Top 25 Metro Areas for Physical Therapists

It’s been said that landing a good job as a college student or recent graduate has been increasingly difficult in our current economic climate. AfterCollege has once again researched the top metro areas across the country to counter this issue with a new focus on physical therapists.

The following list of the top 25 cities and surrounding areas provide various points we thought would help college students and recent graduates who are looking for opportunities in physical therapy. AfterCollege is bridging the employment gap with its research once again.

We took a look at entry-level jobs on AfterCollege as well as jobs from over 75+ media and newspaper partners to find cities with the most employers. JustJobs.com, a top job aggregator and job search engine, provided us with a comprehensive database of jobs from across the country. Salary.com, a leading source of salary data provided us with information on average entry-level salaries in our top cities. Apartments.com, the premiere online rental resource representing millions of apartments from across the country, provided us with average rent prices for our target cities for one-bedroom apartments. We have also included the Bureau of Labor Statistics for unemployment data for each area. The result is another guide that we hope will serve as a starting point for college graduates looking to begin their careers in the exciting field of physical therapy.

What follows is a list of the top 25 cities and surrounding areas for entry-level physical therapists:

1. Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
2. Baltimore, MD
3. Cleveland, OH
4. Chicago, IL
5. Phoenix, AZ
6. Newark, NJ
7. San Francisco/Bay Area
8. Atlanta, GA
9. Washington, DC Area
10. Boston, MA
11. Detroit, MI
12. Columbus, OH
13. Cincinnati, OH
14. Syracuse, NY
15. Albuquerque, NM
16. Fort Lauderdale, FL
17. Los Angeles, CA
18. Daytona Beach, FL
19. Austin, TX
20. Lehigh Valley Area, PA
21. Inland Empire, CA
22. Charlotte, NC
23. Orange County, CA
24. Birmingham, AL
25. Fort Meyers, FL

#1 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

Dallas

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Allen, Aubrey, Carrollton, Cedar Hill, Celina, Coppell, Dallas, Denton, Desoto, Fort Worth and Irving

PT Employers: 233 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 8.3%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $72,546
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $760 per month

#2 Baltimore Area, MD

Baltimore

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Randallstown, Annapolis, Crofton, Severna Park, Pasadena, Aberdeen, Odenton, Brooklyn, Ellicott City, and Edgewood

PT Employers: 70 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 8%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $73,583
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $1,111 per month

#3 Cleveland, Ohio Area

Cleveland

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Brunswick, Chippewa Lake, Cleveland, Geneva, Independence, Oberlin, Seville, Sheffield Lake, and Willoughby

PT Employers: 50 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 9.3%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $72,517
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $634 per month

#4 Chicago, IL Area

Chicago

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Brookfield, Buffalo Grove, Carol Stream, Channahon, Chicago, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Elmhurst, Woodstock, Worth, and Zion

PT Employers: 180 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 10.6%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $77,730
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $1,198 per month

#5 Phoenix, AZ Area

Phoenix Skyline at Sunset

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Apache Junction, Casa Grande, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise, and Tempe

PT Employers: 66 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 8.7%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $70,131
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $664 per month

#6 Newark, NJ Area

Newark

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Allendale, Alpine, Bergenfield, Bloomingdale, Little Ferry, Lodi, Hawthorne , Paramus, Park Ridge, Passaic, Saddle Brook, Teaneck, Tenafly, Teterboro, Totowa, and Woodcliff Lake

PT Employers: 46 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 9.1%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $73,299
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $717 per month

#7 San Francisco, CA/Bay Area

SF_Bay_Area

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Alameda, Berkeley, Canyon, Castro Valley, Concord, Dublin, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Martinez, Oakland, Pittsburg, Pleasanton, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Berkeley, and Walnut Creek

PT Employers: 66 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 10.5%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $88,041
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $1,382 per month

#8 Atlanta, GA Area

Atlanta

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Acworth, Adairsville, Alpharetta, Atlanta, Auburn, Austell, Norcross, Avondale Estates, Ball Ground, Berkeley Lake, Duluth, Fayetteville, Good Hope, Grantville, Grayson, Palmetto, Athens, and Riverdale

PT Employers: 129 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 10.7%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $71,594
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $823 per month

#9 Washington, DC Area

Washington_DC_Area

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Alexandria, Bethesda, Clarksburg, Fairfax, Fort Myer, Fredericksburg, Haymarket, Langley Park, Lanham, Mason Neck, Mc Lean, McLean, Owings, Oxon Hill, Springfield, Paris, Reston, Riverdale, Riverton, Waldorf, and Washington

PT Employers: 46 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 6.2%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $77,602
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $1,469 per month

#10 Boston, MA Area

Boston skyline at dusk

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Boston, Dorchester Center, and Peabody

PT Employers: 45 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 8.4%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $81,451
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $1,240 per month

#11 Detroit, MI Area

Detroit

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Allen Park, Anchorville, Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Detroit, Garden City, New Boston, New Hudson, Newport, Port Huron, Redford, Riverview, Rochester, Trenton, Troy, Utica, Walled Lake, and Warren

PT Employers: 61 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 17.7%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $76,338
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $721 per month

