Nursing Home Physical Therapy Jobs – How much can a new graduate physical therapist expect in their first year out of PT school? It depends on the type of physical therapy work you are doing and other factors that we will discuss in this article.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for all physical therapists is $89,440 annually. (“Median” salary means that 50% of therapists earn more than this figure and 50% earn less.)
Nursing Home Physical Therapy Jobs
However, as with any profession, the starting salary for physical therapists is lower. Data from PayScale, Inc. indicates that an entry-level physical therapist can expect to bring in an average of $66,935 per year. This figure can be higher or lower depending on several key factors, some of which you control.
How To Become A Physical Therapist Assistant (pta)
Real estate has taught us that location plays an important role in many decisions, not the least of which is cost of living and expected wages. The average physical therapy salary varies widely across the country, from $45,120 to $108,550, as shown in the figure below.
With such a wide range of average salaries, it’s safe to assume that starting salary also depends on location. And we’re not just talking state by state; wages vary depending on whether you are in a metropolitan area. Not only is the cost of living generally higher in metro areas, starting salaries for physical therapists are often lower in metro areas due to the high saturation of PTs and a widespread desire to live in the city.
You can get more money if you want to move. The states that pay therapists the most are Alaska, California, Connecticut, New Jersey and Nevada. Each state pays an average salary higher than the national average of $90,000.
However, before booking your truck to move west, you should research why wages are higher there. What is the cost of living? A $100,000 salary won’t do as much good in Oakland, California as it will in Dayton, Ohio. Be sure to calculate whether the starting salary is worth the move before accepting the position.
Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Description: Salary, Skills, & More
Your starting salary also varies depending on the environment in which you practice. About one-third of all working physical therapists practice in an outpatient setting, while 26% work in hospitals and 6% in nursing and residential facilities. Reimbursement varies greatly between these types of clinics, but the lowest paying setting is a private outpatient clinic. You can easily earn an 18% increase in your annual salary by working in skilled nursing.
Believe it or not, providing physical therapy in the patient’s home leads to the most lucrative starting salaries for physical therapy. Home health PTs make more money per hour than PTs in a clinic or hospital, and about 11% of all working physical therapists provide home health care through an agency. Working as a home health therapist may be a good option for you if you like to work independently and don’t mind commuting. I have more tips for PTs looking to get started with home health in this post.
Of course, there is more to consider than just salary when evaluating a job. If you have your heart set on working in a specific environment, there are ways to negotiate a higher salary. (More on that later.)
The factor you have the most control over in determining your annual starting salary is your flexibility. A willingness to work in a different setting, such as home health or skilled nursing, will provide opportunities for higher pay.
What Does An Occupational Therapist Do
As a new graduate, you can’t control how many years of experience you have to offer, but you can look for jobs that reward PTs regardless of their years of experience. For example, transitioning from outpatient to home health can increase your salary by $20-30k annually.
Another way to land a high-paying job as a new PT graduate is to become a traveling PT. Through an agency like MedTravelers, you can work short-term contracts at clinics around the country and earn $50/hour or more. However, to do this you must be very flexible, willing to travel for work assignments of up to 13 weeks.
Many new graduates experience a gap in expectations between PT school and the PT work universe. Just because you spent a small amount of money to attend a highly rated PT school does not mean that you will receive a higher salary. Employers don’t care what school you went to, and frankly, school rankings mean next to nothing (see my video below).
As a new PT graduate, you also don’t need to obsess over your GPA score; this number will not affect your starting salary. Even the score you got in the NPTE board exam. Your grades and test scores are accomplishments worth putting on your resume, but don’t expect them to have any drag on your base salary.
How Physical Therapy Can Help Home Care Patients
What would be the going rate for entry level physical therapists in your area? Do your research. Browse job listings online as well as data reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Having an idea of what a decent starting salary looks like in your area will give you a framework for determining whether a particular job is worth taking.
What can you bring to the table? Just because you have limited experience as a new grad doesn’t mean you should sell yourself short. Think about the experiences you gained outside of your DPT that will add value to your future employer. These skills, experiences and assets will play to your advantage in your job interview and help increase the dollar value you place on your self-image.
To expand your expertise, you can seek specialist certifications, such as Orthopedic Clinical Specialist or Neurological Specialist. Typically, certification requires passing a specialist exam after logging long hours of strenuous work in a one-year residency program.
A professional certification will add letters after your name, but don’t do it just for alphabet soup; specialization does not necessarily lead to a large increase in salary. It might give you an edge over other candidates for a particular position, and it will certainly show that you are a diligent student and hard worker, but don’t expect a raise.
Skilled Nursing Facilities In Massachusetts
You don’t have to be a hostage negotiator for the FBI to negotiate well. But good negotiation can pay big dividends in your career, and especially when you’re just starting out.
. With personal stories and illustrations, Voss shares sound advice on negotiation techniques that will shape the way you approach your next job interview.
When you are offered a job, there are ways to reinforce the offer – if not with money, then with other benefits and arrangements. Remember that it doesn’t hurt to ask, and even if your application is rejected, you will show your prospective employer exemplary confidence and assertiveness – qualities they need in a good PT.
Tim Fraticelli is a physical therapist, certified financial planner™ and founder of. He enjoys teaching PTs and OTs ways to save time and money in and out of the clinic, especially when it comes to documentation or continuing education. Follow him on YouTube for weekly videos on ways to improve your financial health.
Outpatient Rehabilitation Services
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you decide to purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more information.
Read on for my take on everything you need to know about shade. I’ll cover some questions to ask, expectations to have, and ways to get the most out of your experience.
Shadowing simply means following a doctor to see what they are doing. When shadowing someone in the medical world, your goal is to observe the environment, ask questions, and honestly assess whether the career is really something to pursue.
Dpt (doctor Of Physical Therapy): What They Do
In my book, yes, shadowing is a mandatory first step to becoming a PT. Many PT schools require a certain number of shadowing hours to be included in your application for their DPT program.
But you will inevitably find some DPT programs that do not require any shadowing time, which I think is a big mistake.
Think about it: You spend 3 years and thousands of hours and dollars to become a PT. The least you can do is shade one first.
Even if you think you’re 100% in the race, do yourself a favor and shadow several PTs in different settings to get a feel for it. If you really love racing, you won’t mind spending the time to take this important step.
A Complete Guide To Becoming A Physical Therapist In 2021
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