Physical Therapy

Physical Therapist Salary: How Much Can You Earn?

If you’re a physical therapist, you already know what you can earn. You want to know how you can earn more and if more is even possible.

It is.

As physical therapists who own their own PT practice quickly discover, it’s definitely possible to earn well over the average physical therapist’s salary. (The average PT’s salary in the US is between $76,000 and $90,000 a year.) But after a certain point in one’s career, even when you have a thriving practice, it isn’t easy to earn more, and there are downsides with some revenue-increasing strategies.

So if you’re studying how to make more money at your physical therapy business, we’ll show you what we mean.

Revenue-increasing strategy: You can hire more staff.

If you own a physical therapy practice, you can always hire more staff to increase your revenue. And when it makes sense, you should. You only have so much time in a day to see patients and run a business. You need an administrative staff, like an office manager, and many practices have multiple PTs.

The downside. Again, hiring more staff is good and often necessary. More staff means you can treat more patients, which means more revenue. But when you do hire more staff, you’re paying salaries. You’re paying out health benefits and payroll costs. You may, at some point, need to rent out more space or move. As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money – but hiring staff definitely comes with a lot of costs to consider.

Revenue-increasing strategy: You can extend your hours.

Instead of working Monday through Friday, you may want to remain open during the evenings – or some evenings – and you may want to see patients on weekends. The more times you’re open, the more opportunities to see patients and bill insurers.

The downside. Opening for one or two strategic workday evenings or remaining open on a Saturday morning may work out well, both as a service for your patients and to have more time to treat them and bill insurers for that time, but there are limits here, too.

The more hours your practice is open, the more you may need to hire more staff (you remember the downside of that) and in general, you risk burning yourself out and your staff. A PT practice isn’t expected to be open at all hours like a 24-hour laundromat or convenience store. We all need some down time.

You can offer more services.

Arguably the best way to bring in more revenue is to keep your staff and hours steady but be able to deliver more services to each patient. If you can do more for each patient when they’re in your exam room, you’re able to bill their insurers’ for more. You’re also able to help your patient even more, which is obviously the end goal.

So how do you offer more services? Well, the member owners at Hands-on Diagnostics all utilize sophisticated physical therapy diagnostic technology, such offering musculoskeletal ultrasounds and an electromyogram, which measures the electrical activity of muscles at rest and during contraction.

Instead of sending your patients to diagnosticians, you’ll be able to provide diagnostic services for your own patients.

The downside. Obviously, you’re buying a membership, and so there’s an investment. We’re back to the “you have to spend money to make money” mindset. But because it’s typical for physical therapists’ insurer’s reimbursements go way up – and typical for PTs to earn five to 10 times more than you were previously, we see no downside.

It’s also an investment that doesn’t ricochet in an unpleasant way, causing your practice to need numerous other investments, such as when you hire new staff and then need to rent out more space.

So – if you have a physical therapy practice or are considering opening one, we hope you’ll contact Hands-on Diagnostics, so we can answer your questions and share how to become a Hands-on Diagnostics member owner.