Becoming a Physical Therapist via Online Education?

At the very least, online education can help you lay a foundation and/or open up alternate career paths. Penn Foster Career School is a US school (accredited) offering physical therapy courses to train individuals to become top-notch physical therapists, PTs, exercise physiologists, physical therapy assistants, etc. Currently, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 174,490 people employed as physical therapists alone in America, and their average annual salary is $76,220. Physical therapist assistants make on average $48,590 per year and there are about 63,750 of them employed today. Colleges and universities like Penn Foster Career School that provide online education are successfully launching workers into this field.

Typical Work Locations for a Physical Therapist
  • In-Home Care Facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation Clinics
  • Sports Medicine Facilities
  • Nursing Homes
  • Orthopedic Clinics
  • Universities
  • Geriatric units
  • Acute Care Clinics
  • Physician's Offices
Potential Advantages and Benefits of Working as a Physical Therapist
  • Opportunity to advance
  • Flexible hours
  • Well-paid profession
  • The option to work from home
  • Create individual and specific programs for patients
  • Substantial amount of schooling required
  • Diverse medical knowledge
  • Ability to move to different professions relatively simply
  • Gained knowledge of human behavior and performance
  • Actively aiding people on a constant basis
Potential Drawbacks
  • Long hours are required at times
  • Demanding patients or family members
  • Constant need to be aware of human reaction
  • Requires a certain amount of empathy and patience
  • Need to be constantly organized
  • Determine a diagnosis that guides future patient/client management
  • Being aware of and applying new and preferable systems
  • Clinical internships required prior to graduation
  • Confronting new challenges or relapses in patients
  • Requires a certain dedication to process
Related Professions to Consider
  • Behavioral Therapist
  • Physical Rehabilitation Therapist
  • Regional Physical Therapist
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Athletic Trainers
  • Child, Family, and School Social Workers
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Registered Massage Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Clinical Occupational Therapist
Possible Interview Questions When Applying to be a Physical Therapist
  • When is a time you had a lot on your plate and how did you handle it?
  • What have you learned from your clinical experience?
  • Where did you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What is something people tell you that you need to work on?
  • What qualities do you see in yourself that relate to you as a professional?
  • What is your definition of a professional?
  • What is the most difficult decision you've had to make and how did you arrive at your decision?
  • When is a time that you had to overcome a challenge?
  • What is your greatest accomplishment?
  • When did you have to do something that you did not agree with?
Common Collaborating Professions
  • Therapist
  • Counselor
  • Doctor
  • Nurse
  • Trainer
  • Sports Therapist
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Surgeon
  • Doctor
  • Nurse
Physical Therapist Training books Physical Therapist (More) Popular books Potential Companies to Work For Common College Majors
  • Client Assessment and Supervision
  • Foundations in Gerontology
  • Neurophysiological Therapeutics
  • Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Physical Therapy
  • Principles of Human Movement
  • Professional Standards and Ethics
  • Statistical Methods
  • Health Science
  • Physical Education

Physical Therapist Salary Information

Category: Physical therapists

Total # Employed in the US 174,490
Average Hourly Wage: $36.64/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$25.08 $29.94 $35.81 $42.28 $50.92
Average Yearly Salary $76,220
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$52,170 $62,270 $74,480 $87,940 $105,900
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
0.3% 1.8% 1.5% 7.1% 41.7% 33.4% 14.3%
Physical therapists — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Alaska $42.02/hr $87,410
Mississippi $41.44/hr $86,190
New York $41.04/hr $85,360
North Dakota $40.28/hr $83,780
Colorado $40.26/hr $83,740
Florida $40.05/hr $83,300
Wyoming $39.91/hr $83,020
District of Columbia $39.64/hr $82,450
Kansas $38.46/hr $80,000
Hawaii $38.3/hr $79,670
Virginia $38.23/hr $79,520
Delaware $38.1/hr $79,250
Massachusetts $37.46/hr $77,910
Idaho $36.79/hr $76,530
Wisconsin $36.67/hr $76,270
Alabama $36.67/hr $76,260
Maryland $36.34/hr $75,590
South Carolina $36.22/hr $75,340
Oklahoma $36.02/hr $74,920
Utah $35.88/hr $74,630
Oregon $35.79/hr $74,450
California $35.73/hr $74,310
Montana $35.73/hr $74,310
Missouri $35.25/hr $73,320
Nevada $35.17/hr $73,160
Tennessee $35.04/hr $72,880
Arkansas $34.88/hr $72,550
Washington $34.85/hr $72,490
Maine $34.8/hr $72,380
Iowa $34.03/hr $70,780
North Carolina $33.83/hr $70,370
Louisiana $33.7/hr $70,100
Michigan $33.66/hr $70,020
Connecticut $33.55/hr $69,780
Nebraska $33.54/hr $69,760
South Dakota $33.48/hr $69,630
Kentucky $33.34/hr $69,340
New Mexico $33.11/hr $68,870
Guam $32.47/hr $67,540
Ohio $32.31/hr $67,210
West Virginia $31.97/hr $66,490
Puerto Rico $31.44/hr $65,390
New Hampshire $31.28/hr $65,060
Pennsylvania $31.13/hr $64,750
New Jersey $30.96/hr $64,400
Indiana $27.4/hr $56,990


