25 Best States For Physical Therapists

If you are a physical therapist looking to find your perfect new home state, take a look into our list of the 25 best states for physical therapists.

Physical therapists help their patients to work through physical ailments that may be hindering their normal mobility and comfort. Oftentimes, physical therapy can help patients to see results without having to undergo surgery or take long-term medication. Patients are taught techniques that they can use to better manage their injury or condition, in order to achieve optimal function and minimal disability. I have personally gone to a physical therapist for my foot and knee problems. My doctor was tremendously helpful in getting my strength back, and minimizing injury and pain. I never needed to undergo the surgery that my primary care doctor had suggested, due to the work of my physical therapist.

25 Best States For Physical Therapists


Becoming a physical therapist requires a bachelors degree with requirements such as physiology, anatomy, biology, physics, and chemistry. After completing a 4-year undergraduate program, the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree is required. The DPT generally takes about 3 years to complete. Physical therapists generally work in private offices, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or for specific sports teams. The Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that the median annual salary for physical therapists is $85,400 per year ($41.06 hourly). The top 10 percent of physical therapists earned more than $116,090. Work as a physical therapist requires a great deal of patience, the ability to physically help someone move (can require lifting, stabilizing, twisting, etc.), and exceptional listening comprehension skills. You also must be comfortable being in close proximity to— and oftentimes touching— your patients.

If you are looking for a therapy job in a slightly different concentration, also feel free to check out our list of 25 best states for occupational therapists.

Deciding which states qualify as the “best” is not a simple task. Different factors matter more to different people. We decided to consult the Bureau of Labor Statistics for information on the average mean wage and the number of employed physical therapists in each state. We then sourced information on the cost of living index from Missouri Economic Research And Information Center. Considering all of these factors, we were able to sort our list of best states for physical therapists.

It is not enough for a state to simply have a high average salary for its physical therapists. It must also be considered that the number of working physical therapists in the state may affect the number of job positions that are open to newcomers. On the other side of that argument, more employed physical therapists points to the possibility of a more steady stream of work available. The cost of living index can also not be considered alone. It is great to have a low cost of living, but this only matters if your salary is also not super low. A low cost of living paired with a high salary is the most advantageous situation. States falling into this category made the top of our list. 

Without further ado, here is our list of 25 best states for physical therapists.