Physical therapists have one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. And that statement is true from several perspectives—including a financial one.
So, how much does a practitioner with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree make? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for physical therapists nationwide is $95,620 per year.14
But this figure only tells half the story.
Salaries fluctuate due to multiple variables, such as which physical therapy advancement opportunities you choose to pursue, but one of the most important factors is location. To give you a better idea of your potential salary as a physical therapist, we’ll explore wage projections from each U.S. state and territory.
Physical Therapist Salary and Job Outlook by State
Using data from the BLS2 and the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP),3 we’ll examine your potential future after you have pursued a physical therapy graduate program and become a licensed physical therapist—no matter where in the country you find yourself.
Keep in mind that the most recent numbers from the BLS are from May 2021, so salaries may have changed in the time since. Learning more about physical therapists’ salaries will help you answer, “Is a DPT degree worth it?” We think you’ll agree that it is.
As per the BLS, physical therapists in Alabama make a mean annual wage of $94,210. That’s $45.29/hour in a state with a relatively low cost of living. The PMP expects to see around 170 PT job openings each year until 2030.
The cost of living in Alabama is below the national average, at 87.5 on the index.4
Up north, those with Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees can earn a mean salary of $96,980 per year ($46.63/hour). In fact, Alaska is the third-highest paying state for PTs.
And while the average number of annual job openings may seem low at 30, that figure is consistent with Alaska’s population of less than 750,000.5
The cost of living in Alaska is above the national average, at 127.3 on the index.
PTs working in Arizona take home a mean annual salary of $94,700, or $45.53/hour. These health professionals are in demand, too. The state projects that there will be a healthy 408 job openings for PTs each year until 2028.6
The cost of living in Arizona is above the national average at 106.7 on the index.
If you find yourself working at a doctor’s office or hospital in Arkansas, you could earn a mean salary of $88,190/year (or $42.40/hour). With 140 job openings expected to come up each year, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to apply.
The cost of living in Arkansas is below the national average, at 89.9 on the index.
A licensed physical therapist working in the Golden State is well-paid. California is the second highest-paying state for PTs (after Nevada), with a mean annual wage of $103,510 ($49.77/hour).
In this large state that values exercise and sports, demand for PT is growing; the PMP predicts that 1,500 physical therapy jobs will open up each year.
The cost of living in California is above the national average, at 139.7 on the index.
Even if the mountains don’t call to you, the $80,870/year salary for Colorado-based PTs might. And with a predicted 440 new job openings each year, you could be earning that $43.21/hour sooner than you think.
The cost of living in Colorado is slightly above the national average, at 102.4 on the index.
As the fifth-highest paying state for PTs, Connecticut is a worthy destination for those looking to practice. With a mean annual salary of $101,180 ($48.64/hour) and around 220 yearly job openings, the state provides an opportunity for those willing to relocate.
The cost of living in Connecticut is well above the national average, at 118.9 on the index.
Delaware-based PTs earn a mean annual salary of $100,490, which equates to $48.31/hour. The PMP projects a yearly increase of around 70 physical therapy jobs in the state.
The cost of living in Delaware is above the national average, at 105.8 on the index.
District of Columbia (D.C.): $96,070/year
With a mean hourly rate of $46.19/hour, PTs in the nation’s capital can earn upwards of $96,070 per year. As for job openings, you’ll find an average of just 40 each year through to 2030, making D.C. a good place to start your private practice.
The cost of living in D.C. is 158.8 on the index—in fact, it’s the most expensive place to live in the country, behind Hawaii.
If you would enjoy the sun, sand and a mean annual salary of $90,630 ($43.57/hour), you’ll love Florida. The Sunshine State is home to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences’ St. Augustine and Miami campuses, where you can earn your DPT degree within sight of the beach.
Perhaps because the state is a hotspot for retirees, there are an estimated 1,040 PT job openings per year.
The cost of living in Florida is just above the national average, at 102.6 on the index.
In Georgia, PTs make around $93,980 per year—that’s $45.18/hour. The career is experiencing significant growth, too—the PMP expects 470 new job openings every year.
The cost of living in Georgia is below the national average, at 88.2 on the index.
At $90,000/year ($43.27/hour), the mean doctor of physical therapy salary in Hawaii is pretty decent. But don’t wait too long to start your practice for surfers; the average number of annual job openings is 50.
Hawaii is famously beautiful, but you do have to consider its high cost of living, which clocks in at 192.7 on the index, making it the most expensive state in the United States.
