Salary||90th Percentile Salary|
|Home Health/Home Care Skills||$68,000||$87,000||$105,000|
|Home Care Skills||$62,000||$82,000||$103,000|
|Wound Care Skills||$62,000||$82,000||$101,000|
|Certified Hand Therapist Skills||$60,000||$81,000||$99,000|
How Much Do Freelance Physical Therapists Make?
Ziprecruiter estimates that the average income of freelance outpatient physical therapists is $82,978 per year. Freelancers in this field also have a flexible schedule and can see a variety of patients. The median hourly wage of private-practice therapists is $39.89. However, the majority of physical therapists who have private practices earn from $34.13 to $43.75 per hour.
Freelance physical therapists’ hourly rate can even be as low as $9.62. This wide range is a result of the multiple factors that determine how much they earn. Whether you choose to join the ranks of private-practice physical therapists or provide your physical therapy services as a freelancer at outpatient care centers, retirement facilities, or rehabilitation facilities, you’ll be sure to earn a good living.
Physical Therapist Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects physical therapists have an employment growth rate of 21 percent between 2020 and 2030. BLS also estimates that there will be 15,600 new physical therapy job openings through 2030. This estimated job growth rate is faster and higher than that of most occupations.
Is Physical Therapy a Good Career?
If you enjoy working with people to develop a treatment plan and help them recover their physical health, then yes, physical therapy is a great career for you. As seen from the information and statistics above, this is a relatively high-paying job for which the median wages increase as one garners more experience.
In addition, the career has a great outlook. Physical therapy’s growth estimates seem great, and it looks like physical therapists will continue to be in demand for a long time. To top it all up, physical therapists help people become better after facing experiences that had a negative impact on their lives.
How Much Do Physical Therapists Make? FAQ
Data provided by the BLS shows that the highest-paid physical therapists work in nursing care facilities. Physical therapists that work in home healthcare services also make a great deal of money.
Physical therapists have been reported to face high levels of stress. Various factors cause this stress, such as the psychological demands of patient care in general. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, however, showed that physical therapists generally view their work environments with a positive outlook. Also, the study showed that physical therapists could manage this stress by taking note of the psychosocial work environment before deciding on a job.
Physical therapy is an exciting career because options are abundant when it comes to specialization, ranging from pediatrics to sports. Physical therapists can choose to specialize according to their preferences, making their career fun. In addition, the career option is suitable for healthcare workers with various character traits.
To become a physical therapist, you will need a wide array of soft skills in addition to your education requirements to help you deal with your patients on a day-to-day basis. In addition to completing a physical therapist education program, you’ll need great communication skills, great listening skills, and you’ll need to be compassionate and patient with your clients as they make progress under your guidance.
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