May 26, 2009
  1. Pre-Medical
Just wanted to get an idea from some of the PTs here. My gf graduated from PT school a few years ago, and has had 3 jobs in different states since then (we've moved around for my residency and work). I'm a dentist so we know most of our income will be coming from me, but I've been very surprised by the offers she's been given. She loves kids and works as a pediatric PT, and despite going into $180+k of student debt to get her degree she's making $60k. This seems absolutely abysmal to me, that someone who has a bachelors, masters, and doctorate is making less than what many make right out of college. My hygienists with associate degrees make $80+k.

It also really makes me wonder how she or anyone in her position could ever pay this off and get ahead in life. I had more debt than her coming out ($350k) but will make $200-500k through my career and will be supporting us. Once we have kids she will likely work part time, so her income is less of the equation. But I've seriously wondered what she would do if we weren't together, short of just using Income Based Repayment and praying for loan forgiveness after 25 years.

Is this common in the PT world? Are there any PTs making $100+k that aren't having to actually own their own practice? I love that she's doing what she loves and gets to work with kids, it's awesome, but it seems unfair PTs go into so much debt for that return.

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