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Physical Therapy Salaries

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The salary of a physical therapist is not always as easy to understand as a more regular nine to five position as the physical therapist is more autonomous. Some physical therapists can work a great deal and make more money than others may. Given this variance, the real question becomes what different things can influence the salary of the physical therapist and how they get paid. A physical therapist that works for an institution such as a hospital or some other healthcare facility will earn a more regular paycheck but they will also be reliant on the structure of the hospital for their pay increases. On the other hand, a physical therapist that has his own practice or works as a contractor will have less guaranteed work but they have the potential to make a lot of money a well depending on how well the PT builds his or her reputation.

The median annual wage of the physical therapist according to the bureau of labor statistics was $72,790.00 in 2008. The median salary for the physical therapist that chose to work in a hospital was $73,270.00. This is a small difference overall but the salary does not necessary reflect the wages for a physical therapistexperience. If you work for a hospital, you also work on the hospital’s schedule which can be a benefit for some. You know what you will be doing in advance and you merely need to show up and contend with the patients as you are asked to. In the current economy, this kind of stability has grown more valuable than it may have been in 2008 and is worth taking into consideration when thinking about a career in physical therapy. Also, a major hospital will most likely provide other added benefits such as health insurance among other benefits that large corporations are usually able to provide their employees.

Private Practice

The physical therapist who chooses to work for himself by starting his own private practice is taking more of a risk. That risk is not necessarily bad though as, assuming the physical therapist has built a reputation in a given area, that person can then use that reputation to ask for more money than they may have been able to get from working within a hospital. Specializations, and being well known for the success and sympathy shown to patients, will give the physical therapist who chooses to start his or her own practice a huge strategic advantage. If you are early in your career, it may be a good idea to work for a hospital or other institution to begin the process of gaining that reputation before actually striking out on your own. The other significant benefit of working for yourself as a physical therapist is that you also have the ability to create your own schedule. This is not to say that the private practitioner can do what they would like as they more often have to work around the schedules of the patients that they have but they do have the option to schedule the appointments at their will.