Articles, Immigration, Work Abroad

Which Countries Pay the Best Physiotherapy Salary? [UPDATED]

We constantly hear that physiotherapy is a “hot” profession and that physiotherapists are in high demand all over the world, and this gives us the courage to apply for jobs abroad. 

Interestingly, though, I have noticed that physiotherapists move around a lot, and we’re about to find out if it’s for “greener pastures” , inner fulfillment, or just sheer restlessness. 

I know of physiotherapists that move from Australia to Canada, and others from Canada to Australia…the other day a colleague of mine told me about a physiotherapist that had just decided to leave Australia for Singapore, while he stays put in South Africa.

Many physiotherapists want to know which countries pay the best salaries to help get some motivation to move or jump ship, so let’s first try to analyze places that have the best paying physiotherapy jobs or simply put, the highest salaries.

The salary of physiotherapists can vary significantly depending on various factors such as the country, level of experience, qualifications, and the specific healthcare system in place. 

6 Countries Known for Offering Relatively High Salaries for Physiotherapists

1. United States:

Physiotherapists in the US typically make good money. The location, level of experience, and type of employment are just a few examples of the many variables that can affect salaries.

2. Canada:

The demand for healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists, is still relatively high, and physiotherapists in Canada typically earn competitive salaries.

3. Australia:

Australia has a sophisticated healthcare system and provides physiotherapists with competitive pay. Additionally, the nation offers a good work-life balance and high standards of living.

4. Switzerland:

The country is renowned for paying highly in a variety of professions, including healthcare. In Switzerland, salaries for physiotherapists are frequently very high.

5. United Arab Emirates (UAE):

The UAE presents physiotherapists with lucrative opportunities, particularly in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Due to the region’s high demand for healthcare professionals, salaries can be quite high.

6. Norway:

The country has a high standard of living and pays medical professionals well. In Norway, physiotherapists can anticipate receiving a competitive wage for their work.

It’s important to remember that factors like the cost of living, taxes, and the unique characteristics of each country’s labor market can also have an impact on salaries.

Phew! So much for salary comparison… I think, however, when choosing a country you’ll like to work there are several other factors that should be considered apart from salary. Here are some of my personal criteria for choosing the best country to work as a physiotherapist:

My 3 C’s

1. Connection
There are some places that I don’t just connect with; I really don’t care if they pay the best salaries. There are some countries that spell fulfillment and joy when you think about them, while there are others that are synonymous with butterflies and knots in your belly. Don’t ignore that gut feeling when it comes to getting an international job.

2. Culture
What’s the country’s culture like? Is the city you are looking at a metropolitan city where you can find all races and cultures? Are they friendly? Do they discriminate, or do they have “preferences” for certain races when it comes to employment? Can you cope with that kind of environment? Would you like to raise your kids in that country or city?

3. Cost of living
With the number one criterion in place, the others may be unnecessary, but sometimes you may have to get additional reasons why you should or shouldn’t take a particular international job.
I will research the cost of living in the city where I am getting the job. Some cities pay more than others, but the cost of living in these cities is also higher than in others. Try to do a simple calculation on how much of your salary is likely to go into expenses and compare it with other cities that don’t seem to pay as much. Singapore is one of the most expensive countries in the world, so if you are interested in working as a physiotherapist there, do your homework and find out how your physiotherapy salary will balance out with the cost of living in Singapore.

What is the Average Doctor of Physical Therapy Salary?

The salary of a Doctor of Physical Therapy can vary depending on several factors. 

1. DPT salary by location

The average salary of a Doctor of Physical Therapy can vary significantly depending on the location. Urban areas tend to offer higher salaries due to the higher cost of living and increased demand for physical therapy services.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest-paying states for physical therapists in the United States are Alaska, California, and Nevada. These states offer average annual salaries ranging from $100,000 to $120,000.

On the other hand, states with lower average salaries include Mississippi, Kentucky, and West Virginia, with average annual salaries ranging from $70,000 to $80,000.

These numbers are only averages and may differ by state and by the particular city or region. For instance, in the state of California, physical therapists may make more money in major cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles than in suburban or rural communities. 

2. DPT salary by experience level

Experience plays a significant role in determining the average salary of a Doctor of Physical Therapy. As DPTs gain more experience and expertise, their earning potential increases.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the average salary for a newly graduated DPT is around $70,000 to $80,000 per year. 

However, as DPTs gain 5-10 years of experience, their average salary can increase to $90,000 to $100,000 per year. With 10-20 years of experience, DPTs can expect to earn an average salary of $100,000 to $110,000 per year. And for DPTs with more than 20 years of experience, average salaries can exceed $120,000 per year.

It’s important to remember that these numbers are only averages and that a person’s salary may differ based on factors like location, setting, and specialization. Additionally, DPTs with advanced degrees or additional certifications may be able to earn more money than those with only a DPT degree.

Physical therapists may be able to find better-paying employment opportunities and increase their earning potential by pursuing ongoing education and professional development.