Category: Physical therapist assistants

Total # Employed in the US 63,750
Average Hourly Wage: $23.36/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$14.62 $18.78 $23.22 $27.78 $31.95
Average Yearly Salary $48,590
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$30,400 $39,070 $48,290 $57,780 $66,460
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
2.6% 10.6% 15.9% 50.5% 16.1% 3.1% 1.1%
Physical therapist assistants — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Wyoming $29.67/hr $61,710
Colorado $27.32/hr $56,820
New York $26.98/hr $56,120
Delaware $26.51/hr $55,150
District of Columbia $25.52/hr $53,080
Hawaii $25.52/hr $53,080
North Dakota $24.9/hr $51,790
Oregon $24.69/hr $51,360
South Carolina $24.61/hr $51,180
Wisconsin $24.59/hr $51,150
Kentucky $24.57/hr $51,100
Iowa $24.27/hr $50,480
Missouri $24.23/hr $50,390
Washington $23.68/hr $49,260
Virginia $23.53/hr $48,940
Kansas $23.41/hr $48,690
Idaho $23.4/hr $48,680
Tennessee $23.13/hr $48,110
Maine $22.85/hr $47,520
Maryland $22.74/hr $47,300
Mississippi $22.59/hr $47,000
California $22.26/hr $46,300
North Carolina $22.16/hr $46,100
New Hampshire $22.13/hr $46,040
Puerto Rico $21.58/hr $44,880
Alabama $21.53/hr $44,790
Oklahoma $21.5/hr $44,730
Arkansas $21.02/hr $43,720
New Mexico $20.92/hr $43,500
South Dakota $20.74/hr $43,130
Nebraska $20.68/hr $43,020
Michigan $20.35/hr $42,320
Massachusetts $20.22/hr $42,050
Utah $20.21/hr $42,040
Ohio $19.96/hr $41,510
Montana $19.59/hr $40,740
Connecticut $19.35/hr $40,240
Nevada $19.2/hr $39,940
New Jersey $18.65/hr $38,790
Louisiana $18.58/hr $38,640
Pennsylvania $18.13/hr $37,710
Indiana $17.99/hr $37,430
West Virginia $15.83/hr $32,920
Guam $15.67/hr $32,590


Category: Physical therapist aides

Total # Employed in the US 44,160
Average Hourly Wage: $12.01/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$8.33 $9.66 $11.49 $13.89 $16.39
Average Yearly Salary $24,990
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$17,330 $20,090 $23,890 $28,880 $34,100
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
2.6% 10.6% 15.9% 50.5% 16.1% 3.1% 1.1%
Physical therapist aides — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Puerto Rico $15.49/hr $32,220
Indiana $15.05/hr $31,310
Missouri $14.29/hr $29,730
North Carolina $14.19/hr $29,520
Connecticut $13.49/hr $28,070
Delaware $13.34/hr $27,750
Florida $13.33/hr $27,720
Colorado $13.19/hr $27,430
Oklahoma $13.11/hr $27,270
Virginia $12.83/hr $26,700
Montana $12.74/hr $26,500
Utah $12.71/hr $26,430
Ohio $12.63/hr $26,260
Nebraska $12.47/hr $25,940
Mississippi $12.4/hr $25,790
North Dakota $12.39/hr $25,770
District of Columbia $12.34/hr $25,660
Louisiana $12.33/hr $25,660
Kansas $12.16/hr $25,280
Michigan $12.06/hr $25,080
Kentucky $12.06/hr $25,080
Tennessee $12.06/hr $25,090
Arkansas $12/hr $24,950
Pennsylvania $11.86/hr $24,670
New York $11.81/hr $24,550
South Carolina $11.69/hr $24,320
Oregon $11.68/hr $24,300
New Jersey $11.58/hr $24,090
Hawaii $11.34/hr $23,580
West Virginia $11.33/hr $23,560
New Hampshire $11.31/hr $23,520
Maine $11.29/hr $23,490
Idaho $11.24/hr $23,370
Maryland $11.02/hr $22,920
Iowa $11.01/hr $22,900
Wisconsin $10.89/hr $22,660
Washington $10.79/hr $22,450
Alabama $10.75/hr $22,360
Massachusetts $10.71/hr $22,270
Wyoming $10.66/hr $22,180
New Mexico $10.58/hr $22,020
South Dakota $10.47/hr $21,790
Nevada $10.18/hr $21,180
Guam $10.01/hr $20,810
California $9.73/hr $20,240


Physical Therapy Programs by State & City