Sep 25, 2023

Salary Insights for Therapists (PT, OT & RT)

The field of allied healthcare therapy is not only incredibly rewarding in terms of making a positive impact on patient’s lives but also offers competitive salaries and a promising job outlook. Physical Therapists (PTs), Occupational Therapists (OTs), and Respiratory Therapists (RTs) play vital roles in enhancing the quality of life for patients across various settings. A better understanding of the earning potential of these therapists can help you make better informed career decisions.

How Much Do Physical Therapists  Make?

Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who help patients recover from injuries or manage chronic conditions that affect their mobility and physical function. Here are some salary insights for PTs:


Average Salary: According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook for Physical Therapists, the average annual salary for physical therapists in the United States is approximately $97,000. *
Factors Influencing Salary: Entry-level PTs may start at a lower salary but can expect substantial increases as they gain expertise. Urban areas tend to offer higher salaries compared to rural areas due to the cost of living. Travel PTs will also see higher rates compared to PTs in staff positions and enjoy generous living stipends. Physical therapists who specialize in areas such as pediatric care, or sports medicine may earn higher salaries compared to generalists.
Career Advancement: PTs can pursue additional certifications, such as board certification in orthopedics or neurology, which can lead to higher earning potential. For more PT professional development ideas check out Aequor’s blog, Professional Development for Physical Therapists.

How Much Do Occupational Therapists Make?

Occupational therapists work with patients to help them regain or develop the skills needed for daily activities and improve their quality of life. Here are some salary insights for OTs:

Average Salary: The average annual salary for occupational therapists in the United States is around $93,000 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook for Occupational Therapists. *
Factors Influencing Salary: Similar to PTs, experience and location play a significant role in determining OT salaries. Experienced OTs and those working in urban areas typically earn more. Work setting will also affect OT salaries, and those who work in home health will generally earn more. Travel OTs are compensated with higher rates than their peers in traditional staff roles.
Career Advancement: OTs can specialize in areas such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or mental health, which will impact earning potential. OTs can also pursue an advanced degree, Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD), to further their careers.

How Much Do Respiratory Therapists Make?

Respiratory therapists play a vital role in treating patients with breathing disorders, providing respiratory care and life-saving interventions. Here are some salary insights for RTs:


Average Salary: According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook for Respiratory Therapists, the current average annual salary for respiratory therapists in the United States is around $70,000. *
Factors Influencing Salary: Experience and location are key factors in determining RT salaries. RTs working in metropolitan areas or hospitals may earn higher salaries. Those working with pediatric patients will also see an increase in compensation. Traveling RTs will earn more money than those in staff positions.
Career Advancement: Respiratory therapists can earn additional RT credentials as a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) or a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), which can lead to higher earning potential. If you’re interested in becoming a travel RT to earn higher rates, be sure to obtain the state licenses where you’d like to work. With experience, RTs may also be able to advance to positions such as shift supervisor or department manager.

Therapy Salary Insights

Careers in physical therapy, occupational therapy and respiratory therapy offer competitive salaries and rewarding opportunities to make a positive impact in patients’ lives. It’s essential for therapists to consider their personal interests and career goals when choosing a specialization and location to maximize their earning potential.

If you’re interested in a career with higher earning potential that satisfies your desire for adventure, talk with one of our dedicated Aequor allied recruiters today about our open travel therapy positions.

* NOTE: US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook data last modified 09/06/2023.

Get the Latest Updates

You'll be the first to know when there's something new.

Summer Health and Safety Tips for Travel Healthcare Providers

The Multifaceted Role of Travel Therapists in Schools

Honoring Oncology Nurse Month