Physical therapists in Idaho bring home around $41.29/hour, for a total mean salary of $85,880/year. An average of 427 new PT jobs are created every year.
The cost of living in Idaho is just below the national average, at 99.4 on the index.
Whether you’re in the Windy City or somewhere beyond, you can earn an impressive $93,130 per year ($44.77/hour). Luckily, the demand for PTs in Illinois is also high, with an average of 500 new openings each year.
The cost of living in Illinois is below the national average, at 91.7 on the index.
Sitting just to the east of Illinois, Indiana boasts an annual mean salary of $91,110 ($43.80/hour). According to the PMP, the state will need around 310 new PTs every year until 2030.
The cost of living in Indiana is also below the national average, at 89.2 on the index.
The mean annual salary for a PT in Iowa is $83,860 ($40.32/hour). With around 150 new jobs opening each year, the Hawkeye state could be a worthwhile destination.13
The cost of living in Iowa is below the national average, at 88.1 on the index.
At $89,380/year ($42.97/hour), the mean salary for a physical therapist in Kansas is nothing to sneeze at. And with an annual average of 140 new jobs opening up, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better state in the Midwest.
Kansas is the second-least expensive state to live in, with a cost of living that’s 85.4 on the index.
In Kentucky, you can earn an average physical therapist salary of $86,890, which translates to $41.77/hour. The PMP expects an average of 200 new PT jobs to open in the state every year.
The cost of living in Kentucky is below the national average, at 93.6 on the index.
Louisiana is near the top of the list, with a mean annual salary of $96,140 ($46.22/hour). With that said, there are around 160 openings for PTs each year, according to the PMP.
Louisiana’s below-average cost of living—93.3 on the index—is another plus.
At $85,620/year ($41.17/hour), Maine’s mean salary for PTs is among the lowest in the country. However, it still ranks above the national median household income of $67,521/year.7 So, if you’ve been wondering if a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is worth it, here’s your answer.
Around 60 PT jobs are expected to open in Maine each year between now and 2028.
The cost of living in Maine is above the national average, at 115.1 on the index.
As a physical therapist in Maryland, your projected salary is around $90,710/year ($43.61/hour). Couple that above-average income with the estimated 340 annual job openings, and you can understand why Maryland is an excellent place to practice.
The cost of living in Maryland is above the national average, at 126.4 on the index.
There’s a lot to love about living in Massachusetts—especially as a physical therapist. With a mean annual salary of $91,840—that’s $44.15/hour—you can explore the Berkshires at your leisure.
Throughout the state, the PMP expects around 472 new job openings to pop up each year.8
The cost of living in Massachusetts is above the national average, at 130.2 on the index.
Base yourself in Michigan and you’ll receive a mean annual salary of $83,160 ($39.98/hour). The PMP expects 490 job openings each year in the state, so you’ll have multiple chances to apply.
The cost of living in Michigan is below the national average, at 89.9 on the index.
In Minnesota, the mean doctor of physical therapy salary is $86,370/year ($41.53/hour). Whether you hope to work in a clinic or a hospital, you’ll have around 613 job openings each year to choose from.9
The cost of living in Minnesota is below the national average, at 97.1 on the index.
PTs in Mississippi earn a substantial salary for the area. $95,990 per year ($46.15/hour) is a respectable wage anywhere.
The PMP projects 110 yearly job openings on average.
Mississippi is the least expensive state to live in, with an index rating of 83.1.
Base yourself in Missouri and you could take home a mean annual salary of $84,230 ($40.49/hour). With 280 openings each year, you’ll have your share of choices when you start job hunting.
The cost of living in Missouri is below the national average, at 90.5 on the index.
The mean annual wage for Montana-based PTs is $84,600 ($39.74/hour). The state is sparsely populated, so an average annual increase of 90 PT jobs is to be expected.
The cost of living in Montana is above the national average, at 104.4 on the index.
If your journey as a PT takes you to Nebraska, you can earn a mean salary of $89,160/year ($42.86/hour). According to the PMP, Nebraskans will need around 130 new PTs per year.
The cost of living in Nebraska is below the national average, at 91.8 on the index.
With a mean annual salary of $104,210 ($50.10/hour), Nevada pays its PTs more than any other state. Regardless of the bachelor’s degree you pursue ahead of your Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, you’ll be set up to earn six figures in the Silver State.
On average, you can expect to see around 140 new jobs opening in the state each year.
The cost of living in Nevada is just above the national average, at 103.1 on the index.
