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What Type of Physical Therapist Gets Paid the Most?

A wonderful career awaits you as a physical therapist. It is one of the best paid in the country. The high demand for physical therapists makes it a great career path. Positions that pay the highest as a PT are listed below to help you make a decision on which one you might like to pursue.

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The Highest Paid Physical Therapist Position

The most lucrative position in the physical therapy field is being a sports medicine specialist. Working with athletes can be very rewarding as well. You might work at a private clinic or perhaps at an athletic institution such as with a college or a professional sports team. You will treat injuries that happen in the sport, but you would also deliver preventative care so any sports injuries could be avoided. The salary is around $76,600 yearly.

Two Other of the Highest Paid Specialties

The next two highest paid specialties for a physical therapist are the cardiovascular or pulmonary specialty and the geriatric specialty.

The cardiovascular/pulmonary specialist treats patients who have had heart or lung surgery. They work to make the lungs and heart more stable. They may work with people who have chronic heart disease, hypertension or bronchitis. Salary for this position is around $76,000 per year.

The geriatric specialist works with older patients. The elderly get more health issues than others and often need rehabilitation for knee or hip surgery. The geriatric specialist can also help older patients with arthritis and osteoporosis. Exercises can be adapted for the activities that commonly confront the elderly in daily living. The salary is around $76,000 a year.

Two More Very High Paying Jobs as a Physical Therapist

Two other specialties that offer high salaries are the neurologic and pediatric fields.

The neurologic specialty focuses on the treatment of people who have traumatic brain injury and other similar conditions. The physical therapist has to be able to assess those with issues like that as well as treat them. Salary is around $74,000 yearly.

For those working in pediatrics, the patients served are adolescents and babies. Health conditions of this age group are what will be focused on, and they may or may not be chronic conditions. The salary for this specialty ranges around $73,000 per year. You have an outline of the best paying jobs for a physical therapist and can now look at any that interest you.

Is It Worth Being a Physical Therapist?

So, is it worth being a physical therapist? If you are looking to become a physical therapist, you are possibly wondering if it is worth the time and effort to become educated and do all that is required to be licensed and start practicing. It’s best to look at all the pros and cons of such a career in order to determine the best course of action. We know that physical therapists are in demand and many hospitals and clinics need your services. But what are some other points to consider?

What Does a PT Do?

A physical therapist works to help patients with ailments or injuries recover effectively. They focus on examinations, diagnosis, and developing a treatment plan. Each person is individual as to their requirements in treatment, and the physical therapist will work out a specific plan for the patient’s needs.

The Pros of Being a PT

With any career, there are pros and cons. The list of pros seems much more inviting than the cons, but it is wise to look at both lists. Here are the pros:

  • Excellent pay – the highest paid physical therapists typically make about $76,000 a year, while others make almost as much. Some can earn as much as $89,000 yearly. Enjoying a comfortable lifestyle isn’t the most important thing to many physical therapists. They like caring for those that need their help.
  • A great balance of work and life – you can choose the type of work you wish to do, setting your own schedule and maintaining the kind of flexibility you require in your life. There are many medical professionals who don’t have that option, so you should take advantage of it.
  • Many kinds of environments – you have a wide choice of environments to work in, such as hospitals, rehab centers, clinics, schools and private practice. You can even work out your career where you can travel, selecting peak seasons in various locales.
  • You maintain your own health – a physical therapist must do a lot of lifting, stretching and other movements which require your health be in good shape. By including a good diet and getting the proper amount of sleep, you stay in good fit condition.
  • Having much medical knowledge – since you have a thorough education to get your license and as you continue your certifications, you accumulate a vast amount of medical information which you will use the rest of your career.

Potential Drawbacks on Being a PT

Of course, any career has its potential drawbacks. Some for a physical therapist include having to spend a lot for school and needing to renew your license every two years. When you work in a hospital environment, it may be more difficult to balance life and work. If you don’t stay fit, it may become very hard to fulfill responsibilities as a PT. In any career, there are pros and cons. It is always wise to look them over yourself and see what you see. A physical therapist is a rewarding job and it is usually well worth the time and effort to become one.

What is a Contract Physical Therapist?

So, what is a contract physical therapist? A contract physical therapist works for someone as an independent contractor, not an employee. They are not staff as such, but work under contract. What is the difference? Below we look at the pros and cons of being both an independent contractor and an employee.

Pros and Cons of Contract PT Salaries

There are a few pros when working as a contract physical therapist. These are:

• Plenty of flexibility in your schedule, less burnout
• Higher hourly rate
• Fewer responsibilities

And of course, the cons:

• You have variable hours so you aren’t guaranteed a certain amount of hours each week
• You have to do your own taxes since an employer isn’t taking out withholding taxes
• Medicare and Social Security tax payments are higher
• No paid time off, no 401(k) assistance, no healthcare

If you need to have a steady paycheck or need the benefits of employment, then a contract physical therapist is not for you. But if you like the flexibility of being your own boss and the higher hourly pay, then it might be just the thing.

Plus and Minus as an Employee PT

As an employee, you have pros and cons to look at as well. The pros are:

  • Steady pay
  • Easy-to-figure withholding taxes with a W-2 sent to you
  • Your employer pays half your Medicare and Social Security taxes
  • Benefits package including low-premium health insurance, 401(k), dental and vision

And then the cons:

  • Schedule is not very flexible
  • Lower hourly rate in pay
  • Additional responsibilities assigned by seniors

It seems that the key points in deciding whether to be a contract physical therapist as opposed to an employee of some clinic or hospital is whether you want the freedom of being your own boss and making better money. It really depends entirely upon you and what you want out of your career. You can always start out as an employee and later embark on the adventure of being an independent contractor.

Lawyer Contract Review

When your physician contract is given a review by an experienced attorney, you will find financial benefits which end up outweighing the cost of the attorney review. Leave it to the experts. If you are in need of a review of an agreement or contract analysis schedule with a Physical Therapist Contract Review with Chelle Law today!