Before going back to school for any advanced degree, you’ll need to know what the cost will be. Nobody likes to look at these numbers as they embark on a new educational journey, but it’s very important to get a sense of right from the start, so you know what to expect, how different schools will affect pricing, what you will be able to afford, and what it means for you in the long term as well. Use this guide to get acclimated with the cost of physical therapy school.
First, let’s start with some of the basic numbers which are available. This data was taken for the 2008 school year, and represents the mean tuition and fee rates for DPT, Doctorate of Physical Therapy degrees. DPT programs are the vast majority of the physical therapy programs available today, with over 200 out of 212 total programs offering this degree. Further, all programs will be required to offer this degree within several years, therefore this is the most relevant and important data to see.
In 2008, the mean tuition and fee rates for public in-state schools was $11,410, which is extremely reasonable. Public out of state schools jump up substantially however, nearly doubling to $21,684. From there, private institutions are even more expensive, topping out at a mean of $25,364.
The good news is that none of these figures is very high at all compared to the costs of some doctorate level degrees. In fact, public in-state schools are a huge bargain and provide a great value. After considering your own finances, you might want to pursue this option above others because of the huge savings you can enjoy.
Also keep in mind, that the typical DPT program will take about 3 years to complete. So the tuition rates you see above will be multiplied by that figure to present you with your total cost of education, ranging from about $34,000 to $76,000. Additionally, keep in mind the costs that you might face in terms of lost income if you stop working while you’re taking your courses.
So after paying all of that money and obtaining your DPT to become a licensed physical therapist, will it be possible to earn that money back in a reasonable time? Yes it is, and you’ll see that with your new salary level that your education was not only a learning experience but a true investment into yourself. The median annual wage for physical therapists in 2010 was $76,310, and even better, the top 10% in the field earned over $107,920, which is fantastic.
Going back to school for a postgraduate degree is never going to be cheap. But as you can see from the cost of physical therapy school information above, that this degree isn’t overly expensive, and public in-state schools are extremely affordable. Plus, you’ll be able to earn a great salary once you’re in the field, so you’ll be able to pay that back and then some to fully capitalize on your new degree and the time you spent obtaining it.