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  • US Census: Median PT Earnings Nearly $10k Lower for Women than Men in 2013

    Women may make up 64% of the physical therapist (PT) workforce, but in 2013, they earned about 88% of what male PTs made, according to the latest data from the US Census Bureau.

    The report issued on March 16 tracks employment and earnings data across professions, and divides them in to major sectors. The PT pay disparities are smaller than the average for health care professions in general, which combined showed that women make about 70.3% of what is paid to men. Data on physical therapist assistants were not included as a distinct line item.

    Among the data related specifically to PTs:

    • Estimated full-time year-round number employed: 136,392
    • Male full-time year-round employed as PT: 49,118
    • Women full-time year-round employed as PT: 87,274
    • Median annual earnings: $72,260
    • Median annual earnings, men: $80,411
    • Median annual earnings, women: $70,509
    • Women's earnings as a percentage of men's earnings: 87.7%

    The disparity percentage in physical therapy was similar to that of occupational therapists, estimated at 88.7%.

    The smallest disparity among health care professions was for dietitians and nutritionists, where women earn 97.4% of what their male counterparts earn. The greatest difference? Dentistry, where female dentists are estimated to earn only 67.8% of what male dentists earn.

    More workforce resources, including supply and demand estimates for PTs, are available on APTA's physical therapy workforce data webpage.


    • i think the sadest part is that someone would get their doctorate in a field that that pays $70k per year.

      Posted by Dave smack on 3/17/2015 8:14 PM

    • another topic- which gender gets the referrals to private practice?

      Posted by Kathleen Clarke on 3/17/2015 11:29 PM

    • @ Dave smack yes $70K is low and improvements in medicare and insurance reimbursements need to be made. However, that's only base salary. There are multiple revenew streams if your willing to wrok extra. PRN shifts and home health on the weekend add up quick. I do travel PT work and even though my base pay is average I earn a lot money through living stipends. There is also private practice which is a huge commintment but can get you earning well into six figures. Plus the job satisfatiction is one of the highest in the medical industry. I would recommend that new students consider it. If the loan debt which is substantial is too big of a hurdle PT assistance do a lot of the same things with less school and less paper work.

      Posted by Rick Cox on 3/18/2015 3:52 PM

    • The disparity in pay for women PTs & male PTs is ethically , morally & unfortunately not illegally wrong . There are TWICE as many women in this field almost which is even a worse statistic .

      Posted by Deb Snyder on 3/18/2015 4:40 PM

    • Those numbers don't mean anything. Women work more part time and drop out of the work force for a few years to take care of kids. What is unfair about a 40 year old male PT making 10 grand more who has 17 years experience, than the 40 year old female PT who dropped out for 10 years to raise kids and only has 7 years experience?

      Posted by Jim on 3/18/2015 5:06 PM

    • I agree that the median salary for a DPT is paltry and not reflective of the value of our expertise. I find it more discouraging that a field dominated by women and had notable female leaders advance the profession from it's inception continue to experience gender inequality in the 21st century.

      Posted by Stephanie D Wakeman on 3/18/2015 5:32 PM

    • Especially as a Female PT reading this article, I can tell you that is not* the saddest part about this article.

      Posted by Stephanie on 3/18/2015 9:53 PM

    • Please do NOT confuse straight earnings comparisons between women and men in any field to be equal work for unequal pay. Most men are still the primary wage earners for their families and so work harder, longer to make more money. Most women still tend to spend less time at work outside the home to have more time with their children/families and so are willing to sacrifice some earning potential for a happier family and more balanced lifestyle. This is not praising or blaming men or women...... it's just the way it is and there is nothing wrong with that. It is only wrong/unjust if women TRULY do the SAME amount and type of work as men for unequal pay.

      Posted by Ross V on 3/19/2015 11:43 AM

    • Not sure how this story advances the profession.

      Posted by John Timer -> BLUa<I on 3/19/2015 12:13 PM

    • This article is talking about full time employees and their salary, comparing Women who work full time hours and Men who work full time hours. It has nothing to do with Women working part time and taking care of families, or working less hours then men thus making less. It is a straight across comparison of salaries. It is an incorrect assumption that Women take time off for years to raise families and that skews the numbers/years experience reported here. Who can even afford to do that these days, 3 months maternity leave is the usual not years. It is unfortunately not affordable to take time off for family with student loan payments.

