If you’re interested in a career in physical therapy, then you probably already know some of the amazing perks of a career in this fast-growing field. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates physical therapist jobs will grow at a rate of 25% over the next 9 years — that’s more than 3 times the average 7% rate of growth for other occupations.
Because of the rapid growth, physical therapist salaries are strong nationwide. Not only do today’s physical therapists benefit from good pay and solid job security, they also have the flexibility to work from pretty much anywhere in the country.
Here are ten cities where you can make a great income as a physical therapist:
San Francisco, CA
Most people associate San Francisco with tech jobs, but the high cost of living also makes it the market with the highest physical therapist salaries in the U.S. If you’re lucky enough to land one of these open physical therapist positions in San Francisco, you’ll find average salaries around $95,000 per year, according to Paysa data.
That’s $16,000 higher than the national average for physical therapists salaries:
Los Angeles, CA
Moving further down the west coast to sunny Los Angeles, physical therapist salaries remain well above the national average. In LA, physical therapists can expect to earn an average salary of $94,000 per year.
Not only is the money and climate great, but depending on your practice, you may have the chance to work with a celebrity or an athlete from one of Los Angeles’ nine different sports teams. Pretty cool, right?
San Jose, CA
Back up in the Bay Area, San Francisco’s not-so-little brother, San Jose, is also a great market for physical therapists. In fact, one could make the argument that it’s actually better than living in San Francisco. While the average physical therapist salaries are only $3,000 per year less than San Francisco, the cost of living in San Jose for a single renter is $900 less per month (or $10,800 less per year). So, while you may earn slightly less in San Jose, your money actually goes further (and you’re only an hour south of SF).
If California isn’t your thing, but you think the west coast is the best coast, check out the physical therapist salaries up in Seattle. You’ll earn around $91,000 per year on average, all while enjoying the fastest-growing city in the United States and everything it has to offer. Forget the Space Needle and Pike’s Place — stay in peak physical shape yourself with the most breathtaking day hikes imaginable.
Let’s say the rain in Seattle is a bit much for you (we get it — it’s not for everyone!). Well, luckily, Sacramento has about half the average annual rainfall with the exact same physical therapist salaries. Working in Sacramento earns physical therapists an average of $91,000 per year.
So stay dry in Sacramento while still benefiting from an above-average annual salary for physical therapists.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Switching over to the east coast: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is the next city on our list offering some pretty generous salaries for physical therapists. If you practice physical therapy in Fort Lauderdale, you can bet on a near-constant demand for your services. Why? Because the city has the fourth-oldest population in the United States with nearly 75,000 households having a family member that’s 60 years or older. Physical therapy is often a critical aspect of helping seniors maintain their independence and avoid long-term illness.
Physical therapist salaries in Fort Lauderdale average at $88,000 per year according to Paysa:
Due northwest from Fort Lauderdale sits Atlanta, Georgia, the next great city for physical therapists. Atlanta has a bustling job market and physical therapist jobs are no exception: at the time of publication, nearly 60 open physical therapist jobs were active on Paysa. And the average salary for those jobs is a solid $87,000 per year, according to Paysa.
New York City, NY
Surprisingly, the second-most-expensive city in the U.S. does not have the second best salary for physical therapists. But, despite the high cost of living, physical therapists flock to New York City both for the amazing cultural experience and the wealth of open opportunities. And while the salary isn’t as good as what you might find on the west coast, you’ll still make some great money in NYC as a physical therapist. According to Paysa, the average salary hovers right around $86,000 per year.
A few hours north of NYC on the I-95 and you’re in the capital of the smallest state in our union: Providence, Rhode Island. But don’t think the smallest state has the smallest salaries for physical therapists. In fact, you can work in Providence — a small, historic city home to Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and just 20 minutes from the beach — for the same salary you’d earn working in New York. Providence physical therapist salaries average out to be $86,000 as well:
Boston is the big brother of Providence and another great place to live as a physical therapist. Like Los Angeles, the multitude of sports teams could offer opportunities to work with some pretty cool clients, and the average salary is still well above the nationwide average at $85,000 per year, according to Paysa.