How Does Travel PT Salary Compare to Permanent PT Salary?

June 10, 2018

In this non-traditional blog post, I’ll take you through breaking down a sample pay package. How do you calculate your weekly takehome income based on the pay package? How does that equate to a permanent salary in the same area? What is the difference between the two?


The pay package below is a sample pay package for a hospital positon in Illinois based on a 40 hour guaranteed work week.


If you go to and use a paycheck calculator claiming “single” and “0”, the $760 taxable with Illinois tax would yield a net take home of $574.77.


If you take the $574.77 and add your housing & per diem stipends of $590 & $240 respectively, your weekly take home pay would be $1404.77.


Now….. Let’s say you multiply this by 50 (assuming you work about 50 weeks a year at this pay rate). That would equate to $70,238.50. Some might argue that some PTs make this in their permanent positions. However, you have to remember that this is what you would make after taxes are taken out. If a PT in a permanent position made $70,238.50 annually, their annual net pay after taxes would actually be $49,462.93. As a traveler, you are actually making 142% of what a permanent employee would be making. In this example, the permanent PTs weekly take-home paycheck would be $1103.37.  (These numbers were calculated using a paycheck calculator at using the state of Illinois and filing “Single” and “0”).


Want to know how much this after tax travelers’ salary would equate to in a permanent salary. Just use a gross up calculator at In order for a full-time employee to take home $70,238.50 after taxes, their pre-tax annual salary would have to equate to $103,375.00!!!! I don’t know about you, but I don’t see too many permanent PT positions paying that much, especially to a new grad!


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About Me

My name is Kaleigh and I am a traveling physical therapist who started traveling after I graduated PT school. I feel that mentorship is incredibly important to new grads looking to start traveling. It has become my mission to help new grads launch a successful traveling career.

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