Salary and status differences between male and female physical therapists

Phys Ther. 1979 Sep;59(9):1095-1101. doi: 10.1093/ptj/59.9.1095.


The purpose of this study was to compare employment profiles of men and women employed as physical therapists. A survey on salary and on demographic and professional characteristics was mailed to 500 male and 500 female physical therapists throughout the United States, and 658 (65.8%) were used in the data analysis. Several striking differences between the employment profiles of male and female physical therapists were identified, including: 1) men were more likely to be self-employed, 2) men were more likely to hold supervisory positions, and 3) men tended to have significantly higher incomes even when compared to women with similar employment characteristics. The salary and status differences between men and women in physical therapy approximate those found in other occupations in which women are in the majority. The findings of this study constitute strong evidence that sex discrimination exists in the physical therapy profession.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administrative Personnel*
  • Adult
  • Attitude
  • Demography
  • Employment
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Prejudice
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits*
  • Sex Factors
  • United States