Comparison of DPT salaries to other healthcare professions

The average annual salary for physical therapists is higher than the average annual salary for occupational therapists and registered nurses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Physical therapists’ median annual salary was $91,010 in 2020, compared to occupational therapists’ $86,280 median annual salary and registered nurses’ $75,330 median annual salary.

Additional benefits and perks for DPTs

In addition to salary, Doctor of Physical Therapy professionals may also enjoy various benefits and perks as part of their compensation package. These benefits can vary depending on the employer, location, and setting. Here are some common benefits and perks that DPTs may receive:

1. Health insurance: Many employers offer comprehensive health insurance plans that cover medical, dental, and vision expenses for DPTs and their families.
2. Retirement plans: Some employers provide retirement plans such as 401(k) or pension plans to help DPTs save for their future.
3. Paid time off: DPTs often receive paid vacation days, sick leave, and holidays as part of their employment benefits.
4. Continuing education opportunities: Employers may offer financial assistance or paid time off for DPTs to attend conferences, workshops, or specialized training programs to enhance their skills and knowledge.
5. Bonuses and incentives: Some employers offer performance-based bonuses or incentives to reward DPTs for their contributions and achievements.
6. Professional development support: Employers may provide financial assistance or support for DPTs to pursue advanced certifications, specialized training, or higher education degrees.

It’s important to review the benefits and perks offered by potential employers and consider how they align with your needs and goals. While salary is a significant factor, a comprehensive compensation package that includes benefits and perks can contribute to overall job satisfaction and work-life balance.

Job outlook and demand for DPTs

Doctors of Physical Therapy have an extremely bright job outlook. Physical therapist employment is expected to grow 18 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

A number of factors, including an aging population that needs physical therapy services to increase mobility and manage chronic conditions, are responsible for this growth. The demand for DPTs is also rising as a result of improvements in medical technology and a growing understanding of the value of physical therapy in recovery and preventive care.

Particularly in environments like hospitals, orthopedic clinics, sports facilities, and home healthcare, a high demand for DPTs is anticipated. Physical therapists are essential in assisting patients in achieving optimal physical functioning and quality of life, especially in light of the growing emphasis on preventive care and the management of chronic conditions. 

This post was first published April 25, 2016.

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  1. In Norway, anno 2018 the starting salary as a physiotherapist is 45892.07 USD which is clearly a significant increase from the Australian salary.

    With a masters degree your start pay is 59248.55 USD and your pay legally has to jump every two years until you've worked for ten years, when you've been at it for sixteen years your lowest possible pay is 71749.44 USD, but depending on agreements and stuff you should be looking at quite a lot more.

  2. Sir pls tell me bpt is good course for girls salaries in upcoming years

  3. Is this with taxes included? Or do you need to take taxes in account?

  4. Sorry for the late response, my host had not been notifying me of your comments.

    Good question.
    I'm guessing this is before tax.No one calculates taxes for you when talking salary.

  5. Sorry for the late response, my host had not been notifying me of your comments.

    It is.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Sorry for the late response, my host had not been notifying me of your comments.

    Thank you so much for this information.

  8. Hello, greeting for the day.
    I have done my bachelors in physiotherapy from India, I have 20 months of clinical experience and now I finished my Masters in sports physiotherapy from Latvia.
    I want to work in Norway or Ireland can anyone please help me, or suggest me which is the good place in Europe to work.
    I know I have to clear the license, and I should know the language if I want to work in European country.
    Thank you in advance.

  9. Anonymous says:

    hello! hope you're doing good! I've finished by Doctor Of Physiotherapy degree from Pakistan and am willing to work in the US, Canada, Newzealand or Australia. can i please get guidance on how to get licensed with the Degree i have from Khyber Medical University.

  10. Hlo i am doing bpt from india so i just want to ask what i should do to work as physio in canada and or is there any way that they will sponser us as physio …

  11. I don't understand. Have you graduated?

  12. Hii what is process of work in Australia I'm from India Gujarat

  13. Hi, I have written some posts on Australia, but you can check this

  14. Hi I have completed my postgraduate in orthopedic physiotherapy with 2 years of experience , what are basic criteria to get a job in Singapore , and what are types of work permit ?

  15. I required physiotherapy job

    One year experience

  16. Hi
    Done with Medical Rehabilitation, major in Physiotherapy University of Nigeria. I want to know about how I can work in Canada or UK

  17. I've got 10 yrs of experience in Italy as physiotherapist with specialization in neurognitive. I've been working in orthopedic, neurological, infantile mostly. I'm applying for an equivalence in UK that seems easier than Au. I would like to know if in Australia, they take in account the UK equivalence or it's irrelevant. Thanks

  18. Hi, if you want to work in Australia, they judge you by their own standards not UK. I agree with you that the UK option will be better for you

  19. Hi, if you want to work in Australia, they judge you by their own standards not UK. I agree with you that the UK option will be better for you

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