Equine Physical Therapist: Salary Info and Requirements

Oct 20, 2021

A variety of educational routes can end in a career rehabilitating horses following injury or disease, in a field called equine physical therapy. Veterinarians, for one, have substantial education and licensing requirements, and earn a lucrative salary. Animal care takers earn much lower wages, but can often work their way up from entry-level, with little formal education.

Essential Information

An equine physical therapist is a veterinary health professional involved in the rehabilitation and care of horses following an injury or disease. Individuals may take a variety of different educational routes to become an equine physical therapist, with practicing professionals possessing a combination of experience and education.

Required Education Physical therapy or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree and a certificate in equine physical therapy
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029) 16% for all veterinarians*
Median Annual Salary (May 2020) $99,250 for all veterinarians*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Equine Physical Therapist Salary Information

Exact salary statistics for equine physical therapists are not tracked by governmental authorities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), veterinarians, including those caring for horses, earned a median salary of $99,250 in 2020. Non-farm animal caretakers, on the other hand, earned a much lower median salary of $26,080 in May 2020.

The BLS forecast substantial growth in the animal health industry from 2019-2029. Overall employment for animal care and service workers should increase by 23% during this period. The anticipated growth for veterinarians was expected to be 16% from 2019-2029.

Requirements for Equine Physical Therapists

There are no official requirements for starting a career as an equine physical therapist. The specific schooling needs of an equine physical therapist will vary depending on the education route selected by an individual candidate. Veterinarians must fulfill substantial education requirements at the undergraduate and graduate levels, according to the BLS. To become a practicing veterinarian, a student needs to earn a DVM from one of the 28 schools accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Local jurisdictions set certification and licensure standards for veterinarians, and practitioners often have to participate in continuing education courses.

Certain, specially-trained physical therapists also concentrate on the treatment of horses. Physical therapists earn a bachelor's degree and must complete some level of post-baccalaureate education, though a master's degree isn't a necessity. Veterinarians and physical therapists can pursue a certificate in equine physical therapy from a limited number of schools.

In summary, an equine physical therapist works to treat disorders in horses due to injury or disease. There is good job growth in this field, and it is in one in which a professional can work as a veterinarian, or general animal caretaker, with specific physical therapy knowledge.

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