Average Salary: $79,860
Expected Lifetime Earnings: $3,334,000
The road to wealth doesn't necessarily start with a degree in physical therapy, but nothing's impossible, even a rich-as-Croesus PT. Sure, the lowest 10 percent of PTs earn less than $55k (which may be a huge sum if you live in Arkadelphia, Ark.), and the median wage barely clears the $75k mark. But the top 10 percent PTs earn more than $100k. "More than" opens up the possibility of making thousands of dollars more. Set your sights high—be a director of a clinic or the head PT of the physical therapy department of a hospital. Or perhaps you live in Los Angeles, and can get a lucky break, and soothe and massage the pain out of celebrities, who will pay you through the nose.
Or, have equipment, will travel. There are such folks as traveling physical therapists who go where the pain and the money are, e.g., everywhere. These moneymakers average around $110k a year.
One more thing. If you are an entrepreneur at heart, take a page from the playbook of the folks who founded ATI Physical Therapy, a PT chain that brought PT to the strip malls of America. Customers can get the likes of aquatic therapy, complementary injury evaluations, hand and physical therapy, and sports performance enhancement at each of more than 200 locations nationwide. Sure, working for ATI may not make you big bucks, but if you owned your own PT chain, life could be golden and lucrative.