How Much Does a Sports Medicine Physical Therapist Make?

How much does a sports medicine physical therapist make?
The average salary for a sports medicine physical therapist is $85,000 per year.

Checkout this video:

Job description

A sports medicine physical therapist is a healthcare professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and conditions related to sports and exercise.

Sports medicine physical therapists work with athletes of all levels, from amateur to professional, and can be found in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and sporting facilities.

The job duties of a sports medicine physical therapist include assessing injured athletes, developing treatment plans, and providing hands-on care. They may also work with athletes to prevent injuries and improve performance.

Sports medicine physical therapists must have a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited physical therapy program. They must also be licensed by the state in which they practice.


Sports medicine physical therapists (PTs) provide care to patients with injuries or pain caused by participation in sports or other physical activities. They work closely with other members of the healthcare team, including physicians, nurses, and athletic trainers, to develop individualized treatment plans.

Sports medicine PTs often work in outpatient clinics, but they may also work in hospitals, sports medicine centers, or fitness facilities. In some cases, they may travel with teams to provide on-site coverage at sporting events.

The duties of a sports medicine PT vary depending on the setting in which they work. In all settings, however, Sports medicine PTs are responsible for evaluating and treating patients, as well as developing and implementing rehabilitation programs.

In some cases, sports medicine PTs may also be responsible for educating patients and their families about injury prevention and proper care for injuries. They may also give presentations to groups or organizations about sports medicine topics such as injury prevention and proper nutrition for athletes.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual salary for physical therapists was $87,930 in May 2016. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $60,390, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $116,090.

Job outlook

While the job outlook for physical therapists is positive, the average salary for a sports medicine physical therapist may vary depending on location and experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for physical therapists was $85,400 per year, or $41 per hour, as of May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $54,340, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $122,840.

Education and training

In order to become licensed as a physical therapist in the United States, one must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited physical therapy program and pass a national licensing exam. There are presently more than 200 accredited physical therapy programs in the U.S. Most full-time DPT programs take three years to complete, although some offer an accelerated two-year option for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field.

After completing a DPT program and passing the licensing exam, many therapists choose to pursue additional education and training in a specialized area of practice such as sports medicine. Some programs offer post-professional doctoral degrees (DPT or PhD) in areas such as sports physical therapy, rehabilitation science, or biomechanics. There are also many fellowships and residency programs available that provide sports medicine therapists with advanced training in specific areas such as orthopedics, pediatrics, or neurology.


The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties offers certification in sports physical therapy. To become certified, you must have completed a postgraduate degree in physical therapy from an accredited institution, have at least 2 years of clinical experience as a licensed physical therapist, and pass an exam.

Advancement opportunities

For physical therapists specializing in sports medicine, there are many opportunities for advancement. Those who have advanced degrees and specialized training can become directors or manage their own clinics. Some may choose to teach at the college level or conduct research. Other opportunities include working with professional sports teams or becoming a consultant to a sports medicine organization.

Work environment

A sports medicine physical therapist works with athletes to help them recover from injuries and improve their performance. The work environment for a sports medicine physical therapist is usually in a hospital or clinics setting, but they may also work in private practice or in research facilities. The hours for this job are usually full time, and the work can be physically demanding.

Job satisfaction

A recent survey of sports medicine physical therapists found that job satisfaction was high, with most respondents feeling that they were able to make a difference in the lives of their patients. The majority of respondents also felt that their salary was fair and that their benefits were good.

Pros and cons

Like any career, there are pros and cons to being a sports medicine physical therapist. Some of the pros include:

-You can make a good salary. The median salary for physical therapists is $85,000 per year, and the top 10% of earners make over $100,000 per year.
-You can have a very rewarding career. Many physical therapists say that they love their job because they help people recover from injuries and improve their quality of life.
-You can have a flexible schedule. Many physical therapists work part-time or staggered hours so that they can have more time for family or other commitments.

Some of the cons of being a sports medicine physical therapist include:

-You may have to work long hours. Because many athletes train during the evening or early morning hours, sports medicine physical therapists may have to work long hours to accommodate their schedules.
-You may have to work weekends and holidays. Sports medicine physical therapists often have to work weekends and holidays in order to be available for their athletes’ training schedules.
-You may experience burnout. Like any other medical profession, working in sports medicine can be stressful, and burnout is a common problem among physical therapists.

Scroll to Top