#12 Columbus, OH Area

Columbus, Ohio

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Columbus, Delaware, Lewis Center, Lockbourne, London, Mount Sterling, New Albany, Newark, Pataskala, Pickerington, Pleasantville, Powell, Reynoldsburg, South Solon, Sunbury, West Jefferson, and Westerville

PT Employers: 35 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 9.3%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $71,552
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $605 per month

#13 Cincinnati, OH Area

Cincinnati

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Cincinnati, Florence, Fort Thomas, Lawrence, Mason, New Richmond, Newport, Rising Sun, Springboro, Terrace Park, Walton, Warsaw, and Williamstown

PT Employers: 39 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 10.3%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $70,998
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $644 per month

#14 Syracuse, NY Area

Syracuse

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Auburn, Chittenango, Cicero, Fayetteville, Fulton, Jordan, La Fayette, Liverpool, Mexico, Moravia, Morrisville, Phoenix, Port Byron, Pulaski, Sandy Creek, Skaneateles, Skaneateles Falls, and Syracuse

PT Employers: 39 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 8.1%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $71,111
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $831 per month

#15 Albuquerque, NM Area

AlbuquerqueDesert

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Albuquerque, Belen, Corrales, Los Lunas, and Rio Rancho

PT Employers: 28 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 7.8%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $67,731
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $599 per month

#16 Fort Lauderdale, FL Area

Intercoastal at night

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, South Florida, Sunrise, and West Hollywood

PT Employers: 43 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 10.8%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $71,878
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $1,201 per month

#17 Los Angeles, CA Area

Los_Angeles

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Canoga Park, Carson, Covina, Hawthorne, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Monrovia, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, West Covina, Whittier, and Wilmington

PT Employers: 40 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 11.7%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $80,244
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $1,423 per month

#18 Daytona Beach, FL Area

Daytona_Beach

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Bunnell, Daytona Beach, Debary, Deland, Deltona, Edgewater, Oak Hill, Orange City, Ormond Beach, Palm Coast, and Port Orange

PT Employers: 42 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 11.2%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $65,771
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $716 per month

#19 Austin, TX Area

downtown Austin; Austin skyline; Congress Avenue Bridge; Town Lake

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Austin, Manchaca, Paige, Pflugerville, Round Rock, San Marcos, Smithville, Sunset Valley, Taylor, and Wimberley

PT Employers: 29 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 7.3%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $69,634
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $1,004 per month

#20 Lehigh Valley, PA Area

Lehigh_Valley

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Allentown, Bethlehem, Breinigsville, East Texas, Easton, Lehigh Valley, Lehighton, Macungie, Nazareth, Walnutport, and Whitehall

PT Employers: 26 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 9.2%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $76,423
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $992 per month

#21 Inland Empire, CA Area

San_Bernardino

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Apple Valley, Chino, Chino Hills, Corona, Indio, Lake Elsinore, Loma Linda, Montclair, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Palm Springs, Rancho Cucamonga, Rancho Mirage, Redlands, Rialto, Riverside, San Bernardino, Twentynine Palms, and Upland

PT Employers: 36 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 14.3%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $75,983
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $843 per month

#22 Charlotte, NC Area

Charlotte

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Charlotte, Cherryville, Harrisburg, Huntersville, Indian Trail, Matthews, Mint Hill, Monroe, Rock Hill, Salisbury, Spencer, Stanley, and York

PT Employers: 31 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 12.4%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $71,282
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $651 per month

#23 Orange County, CA Area

Orange_County

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Orange, Placentia, Santa Ana, Tustin, Westminster, and Yorba Linda

PT Employers: 29 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 11.7%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $79,917
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $1,175 per month

#24 Birmingham, AL Area

Birmingham

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Bessemer, Birmingham, Blountsville, Chelsea, Fairfield, Gardendale, Helena, Kimberly, Montevallo, Oneonta, Pelham, Pell City, Pleasant Grove, Siluria, Springville, Trussville, and Warrior

PT Employers: 25 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 9.9%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $67,902
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $617 per month

#25 Fort Meyers, FL Area

Fort_Meyers

Cities with PT jobs in this metro area include: Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Captiva, Estero, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Lehigh Acres, and Sanibel

PT Employers: 26 employers with entry-level jobs
Unemployment rate: 13.2%
Salary for Physical Therapist: $67,916
Average 1 bedroom apartment rent: $671 per month

Methodology: We started with the cities that had the most employers with at least one entry-level job in physical therapy. Job data was obtained from employers posting on AfterCollege, on AfterCollege-powered career networks at academic departments and groups and via our network of 75+ newspaper partners. We also looked at jobs posted on JustJobs.com, which aggregates data from over 80 different job boards. We then organized these cities into metro areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. We assigned this ranking a weight of 40% in our overall rank. We then looked at July 2009 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for unemployment numbers for each metro area and assigned this a weight of 20% in our rankings. We also looked at salary data for entry-level physical therapists from Salary.com and gave this data a weight of 20%. Finally, we took average monthly rental rates, for the first half of 2009 for a one-bedroom apartment for each of the metro areas, courtesy of Apartments.com and assigned this data point a weight of 20%. We combined all these measures to create a composite rank that provided us with our final list.

This article was written by Chad Boonsupa, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Roberto Angulo. We would like to thank our media partners, JustJobs.com, Salary.com and Apartments.com for providing us with the data that made this report possible.

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