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Best Physical Therapy Schools in Georgia – 2020

Physical Therapists (PTs) in Georgia provide care that’s proactive as well as palliative: At Georgia State University, physical therapists are exploring new frontiers in the work they do with stroke victims by incorporating robotic exercise partners into the exercise’s patients do to establish new neural pathways. That’s just one example! Physical therapy is an exciting career that offers many options for specialization. If you’re a resident of the Peach State, we’ve ranked the best physical therapy programs in Georgia to simplify choosing the one that’s right for you.

5 Things that will Make Your Physical Therapy Schooling Easier


Physical therapy school can be daunting. For the first two years, you’ll be immersed in a rigorous academic program where you’ll learn anatomy, physiology and other foundational clinical sciences as well as the basics of practice management. Your last year will be devoted to hands-on experiences at hospitals, clinics and care facilities. Here are a few tips for making your PT experience more manageable:

• If you know you want to be a physical therapist, take undergraduate classes that will familiarize you with some basic anatomy and physiology before you start PT school.
• Volunteer with organizations and pro bono clinics that may help you utilize your budding skills. Not only will you obtain real-world experience, you’ll also start to build a professional network.
• Don’t focus on getting good grades. Focus on learning the material really well.
• Try to understand the clinical significance of every piece of information you learn in the classroom.
• Every patient faces a unique set of challenges that call for you to develop a unique treatment plan.

Physical Therapy Program Length & Cost in Georgia


Physical therapy education is a three-year doctoral program at the end of which you will receive a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. If you’re a Georgia resident attending a publicly funded university, your tuition costs will begin at $25,610, but if you’re attending a private university, you can expect to spend nearly $90,000 on your education.

Type of Program Length Cost
Doctoral3 Years$25,610 - $89,690


Here is a List of the 4 Best Physical Therapy Programs in Georgia for 2020


1) Emory University - Atlanta


2) Mercer University - Atlanta


3) Georgia State University - Atlanta


4) Georgia Southern University - Savannah



View Ranking Methodology

Physical Therapist Career Outlook in Georgia - 2019


How Many Physical Therapists are Currently Employed in GA?


5,000


Where do Physical Therapists Work in Georgia?


Sixteen hundred and fifty physical therapists employed in Georgia work in office practices that are either owned by a physician or by another physical therapist. In this environment, you’ll take patient histories, order lab tests and imaging, and perform physical examinations; using this information, you’ll make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan that aims to enhance your patient’s mobility and range of motion.

Thirteen hundred Georgia PTs work in hospitals. In a hospital setting, you’ll find yourself working with patients with both acute and chronic injuries. Another 500 PTs provide home-based care where they work with senior citizens or with individuals who are recovering from orthopedic surgical procedures. Finally, 350 physical therapists work with patients in skilled nursing facilities to help those patients maintain their functional abilities and manage pain while another 350 PTs are in business for themselves as private practitioners.

Industry Number of Medical Assistants
Offices of Physical Therapists1,650
Hospitals; State, Local, and Private1,300
Home Healthcare Services500
Self-Employed Workers350
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities350


What is the Average Salary of a Physical Therapist in Georgia?


The average physical therapist salary in Georgia is $86,320 a year. Employers typically offer PTs good benefits packages, too, that include health insurance, paid time off and retirement savings options. Although physical therapists in hospitals and nursing facilities rarely work night shifts, they do work swing shifts, and when they do, they’re paid a shift differential.

Type Salary
Hourly$41.50
Monthly$7,190
Annual$86,320
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Salary Based on Years of Experience


Years of Experience Hourly Monthly Annual
Less than 1 year (Starting)$27.24 $4,720 $56,670
1-4 years$33.78 $5,860 $70,260
5-9 years$41.49 $7,190 $86,310
10-19 years$49.30 $8,550 $102,550
20 years or more$58.01 $10,060 $120,660
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Physical Therapist Average Salary Comparison: Georgia vs. National


Georgia’s PT salary figures are only slightly less than the national average. This probably reflects the fact that physical therapists in the Peach State serve extremely rural areas as well as metropolitan areas, and health professionals tend to make less in rural areas.

Georgia National Difference
Number %
$86,320 $88,880 -$2,560-2.88%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Job Outlook


The demand for physical therapists in Georgia is expected to grow by nearly 30 percent by the year 2026. The Peach State’s population is aging faster than the nation as a whole: By 2030, the number of Georgia residents aged 65 and older is expected to increase by 143 percent. Physical therapy has many benefits for senior citizens: It helps improve diseases like arthritis that affect the joints, but it also helps patients deal with conditions like cancer and Parkinson’s disease, and furthermore, its benefits are achieved with a minimum of drugs.

Employment Employment Growth, 2016-26
2016 2026 Number Percent
5,6407,270+1,630+28.90%
(Source: careeronestop)


Annual Job Openings


New Replacement Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
16310,240420
(Source: careeronestop)


Metro Wise Employment & Salary Data


The highest concentration of physical therapists in Georgia is to be found in the populous Atlanta metropolitan area, which boasts many outstanding hospitals such as Emory University Hospital, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital and WellStar Kennestone Hospital. The average salary for PTs here is $85,180, which is slightly less than the state average. Atlanta is a natural place for young professionals to flock, so this differential may reflect the fact that the pool of potential PT employees is larger here, and employers can afford to pay slightly less but still attract top talent.

In Augusta, another densely populated city in Georgia, far fewer PTs are employed, and the average PT salary is $82,770. Augusta is an economically disadvantaged city: 28 percent of its inhabitants live below the federal poverty line. On the other hand, Brunswick and Dalton, which are poorer cities than Augusta, remunerate physical therapists handsomely: The average PT salary in both cities is more than $98,000 a year. This may reflect the difficulty of attracting and retaining PTs in these two cities.

Metro

Employment

Average Salary

Hourly

Monthly

Annual

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell

2,850

$40.95

$7,100

$85,180

Augusta-Richmond County

380

$39.79

$6,900

$82,770

Savannah

220

$37.82

$6,560

$78,660

Columbus

190

$44.09

$7,640

$91,700

Dalton

160

$47.15

$8,170

$98,080

Athens-Clarke County

150

$43.61

$7,560

$90,710

Macon

140

$43.05

$7,460

$89,530

Warner Robins

110

$41.32

$7,160

$85,950

Gainesville

90

$38.99

$6,760

$81,090

Rome

90

$37.12

$6,430

$77,200

Valdosta

60

$43.28

$7,500

$90,030

Brunswick

40

$47.42

$8,220

$98,630

Albany

30

$37.87

$6,560

$78,770

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Useful Physical Therapist Organizations & Associations in Georgia


Physical Therapy Association of Georgia

The Physical Therapy Association of Georgia sponsors continuing education classes, maintains a list of PT employment opportunities and offers focused interest networks where members may network.

Physical Therapy Schools in other States

  • Florida