New Hampshire: $86,220/year
New Hampshire has an average physical therapist salary of $86,220 ($41.45/hour)—a similar wage to other states in the Northeast. From now until 2028, there should be around 80 new job openings in the state each year.
The cost of living in New Hampshire is well above the national average, at 117.4 on the index.
New Jersey: $99,530/year
New Jersey is the fourth-highest-paying state for physical therapists, with a mean annual salary of $99,530 ($47.85/hour). The PMP predicts that 530 new jobs will open there each year.
The cost of living in New Jersey is above the national average, at 112.9 on the index.
New Mexico: $97,190/year
New Mexico is another well-paying state, with a mean annual salary of $97,190 ($46.73/hour). But with an elevated wage comes competition—the PMP expects only 110 new PT jobs per year to open up.
The good news is that New Mexico’s cost of living is below the national average, at 93.9.
New York: $91,890/year
Whether you’re from New York or you plan to relocate, you could earn $91,890/year ($44.18/hour) working as a PT. New York’s population is just shy of twenty million,10 so it should come as no surprise that there should be 1,370 new jobs opening each year.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that New York is the third-most-expensive area to live in (after Hawaii and Washington, D.C.), with an index rating of 152.1.
North Carolina: $85,750/year
In North Carolina, working as a physical therapist can land you an $85,750/year salary ($41.23/hour). Between now and 2030, the average number of new PT jobs in the state is estimated at 450.
The cost of living in North Carolina is below the national average, at 95.0 on the index.
North Dakota: $81,480
Like its surrounding states, North Dakota pays PTs a mean annual salary of around $81,480 ($39.17/hour). According to the PMP report, you can expect about 50 new jobs to open each year.
The cost of living in North Dakota is below the national average, at 96.8 on the index.
Whether you choose Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus or elsewhere, your mean salary in Ohio is $92,680/year—or $44.56/hour. With an average of 510 new PT jobs each year, Ohio’s demand for PTs is growing.
The cost of living in Ohio is below the national average, at 90.8 on the index.
Oklahoma pays its physical therapists fairly well—the mean annual salary is $89,010 ($42.80/hour). If all continues as expected, you’ll see an average of 160 new PT jobs here each year.
The cost of living in Oklahoma is well below the national average, at 84.8 on the index.
In Oregon, PTs do fine for themselves, earning a mean annual salary of $90,450 ($43.48/hour). If you’ve ever wanted to live and work in Oregon, now is your chance—there will be an average of 210 new jobs in the field each year.
The cost of living in Oregon is well above the national average, at 125.2 on the index.
Pennsylvania’s mean annual salary for PTs comes in just below the national average at $94,400 ($45.39/hour). Nonetheless, it’s an excellent place to start your career, with 770 new PT jobs expected each year.
Like the mean annual salary, the cost of living in Pennsylvania comes in at just above the national average, at 97.5.
Puerto Rico: $41,530/year
Puerto Rico is an outlier on this list; the mean annual salary for a PT comes in at $41,530, or $19.97/hour. The island is expected to open around 40 new physical therapist jobs per year.
On average, the cost of living in Puerto Rico is 7.65% lower than living in the United States.11
Rhode Island: $97,580/year
Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but it offers PTs a sizable salary. At $97,580/year ($46.92/hour), the mean wage in the state is reasonably high for the area. The PMP predicts that 60 new positions will open up each year.
The cost of living in Rhode Island is above the national average, at 112.8 on the index.
South Carolina: $83,270/year
The mean salary for South Carolina-based PTs comes in at $83,270/year ($40.03/hour). If the pay appeals to you, you can vie for one of the 220 annual job openings for PTs in the state.
The cost of living in South Carolina is below the national average, at 93.9 on the index.
South Dakota: $83,820/year
South Dakota’s mean annual salary of $83,820 ($40.30/hour) may seem low, but it’s adequate considering the state’s cost of living, which is 95.2 on the index—below the national average.
With that said, there are roughly 60 new PT positions opening each year.
PTs in Tennessee do what they love for a mean annual salary of $89,960 ($43.25/hour). With the PMP predicting 320 new job openings each year, now is a perfect time to move to Nashville.
The cost of living in Tennessee is below the national average, at 89.4 on the index.
The Lone Star State pays its physical therapists well, with a mean salary of $98,340/year ($47.28/hour). Texas is also home to two of USAHS’ campuses (Austin and Dallas), so you’ll have an opportunity to transition into one of the 1,150 new PT jobs after graduating.
The cost of living in Texas is below the national average, at 92.1 on the index.
