Do Physical Therapists Make Good Money? Here’s the Truth

Do physical therapist make good money – Do physical therapists make good money? This is a question that many people ask, especially those who are considering a career in physical therapy. The answer is not always straightforward, as there are a number of factors that can affect a physical therapist’s salary.

However, in this article, we will take a closer look at the earnings potential of physical therapists and provide you with some insights into what you can expect to earn if you choose to pursue this career.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for physical therapists was $95,620 in May 2021. This means that half of all physical therapists earned more than this amount, while the other half earned less. The lowest 10 percent of earners made less than $56,430, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $134,320.

Earnings and Salary

Do physical therapist make good money

Physical therapists enjoy a rewarding career with competitive financial compensation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual salary for physical therapists was $95,620 in May 2022.

Salary variations exist based on several factors:


  • Physical therapists with more experience generally earn higher salaries.
  • Entry-level therapists typically earn less than those with several years of experience.


  • Geographic location can impact salary levels.
  • Physical therapists working in urban areas tend to earn more than those in rural areas.


  • Specializing in a particular area of physical therapy, such as orthopedics or neurology, can influence salary.
  • Specialized physical therapists often command higher salaries.

In addition to base salaries, physical therapists may receive bonuses, incentives, and benefits. These can include:

  • Performance-based bonuses
  • Continuing education reimbursement
  • Health and dental insurance
  • Paid time off

Job Market and Demand

Do physical therapist make good money

The job market for physical therapists is currently experiencing high demand due to the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions, aging population, and growing awareness of the benefits of physical therapy.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of physical therapists will grow 28% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is expected to be driven by the increasing demand for rehabilitation services for aging adults and people with chronic conditions.

Areas with High Demand, Do physical therapist make good money

There are several areas where the demand for physical therapists is particularly high, including:

  • Geriatric care: The aging population is driving the demand for physical therapists who specialize in geriatric care.
  • Orthopedics: Physical therapists are needed to help patients recover from orthopedic injuries and surgeries.
  • Neurology: Physical therapists can help patients with neurological conditions, such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease, to improve their mobility and function.
  • Sports medicine: Physical therapists work with athletes to prevent and treat injuries and improve performance.
  • Pediatrics: Physical therapists can help children with developmental delays, cerebral palsy, and other conditions to improve their physical function.

Education and Training Requirements: Do Physical Therapist Make Good Money

To become a physical therapist, one must obtain a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. This typically requires three years of full-time study following completion of a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as biology, exercise science, or kinesiology.

The cost of education for a DPT program can vary depending on the institution and whether it is a public or private university. Tuition and fees can range from approximately $50,000 to $120,000 for the entire program.

There are various financial aid options available to assist with the cost of education, including scholarships, grants, and student loans. It is important to explore these options thoroughly to determine eligibility and availability.

Certification and Licensing

Upon completion of a DPT program, individuals must pass a national board exam administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) to become licensed physical therapists. Each state has its own licensing requirements, which may include additional examinations or continuing education credits.

Maintaining licensure typically requires ongoing professional development and continuing education to stay abreast of advancements in the field.

Career Advancement and Specialization

Physical therapists can advance their careers through various avenues. Clinical specialization allows them to focus on specific patient populations or practice areas. Earning a doctorate in physical therapy (DPT) opens doors to advanced roles, such as teaching or research. Management positions offer opportunities for leadership and administrative responsibilities.

Areas of Specialization

Physical therapists can specialize in areas such as:


Treating musculoskeletal injuries and conditions


Working with patients with neurological disorders


Managing patients with cardiovascular and respiratory conditions


Treating infants and children with physical impairments


Do physical therapists make good money? It depends on where you work. Physical therapists in Michigan make an average of $95,000 per year, which is higher than the national average. This is because there is a high demand for physical therapists in Michigan, especially in rural areas.

Providing care for elderly patientsSpecialization typically requires additional training and certification. Earning potential can vary based on the specialty and experience level.

Continuing Education and Professional Development

Ongoing education is crucial for physical therapists to stay updated with advancements in the field. Continuing education courses, conferences, and workshops provide opportunities to enhance knowledge and skills. Earning advanced certifications can further enhance career prospects and earning potential.

Work Environment and Lifestyle

Physical therapists typically work in clean and well-lit healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, and private practices. They may also work in schools, sports facilities, or fitness centers. The work environment can be fast-paced and demanding, requiring physical stamina and the ability to work independently and as part of a team.

Physical Demands

Physical therapists often engage in physically demanding activities, including lifting and moving patients, operating equipment, and performing hands-on treatments. They may also need to work in awkward positions or for extended periods. As a result, physical therapists must maintain good physical health and fitness.

Hours and Overtime

Physical therapists typically work regular hours, but they may need to work overtime to meet patient needs or cover for colleagues. They may also work weekends or holidays, especially in hospital settings.

Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance can be a challenge for physical therapists, especially those working in busy or demanding environments. However, many physical therapists find that the flexibility of their schedules and the satisfaction they derive from helping patients make it worthwhile.

Physical therapists can make a decent living, with a median annual salary of around $95,000. However, salaries can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and specialty. For example, physical therapists in Missouri earn an average of $85,000 per year, according to the Missouri Department of Labor . Overall, physical therapy is a rewarding career that offers good earning potential.

Job Satisfaction

Physical therapists generally report high levels of job satisfaction. They enjoy the opportunity to make a positive impact on patients’ lives and appreciate the variety and challenges of their work.

Comparison to Other Healthcare Professions

Physical therapists earn a competitive salary compared to other healthcare professionals. While the specific earnings vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and specialty, physical therapists generally have a higher earning potential than many other healthcare roles.

In terms of job responsibilities, physical therapists share similarities with other healthcare professionals in providing patient care and rehabilitation. However, physical therapists have a unique focus on movement and function, working with patients to restore or improve their physical abilities.

They also play a crucial role in injury prevention and health promotion.

Education and Career Paths

The education and career paths of physical therapists are comparable to those of other healthcare professionals. They typically require a master’s degree or doctorate in physical therapy, followed by a period of supervised clinical practice. Physical therapists also have opportunities for specialization in areas such as orthopedics, neurology, and pediatrics.

Overall Competitiveness

The field of physical therapy is generally competitive, with a growing demand for qualified professionals. However, the specific level of competition can vary depending on factors such as geographic location and specialty. Physical therapists with specialized skills or experience may have a competitive advantage in the job market.

End of Discussion

In conclusion, physical therapists can make good money, but the amount they earn will vary depending on a number of factors. If you are considering a career in physical therapy, it is important to do your research and understand the earning potential in your area.

With hard work and dedication, you can achieve your financial goals and have a successful career as a physical therapist.

Essential FAQs

What is the average salary for a physical therapist?

The median annual salary for physical therapists was $95,620 in May 2021.

What are the factors that affect a physical therapist’s salary?

A physical therapist’s salary can be affected by a number of factors, including experience, location, and specialization.

What are the job prospects for physical therapists?

The job outlook for physical therapists is expected to be good over the next few years.

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