A Close Look at the Physiotherapy Salary and Working Conditions in the US

The increased demand for physical therapists/physiotherapists in most countries is not just a hype as we can clearly see that a growing sedentary and aged population is translating to a rising need for physiotherapy.

The projected growth rate for the physiotherapy profession in the US is 34% (2014 – 2024).

Who is a Physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists assess, plan, deliver and review rehabilitative programs that prevent and treat pain, improve mobility, maintain and increase strength and flexibility and generally promote functional independence.

Physiotherapy in the United States

Physiotherapists in the US are part of a healthcare team; they supervise physiotherapy assistants and aides and consult with physicians, surgeons and other specialists.

Having physiotherapy skills has proved to be quite rewarding, especially financially and that has got many physical therapists looking out for the best paying jobs.

In the US, physiotherapists are expected to have these qualities in order to be able to carry out their responsibilities efficiently:

Compassion : Physical therapists are often drawn to the profession in part by a desire to help people. They work with people who are in pain and must have empathy for their patients.

Detail oriented: Like other healthcare providers, physical therapists should have strong analytic and observational skills to diagnose a patient’s problem, evaluate treatments, and provide safe, effective care.

Dexterity : Physical therapists must use their hands to provide manual therapy and therapeutic exercises. They should feel comfortable massaging and otherwise physically assisting patients.

Interpersonal skills : Because physical therapists spend a lot of time interacting with patients, they should enjoy working with people. They must be able to clearly explain treatment programs, motivate patients, and listen to patients’ concerns to provide effective therapy.

Physical stamina: Physical therapists spend much of their time on their feet, moving as they demonstrate proper techniques and help patients perform exercises. They should enjoy physical activity.

Resourcefulness: Physical therapists customize treatment plans for patients. They must be flexible and able to adapt plans of care to meet the needs of each patient.

Here’s a brief summary of the job description of a physiotherapist in the US:

  • Physiotherapists review patients’ medical history and other referrals that come from other health workers.
  • They carry out diagnosis based on patients’ complain, observation and other resources available to them.
  • Physical therapists develop evidence based treatment plans for patients, outlining clear goals and expectations
  • PTs use a variety of techniques and modalities to administer care to their patients. Some of them are exercises, stretching, massage and therapeutic machines.

Most physios in the US work full time, during normal business hours, though some may work during evenings and weekends.

Now let’s look closely at the latest physiotherapy salary and top paying States in the US. What the employment rates? Are there really jobs for physiotherapists where the pay is high or are high salaries only for a few?

The average hourly wage for a physio in the US is $41.25, with an average annual wage: $85,790.

Industries that employ the largest number of physiotherapists in the US are General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Offices of other Health Practitioners and Home health care Services.

Top paying industries for physiotherapists in the US are establishments primarily involved in offering instruction or training, with an annual average salary of $99,740. Others are the Home Care Health Services which pay an average of $96,560 and the Nursing care facilities at $91,480.

The top 5 states that have the highest number of physical therapists employed are California, New York, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania.

The top 5 states with the highest concentration of physiotherapy jobs are Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Montana and New Hampshire with Connecticut paying the highest annual salary at $85,940.

The top 5 states that pay the highest physiotherapy salaries in the US are:

Nevada with a mean hourly wage of $58.65 and mean annual wage of $121,980

Alaska with a mean hourly wage of $48.35 and a mean annual wage of $100,560

Texas with a mean hourly wage of $46.62 and a mean annual wage of $96,970

California with a mean hourly wage of $45.82 and a mean annual wage of $95,300

New Jersey with a mean hourly wage of $45.74 and a mean annual wage of $95,150

Figures as seen on Bureau of Labour Statistics

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