Health blog

What affects the salary of a physical therapist with specialist training?

January 3rd, 2024
physical therapy specialists salary

One of the most intriguing facets of the physical therapy profession is the potential for rewarding compensation. Physical therapy salaries can vary based on a variety of factors, including experience, location and specialization. Beyond the financial aspect, many people can be drawn to physical therapy due to the gratification received by positively impacting their patients’ lives. The combination of financial stability and the rewards of helping others recover can make physical therapy an incredibly appealing career choice for those who seek purpose and prosperity. 

Physical therapy educational requirements

Becoming a licensed physical therapist involves a comprehensive educational journey. Aspiring physical therapists often pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, which is currently the minimum educational requirement in the United States. DPT programs typically are three years long and include a combination of classroom coursework, clinical rotations and hands-on practical experience.

The curriculum for physical therapy covers a wide range of topics, including anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, neuroscience and therapeutic interventions. Clinical rotations provide students with real-world exposure. This allows them to apply theoretical knowledge in diverse health care settings. After successfully completing a DPT program, passing the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) is the next step in obtaining a license.

Physical therapy job growth

The future outlook for physical therapy careers is bright. As the population ages and health care awareness grows, the demand for physical therapy services will continue to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of physical therapists is projected to increase by 15% from 2022 to 2032. This rate is much faster than the average for other occupations.

This job growth is fueled by many factors, including the aging baby boomer population, resulting in rehabilitation services, advancements in medical technology, expanding treatment options, and a growing recognition of the importance of physical therapy in helping to prevent and manage various health conditions. This anticipated demand can help ensure job security for a physical therapist. It can also open the door to diverse career opportunities in a variety of health care settings, including:

  • Hospitals.
  • Outpatient clinics.
  • Private practices.
  • Schools.
  • Nursing homes or long-term care facilities.
  • Home health care.
  • Sports and fitness facilities.

How to determine if you’re receiving a competitive offer for a salary as a physical therapist with specialist training

It’s exciting when you’re offered a physical therapy position. But it’s important to determine how competitive the offer is before you accept the job. 

See how the job compares to other similar positions based on your resume and preferences. Then you can gain a better perspective on the offer. The competitiveness of an offer for a physical therapist with specialist training includes both salary and non-salary factors. It’s normal to use the salary as the leading factor in your decision, but there are plenty of other aspects to consider, including:

  • Location — The quantity and demand of your specialty in your area play an important role in a job offer. If there’s a high demand with few physical therapy or specialty options, then the salary should reflect that. The cost of living in the area should also be considered.

  • Specialization — The salary of physical therapy specialists can vary. You should know what the expected pay for your specialization should be. Specialty training results in a higher salary than candidates who aren’t specialized.

  • Experience — Your salary offer should show how much experience and insight you have. People with decades of experience should receive a salary that rewards their expertise. For postgraduate positions, the salary should reflect the quality of your specialty training.

  • Benefits — The importance of benefits should never be overlooked. Benefits like insurance, retirement and vacation are often nonnegotiable for many job applicants. Determine your values. This often includes family health and future financial goals.

  • Work-life balance — You should love what you do. But your job shouldn’t take over every second of your time. A job offer should promote a work-life balance. That includes flexible scheduling and paid time off; a great job will allow you to focus on your personal life and prioritize your mental health.

  • Educational opportunities — There’s a lot to explore in the field of physical therapy. A competitive job offer should include opportunities to continue your education. This could include tuition reimbursement as well as training or technique certification courses.

Ready for a new and exciting career opportunity? You’ll find it at Rehab Access Physical Therapy

Rehab Access and Alliance Physical Therapy Partners firmly believe that partnership means creating something greater than the sum of its parts. Rehab Access is proud to bring together an excellent team to help people get the kind of treatment they want and exceed their expectations. 

That’s why we’re always on the lookout for hardworking individuals who want: 

  • A less hectic daily schedule than most PT providers require. 
  • Exceptional health, retirement and wellness benefits. 
  • Readily available mentorship and professional development opportunities through our partnership with Alliance PTP. 
  • To be part of a team committed to caring for its patients and the local community.

Want to learn more about the current career opportunities available at Rehab Access? Check out our Careers page.