Physical Therapy Doctorate
All PTs are required to hold advanced degrees, either a Master's in Physical Therapy (MPT or PT) or a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT). Physical therapists who obtain their DPTs have access to the most desirable jobs, highest salaries, and fastest career advancement.
Increasingly high standards of PT practice now dictate that all new PT grads obtain DPTs rather than MPTs.
Doctor of Physical Therapy Salary
The more education a physical therapist earns, the higher their earning potential. According to Salary.com's 2017 information, the projected annual salary of an MPT with one to two years of experience is between $77,949 and $81,744, with the potential to grow to around $85,870 around five years of experience. Alternately, DPTs with one to two years of experience are projected to earn between $78,435 and $82,231/year, with the potential to grow to $86,186/year after five years.
Physical Therapy Doctorate Career Benefits
A Doctorate of Physical Therapist degree also widens your career opportunities, opening potential doors to teaching positions and research-based appointments in prestigious universities and healthcare organizations. Ever dreamed of opening your own physical therapy practice? Becoming a DPT makes this a real possibility. It also increases the likelihood of procurement management-level positions, complete with high PT salaries.
What should I expect from a DPT program?
DPT programs are meant to be completed after obtaining an undergraduate-level physical therapy degree. They dive deeper into topics covered in undergraduate studies and require extensive clinical hours. For these reasons, PT new grads are able to dive right in to physical therapy careers upon obtaining the doctoral degrees.
When you're looking for Doctorate of Physical Therapy programs, it's important to check for Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)-accredited programs. Graduation from a CAPTE-accredited school is a requirement of many state licensing boards, healthcare employers, and certifying agencies.