Physical therapist earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Physical therapist salary by state

State Name Average Salary
California $73,000

How much does a Physical Therapist earn?

As with most professions, salaries for physical therapists vary widely based on a therapist’s number of years in the industry. In fact, a therapist’s number of years in clinical practice plays a much larger role in determining salary than does his or her educational level. Entry-level physical therapists made an average of $66,000 in 2011, whereas physical therapists with 16 or more years of experience earned an average salary of $84,000. A therapist who falls somewhere between these two extremes—not fresh out of school, but not quite a seasoned vet—should expect to earn a salary somewhere near the national median ($82,390 in 2014).

Physical Therapist Compensation by Geographical Region

Additional factors such as geographic location and type of therapy facility also affect an individual's salary. For example, the average physical therapist salary in the nation's top-paying state, Nevada, is $127,900; whereas the average salary in the lowest-paying state, Montana, is $69,590. The highest paid in the physical therapist profession work in the metropolitan areas of Las Vegas, Laredo, Texas, and Brownsville, Texas. The Lake Havasu City, Arizona area also pays well, as does the city of Vallejo, California.

How do physical therapist salaries compare to similar careers?

Physical therapists earn about the same as related careers in California. On average, they make less than registered nurses but more than health educators.

Career Median Salary
Registered nurse salary $84K
Nurse salary $60K
Physical therapist salary $73K
Psychologist salary $47K
Medical and clinical laboratory technician salary $41K
Optician salary $37K
Health educator salary $35K