For new Physios, thinking “what’s reasonable for a Physiotherapist salary?” seems to be common. Asking about it, however, seems far less common.
It’s obviously a sensitive subject. You can’t just ask someone how much they earn. But if you don’t know about anyone’s physiotherapist salary, how do you know what you can ask for?
- Current rates of Physiotherapist salary in private practice
- Different pay set up options
Current market rates for Physiotherapist salary
In the private world , there are several different types of pay structures. We’ll cover them below.
In the public system, each state sets their pay rates. You can look those up by googling “(State) physiotherapist public hospital award (current year)”.
Private practice Physio pay set up
Each clinic tends to prefer a different model based on their structure and caseload.
Percentage based contracts
A popular model for many practices is a straight percentage of revenue. You bring in $X for the week, you receive Y% of that amount.
As a new grad, you can expect to start around 33-35% + super. With each year of experience, your percentage usually creeps up by 1-2% until you hit around 45% (we’ll explain why 45% is around your upper limit in our next post on justifying a pay rise).
The hourly rate
A classic, seemingly simple, pay system is the hourly rate. You are available for Y hours for patient contact, you receive Y * $X/hour + super.
This pay rate looks simple enough but it has a hidden pitfall. It almost always includes only your contact hours – your note writing and patient comms are not part of those paid hours.
So an 8hr work day gets 8hrs of pay but might take 10hrs once you include admin.
Rates are governed by state award rates at the bottom end but you can expect to earn more than that. Rates typically start at $34/hr and climb by $1-2/hr/year until you hit $45/hr.
Note here that the award states that you’re entitled to an increase every full time year. So if you work 15hrs per week, you may not see an increase for 2-3 years (but we’ll help speed that up in our post on pay rises).
These systems vary widely and can offer different combinations of systems.
You’ve got base salary + performance commission/bonus.
There’s a wage + bonus system.
And then there’s retainer + commission.
Each hybrid system has pros and cons. They often provide a minimum stable income and a smaller percentage on top of that. It’s a nice set up in quiet times but may not offer big incentives when you’re flat out.
The exact number of the base and the commission are usually inversely related. The higher the base amount, the lower the commission. And vice versa. For that reason, we can’t provide any specific guidance of expected amounts.