Travel physical therapist salary

Midge Lee
September 2, 2023
Reading time:
5 min
Physical Therapist

Taking on a career as travel physical therapist, or travel PT, is an exciting and lucrative opportunity for those looking to quickly increase their earning potential and make significant gains towards their financial goals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for physical therapists is projected to grow a remarkable 17% by 2031. As the need for skilled and experienced physical therapists expands, the opportunity for travelers to broker higher pay while making a positive impact on patient lives across the country will continue to grow as well. 

At Nomad, we believe the fastest way to increase your salary as a physical therapist is through traveling. To educate our clinicians on how they can best navigate increasing their pay, we’ve created a comprehensive salary guide. With this resource, you’ll get an overview of the factors that can influence your pay as a travel physical therapist, along with the most current salary data for both staff and travel physical therapists. So whether you’re trying to negotiate better pay for an assignment, or are simply wanting to understand industry-wide salary benchmarks, take a look at our guide below. 

Average travel physical therapist salary

The average salary or total compensation for travel physical therapists at Nomad Health is $2,140 per week including stipend. Compared to staff physical therapists who earn an average pay of around $1,992 per week, becoming a traveler is an excellent way to increase a physical therapist's salary.

Physical therapist travel salary range

Salary ranges for travel physical therapists can change frequently based on compensable factors like location, certifications, and specializations, and more. At Nomad Health, the average weekly salary range or average weekly compensation for a travel physical therapist is $1,932 to $3,520 including stipend.

Average travel physical therapist pay rate

Travel physical therapists at Nomad Health earn an average hourly pay rate of $54 per hour. On the high end, travelers can earn as much as $88 per hour.

What is the highest salary for a travel physical therapist?

The highest salary or total compensation reported for travel physical therapists at Nomad Health is $3,520 per week including stipend. Keep in mind that travel physical therapist salaries can always increase or decrease depending on factors like the ones mentioned above.

Factors that influence physical therapist travel pay

Travel physical therapist pay is influenced by a number of compensable factors, which include but are not limited to:

Travel physical therapist experience

Facilities are always looking for highly skilled physical therapists with strong experience who can start their assignments at full speed. The more relevant experience you have as a travel physical therapist, the more willing a facility is to pay you a higher salary for your skills.

Travel physical therapist education

Travel physical therapists are required to have a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) to practice independently. 

Physical therapy specialization

Travel physical therapists who specialize in different clinical settings such as neurology, cardiac/pulmonary, or pediatrics may be able to negotiate a higher pay rate compared to travel physical therapists without specialization experience.


As a travel physical therapist, earning professional certifications from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) can demonstrate advanced clinical proficiency and increased knowledge. Having more credentials can help you stand out amongst your peers and give you more bargaining power with the facility. 

Facility demand

When facilities experience physical therapist shortages, they often rely on travel physical therapists to fill those gaps. Depending on the severity of the shortage, travel physical therapists may be able to negotiate a higher pay with the facility.


The cost of living in each city and state will directly influence how much pay facilities can offer travel physical therapists. For example, a travel physical therapist assignment in a rural area is likely to pay less than a travel assignment in a big city where the cost of living is higher.

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Author profile

Midge Lee
Midge is a registered nurse with eight years of clinical experience in ER, ICU, and home health. After travel nursing for a couple of years, she transitioned from the bedside to writing full-time. She’s passionate about diversity and trauma-informed care and will write hospital haikus if you ask nicely. Currently, she’s an SEO content writer at Nomad Health.
Published: Sep. 6, 2023
Modified: Sep. 2, 2023