Entry Level vs. Senior Physical Therapist Salary by Setting

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by steveyk, Mar 2, 2017.

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  1. steveyk

    steveyk 5+ Year Member

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    Jul 26, 2011
    I'm fully aware of the thousands of salary conversations on this forum. But the information I'm seeking is something comprehensive (like a systematic review in the research realm) and more detailed. There's a whole lot of info on the AVERAGE PT salary but there aren't too much information out there on what PTs make at different times in their careers.

    Practitioners, based on your observations and experiences, what is the average STARTING salary for a PT in a particular setting and what does that number look like in 1, 5, 10, 20 years? At what value does it cap off if there is such a thing?

    For example:

    HOME HEALTH
    Starting:
    Annual Raise:
    After 5 yrs:
    After 10 yrs:
    (20, 30, etc.)
    City, State

    And so on for OP, IRF, SNF, Acute, school systems, travel etc.

    I was pretty set on OP ortho before starting school but am more open to other settings now (I've noticed many of you have experienced the same thing). And I know there are many factors to take into account when considering a setting but that information I can find on my own. But I seek your advice and input regarding the bottom line. Thank you.
     
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  3. Azimuthal

    Azimuthal Ninja Zombie Slayer 5+ Year Member

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    Jan 29, 2012
    Check O*Net?
     
    steveyk likes this.
  4. steveyk likes this.
  5. TravisDPT

    TravisDPT 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 6, 2014
    From the link jadedphysiotherapist provided:

    "The median annual wage for physical therapists was $84,020 in May 2015. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $57,060, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $119,790."

    Not to hijack the thread, but to anyone with insight: How do PTs become part of that "highest 10 percent?" Making more than 120k?! I would guess either director/supervision positions and/or lots of PRN work?
     
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  6. pegasuscvc

    pegasuscvc 2+ Year Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    Your best chance of making that much would be owning your own practice, but that is definitely not for everyone. There are some rare positions that would also make that much, like the official PT for a famous sports team or something, but don't count on those either. Now, making sure we don't hijack the thread...

    It looks like the original poster is trying to get an idea of median starting wage for different specialties, rather than just median wage in general. I haven't even been working for a year, so my input is limited. I'm not even totally sure what you would call my work setting. It's an outpatient clinic but attached to a nursing home/memory care facility. I get outpatients from the community in the clinic, but I also go into the nursing home and work with inpatients there. Call it what you will.

    OP/SNF combo (?)
    Gross annual starting salary: $88,548
    Wright County, MN

    It's not a good idea to put down city/state because the town is so small that my description of the facility above would tell you exactly where I work. That's not a good idea for a variety of reasons. Suffice it to say it's in the middle of the county.
     
  7. DPTinFL

    DPTinFL 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 28, 2009
    I was a management trainee for a national healthcare company that owns OP clinics and rehab hospitals. In my area (metro city in FL) we offer new grads $60k. Normally you get a 2% raise if you were satisfactory in your annual review.
    So..OP in FL
    $60k for 0 years of experience
    $66,200 for 5 yrs
    $73,100 for 10 yrs
    $80,700 for 15 yrs
    No cap, you just do your job and raises will keep coming.
    This is also the formula we will use to hire someone with experience give or take a few more % for special skill set.
    Remember this is base salary, actual compensation package would be more including bonuses and benefits.
     
    steveyk likes this.
  8. This model was actually my budget model but starting offers in that state are easily 70k+. I'm assuming being in a good metro area makes it so you don't have to compete with offers.
     
  9. OldnewDPT

    OldnewDPT

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    California
    California, large hospital with multiple specialty PT's (ortho, neuro, oncology, pedi, inpatient, outpatient) starting salaries are in the $80K range and inpatient is a little higher than outpatient. Otherwise, all specialties are on the same pay and raise scale. But, cost of living is high - especially housing.
     
    jadedphysiotherapist likes this.
  10. steveyk

    steveyk 5+ Year Member

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    Jul 26, 2011
    Do you mind telling us which area in California? Bc $80k is plenty for new grads in general but in places like SF, you'd be scraping by, if I'm not mistaken.
     
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  11. DesertPT

    DesertPT ` 2+ Year Member

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    PTs who branch out to other ares besides being exclusively in clinical practice, or those in full-time clinical practice in the highest paid settings. Also possibly those in average practice settings who work a lot of hours/have multiple PRN jobs/potentially live in higher-paying parts of the country. Practice ownership, consulting (eg ergonomics and injury prevention in industrial settings, etc), management/director-type positions, higher ranking positions in academia, lots of PRN or home health in higher paying areas, travel PT, other side jobs while still working full time eg teaching, etc. etc. Making $120k as a PT is not at all unheard of, and remember that is the 90th percentile, 99th percentile would be considerably more.
     
    jadedphysiotherapist likes this.
  12. Just saw HH job at 135k. Highest need setting.
    Rare and Not what I want to do but a thing to consider for some.
     
  13. TravisDPT

    TravisDPT 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 6, 2014
    Where did you see that, if you don't mind me asking? Do you have a link?
     
  14. It was on indeed.com.

    HH is well over 100k most jobs I see
     
  15. kschaub

    kschaub

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  16. kschaub

    kschaub

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    There's is many HH jobs that are posted on Indeed from around the country that are paying above 100k. A lot of them were posted within the last month and many of them say they only require 1 yr experience. Granted, most of them are in states with a high need, but there are a few in other states as well.

    Travel PT's also can get paid pretty good. Travel jobs posted on Indeed can be very lucrative. I personally know of a travel job that will pay regular salary plus 72k worth in signing bonuses spread throughout 3 yrs of work.
     
  17. callmecrazy

    callmecrazy 7+ Year Member

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    Any therapist considered an "expert" on a subject can easily make a few thousand teaching a weekend course and do that all over the country. Or use that expertise to write the textbook every PT student is buying. Sell your private practice to a hospital system. Essentially, I'd venture to guess the highest paid PTs are just treating patients 40hrs/wk.
     
  18. Smash Atoms

    Smash Atoms

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    Mar 23, 2017
    There seems to be apprehension about discussing salary in most business worlds in fear of getting fired if you are "caught".
    This however, is illegal. By all means to those posting on the forum, feel free to remain cautious for your own peace of mind and self interest in not stirring the pot so to speak, but be armed with the proper information should it ever be needed.

    Some non legal jargon about the subject:
    What Employers & HR Can Do When Employees Discuss Wages, Salary

    Specific act of congress that makes this a law:
    National Labor Relations Act | NLRB

    Edit: I suppose to ensure clarity in the event that my initial statements were somehow confusing, it is illegal for an employer to fire you (or anyone else) for discussing your salary. The first link provides some details in plain language, and the second link is the act that made it illegal to fire people for discussing salary. It has been a law since 1935, but employers will still often incorrectly threaten employees with dismissal for discussing pay.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  19. steveyk

    steveyk 5+ Year Member

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    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  20. Smash Atoms

    Smash Atoms

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    Mar 23, 2017
    Threaten?

    Suppose you didn't bother to read the links before replying.
    I provided an edit to my original post to alleviate any concerns.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
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  21. steveyk

    steveyk 5+ Year Member

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    I totally read that wrong. You were only trying to help! I read "This [thread] however, is illegal" and was totally caught off guard and misguided the rest of the way. My mistake! I'm glad we're on the same page!
     

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