In Utah, the mean annual salary for PTs sits at $88,240, or $42.42/hour. The PMP expects an annual increase of 170 PT jobs from now until 2030.
The cost of living in Utah is above the national average, at 104.2 on the index.
As a PT in Vermont, you can expect to earn $85,440/year ($41.08/hour) if you secure one of the 50 new PT jobs opening each year.
The cost of living in Vermont is above the national average, at 116.9 on the index.
Virginia ranks on the high side for PT pay, with a mean annual salary of $90,770 ($43.64/hour). The field is growing at a high rate, with an estimated 420 new positions opening each year.
Virginia’s cost of living is just above the national average—102.7 on the index.
Move up to the Pacific Northwest, and you could make $97,420/year ($46.84/hour) as a PT. There’s a lot of demand, too, with an average of 850 new jobs added each year.
The cost of living in Washington is above the national average, however, at 113.9 on the index.
West Virginia: $94,100/year
If you’re willing to relocate to West Virginia, your annual salary could reach $94,100 ($45.24/hour)—that is, if you secure one of the 110 new job openings that come up each year.
West Virginia’s cost of living is well below the national average, at 90.5 on the index.
How much does a licensed physical therapist make in America’s Dairyland? You’re looking at a mean salary of $88,650 per year ($42.94/hour). Wisconsin is expected to add 263 PT jobs every year until 2028.12
Wisconsin’s cost of living is also below the national average, at 95.5 on the index.
Last but not least is Wyoming, a state in which the mean salary for PTs is $89,190/year ($42.88/hour). The PMP places the average number of new jobs at 40 per year.
The cost of living in Wyoming is below the national average, at 93.9 on the index.
The largest PT school in the United States,* the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) offers a hands-on Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Join a collaborative cohort of peers who learn under the mentorship of expert faculty practitioners. Practice with mock and real patients in our state-of-the-art simulation centers and learn anatomy with our high-tech tools. Prepare for clinical practice with a wide range of patients, as well as for advanced roles in research, practice leadership and policymaking. Residential (blended didactic courses + in-person labs on weekdays) and Flex (online courses + in-person labs on weekends) formats are available.
*Based on total DPT degrees conferred, as reported by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data is captured by IPEDS through interrelated surveys conducted annually by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
Doctor of Physical Therapy Candidacy Program (Launched Fall 2020) – Dallas Campus
|Effective April 28, 2020, the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences’ Doctor of Physical Therapy program on the Dallas, Texas campus has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA, 22305-3085; phone: 703-706-3245; email: [email protected]). If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call or email Dr. Thomas P. Werner at 469-498-5740 or [email protected].
Candidate for Accreditation is an accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program may matriculate students in technical/professional courses. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status does not assure that the program will be granted Initial Accreditation.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Physical Therapists,” Occupational Outlook Handbook, last modified April 2022: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021: 29-1123 Physical Therapists,” last modified March 2022: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291123.htm
- Projections Central, “Long-Term Occupational Projections (2020–2030),” 2021: https://projectionscentral.org/index.php/Projections/LongTerm?AreaName=&Name=&NameSelect%5B%5D=594&items_per_page=100
- Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, “Cost of Living Data Series,” 2022: https://meric.mo.gov/data/cost-living-data-series
- State of Alaska, “2021 Population Estimates by Borough, Census Area, and Economic Region,” 2021: https://live.laborstats.alaska.gov/pop/index.cfm
- Arizona Commerce Authority, “Short-Term (2021-2023) Arizona Occupational Projections”: https://www.azcommerce.com/oeo/labor-market/employment-projections/
- Emily Shrider et al., “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2020,” United States Census Bureau, Sept. 2021: https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2021/demo/p60-273.html
- Mass.gov, “Long-Term Occupational Projections”: https://lmi.dua.eol.mass.gov/lmi/LongTermOccupationProjections
- MN Employment and Economic Development, “2020–2030 Projected Occupational Openings in Minnesota”: https://mn.gov/deed/data/data-tools/employment-outlook/
- United States Census Bureau, “QuickFacts: New York,” 2021, https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/NY
- Numbeo, “Cost of Living in Puerto Rico,” last update July 2022: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Puerto+Rico
- Wisconomy, “Occupational Projections”: https://jobcenterofwisconsin.com/wisconomy/pub/occupation
- Iowa Workforce Development, “Occupational Projections”: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/occupational-projections
- Idaho Department of Labor, “Occupational & Industry Projections,” Sept. 2021: https://lmi.idaho.gov/projections