      Posted by Heather on 3/20/2015 10:45 AM

    • As a woman, it is very upsetting to see that while I receive the same education and the sit for the same tests as my male counterpart, I will be making $10,000 per year less than him. However, that was not the most upsetting thing I read on this link. In the comment section, there are some very disappointing views of women in the work force. A fellow reader commented,"What is unfair about a 40 year old male PT making 10 grand more who has 17 years experience, than the 40 year old female PT who dropped out for 10 years to raise kids and only has 7 years experience"? I think it is wrong to assume that because I am a women, I won't just take off for maternity leave, but a full 10 years to raise my children, especially when there are nannies, daycare, and many other services to help working women take care of their children and get back to work. Women are not in the work force for extra shopping or vacation money anymore, we work because we love what we do and are eager to get back to it. I find it extremely unfortunate that some men still think in such an old fashioned way.

      Posted by Samantha on 3/22/2015 1:22 PM

    • These census stats are useless to draw conclusions. A DPT working 60h per week is classified as FT just as a 40h per week DPT. APTA could ask the right questions to draw some conclusions on gender differences but hasn't done so. In medicine it has been reported women see fewer patients per day than men. One example of data which would add value to the equation.

      Posted by Douglas White -> >HUZ on 3/27/2015 5:09 PM

    • Inflammatory article lacking depth of analysis.

      Posted by Tom on 3/28/2015 8:29 AM

    • I'm full time PT and I work mostly 66 to 70 hours a week in SNF, a lot of also full time therapist work around 80 hours a week. I and other therapists who work in this facility for 3 to 5 years earn 35 $ per hour. I never heard about woman making les per hour than man with the same experience and equal time spent in company, so what is the problem here. Also I would like to say that I get a lot more patients that are overweight or severe stroke pts because most of my female coworkers can't handle them because they are too weak, but when I asked for more raise when my 3 years was up, it was denied.

      Posted by Wieslaw on 8/9/2017 1:20 PM

    • Note that all of the commenters writing disparaging and unsubstantiated remarks about the supposed "inaccuracy" of this data are male. I think that sums it up well enough. Please, before you write your opinion, consider listening to females in this profession and hearing out their perspective. Gender wage disparities are a complicated and multi-factorial issue, and not something to be so callously dismissed.

      Posted by Richard Benes -> CITc<O on 6/5/2018 12:33 PM

    • Reply to Wieslaw: I would caution you to carefully consider the words and incorrect generalizations you make when you say "my female coworkers can't handle them because they are too weak." These words are potentially harmful. We ought to be talking in terms of our own perspectives, rather than making invalid and derogatory assumptions about others. Also, your comment that you've "never heard about woman making les [sic] per hour than man with same experience" does not automatically invalidate these statistics nor the growing reports and evidence of gender wage disparity in healthcare.

      Posted by Richard Benes -> CITc<O on 6/5/2018 12:43 PM

    • It is sad how women and men work the same hours, the same techniques, and the same way but still get paid less because of gender. They should get paid equally because I dont see why one should get paid more than the other. It is really unfair espically is women work more hours than some men and still get paid less! Hopefully this will change in the future going on and that equal pay will happen!

      Posted by Erica Assaf on 8/18/2018 2:06 AM

    • To pay someone less because of their gender/sex is against the law. These numbers do not take into consideration experience, location, specialty, or hours worked per week beyond full time. Misleading article that just continues to fuel the lies of gender wage gaps.

      Posted by Chris Clinehens on 8/22/2018 5:26 PM

    • The sadest part is that this data will be used to push the idea that we need more government intervention to "even" things out. Women work more part time jobs while raising children than men. I can thi I of several couples who are PTs and 2 female PTs just off the top of my head right now who fit in this category. How many men do I know who work part time as a PT? ZERO. Quit buying in to the politics of it. They just want your vote

      Posted by Mark on 11/25/2019 2:28 PM

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