Chiropractor vs. Physical Therapist: Salaries and Tips To Improve Pay

When deciding between a career as a chiropractor and a physical therapist, it can be difficult to know which is right for you. Both of these professions require a high level of skill and dedication, as well as a commitment to helping people improve their lives. Additionally, financial stability is often a priority when making a career decision. To help you make an informed decision, this blog post will explore the differences between chiropractor salary and physical therapist salary. It will look at the various pay scales for both professions, the potential for career advancement, and the other factors that may affect salary levels. By the end of this post, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the differences between a chiropractor salary and a physical therapist salary, which will help you make the right decision for you.

Though chiropractors and physical therapists earn a similar salary, physical therapists often earn more than chiropractors. Chiropractors earn an average salary of $70,945 per year . Physical therapists earn an average salary of $81,997 per year .

What does a physical therapist ( PT) do?

In order to manage and lessen their patients’ pain from physical conditions or injuries, physical therapists work with patients to improve their mobility and flexibility. To manage their conditions and prevent injuries, these professionals advise their clients to engage in exercise. Physical therapists typically perform the following duties:

What does a chiropractor do?

Chiropractic care helps patients with chronic pain control their symptoms, slow the progression of disease, and heal from accidents or illnesses. The neuromusculoskeletal system, which includes diseases of the bones, nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, is treated by these medical professionals who specialize in this field. Chiropractors also treat spinal injuries and pain. Here are some of these professionals typical job duties:

Chiropractor salary vs. PT salary

Despite having comparable training and career paths, physical therapists and chiropractors have various licensing requirements and educational specialties, including:

Chiropractor education and training

Professionals must first complete a doctorate program before they can become chiropractors. This can take between six to eight years to achieve. A professional becomes qualified to take the three-part licensing exam once they have earned their doctorate. This certification exam is administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE), which also provides training programs for chiropractic students. Professionals in the chiropractic field also need to complete a residency after receiving their doctorate and passing the NBCE certification exam. Professionals who complete this three-year post-graduate residency program gain practical experience and knowledge of the neuromusculoskeletal system.

Despite being chiropractic doctors rather than medical doctors, chiropractors have a thorough understanding of general medicine, neurology, and other medical specialties. Due to this, some chiropractors decide to focus on a particular field, like radiology or pediatrics. To do this, professionals complete an American Board of Chiropractic Specialties (ABCS) certification program.

Physical therapist educational and training

Following the completion of their undergraduate degrees, physical therapists complete a doctor of physical therapy (DPT). These professionals can study in post-secondary institutions for between six and eight years through both the doctoral and undergraduate programs. After receiving their undergraduate degree, physical therapists can sit for the certification exam that they need to pass in order to practice. Professionals learn about subjects like neuroscience and clinical reasoning while gaining some clinical experience in the DPT program.

Physical therapists complete a year of residency after completing the DPT program, during which time they gain practical experience and can decide which specialty area they want to work in. Physical therapists can specialize in things like neurological disorders.

Tips to improve your salary

Consider these suggestions if you want to increase your income as a physical therapist or chiropractor:

1. Research salaries

Try to find out how much other professionals in related fields are paid. This can help you get a sense of what professionals in your field typically earn. When conducting research, think about determining the wage disparities between physical therapists with certain specialties and chiropractors. Additionally, it can be useful to keep track of which employers pay the highest salaries in case you decide to switch jobs.

2. Set your salary expectations

Decide on the lowest salary you are willing to accept and the highest salary you can reasonably anticipate given your experience and education. Establishing a base salary within your range that is greater than your minimum but less than your maximum expectations can be useful. By only applying for positions that offer a salary within your range, you can set your own salary expectations and find jobs that are a good fit for you. Additionally, you can use your salary expectations to talk about compensation with your employer.

3. Choose a specialty

Chiropractors and physical therapists can specialize in areas like pediatrics or neurology. These medical professionals can select a specialty based on the patient types they prefer to work with or the conditions they are particularly adept at treating. The value of your professional worth can increase if you have a specialty because it establishes specific expertise. To strengthen your credentials, think about picking a specialty that appeals to you and benefits a sizable segment of patients.

4. Consider other benefits

It’s important to take into account additional employment perks besides your pay, like health insurance or paid time off. Try to give priority to the perks that will be most beneficial to you, and if the other perks the position offers are acceptable, think about reducing your salary. For instance, a position at a hospital that pays well but has insufficient paid time off and health insurance may not be a good fit for a professional who values those benefits.

5. Negotiate with your employer

To obtain a higher salary, try to bargain with your employer. To persuade your employer to make a concession and offer a higher salary or better benefits, use your research on the labor market and credentials. Request a meeting with your supervisor to discuss your salary in order to bargain. Provide justifications for why you deserve a higher salary, and give your employer time to consider them.

6. Consider a private practice

You might want to think about opening a private practice depending on your career goals and preferred employment situations. Physical therapists and chiropractors frequently make more money working for private practices rather than for the government or the public sector. You might be able to set yourself a more flexible schedule by working in a private practice.

Please be aware that Indeed is not connected to any of the organizations mentioned in this article.



Is it harder to become a PT or chiropractor?

After receiving a bachelor’s degree, practicing chiropractors typically need to complete more than three years of graduate education, training, and credentialing. PTs typically need to complete three years of graduate study and training after receiving a bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible for a license to practice.

Is chiropractor better than PT?

Chiropractic treatment primarily targets headaches, neck pain, joint pain in the arms or legs, and back pain. To increase your mobility, physical therapists guide you through stretches and exercises as well as some manipulations for specific conditions.

What specialty of PT makes the most money?

Sports medicine specialist is the physical therapy position with the highest pay. Working with athletes can be very rewarding as well.

Can you make a lot of money as a PT?

There are still opportunities for higher-paying jobs in the healthcare industry even though physical therapy is a well-paid profession in the United States (the mean annual wage for physical therapists in 2018 was $88,880, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *