Career Path Forecast
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau
of Labor Statistics, employment of physical
therapists Employment of physical therapists is expected to grow by 30
percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all
Changes to restrictions on reimbursement for physical
therapy services by third-party payers will increase patient access to
services and, thus, increase demand. The increasing elderly population will
drive growth in the demand for physical therapy services. The elderly
population is particularly vulnerable to chronic and debilitating
conditions that require therapeutic services.
Also, the baby-boom generation is entering the prime age for
heart attacks and strokes, increasing the demand for cardiac and physical
rehabilitation. Medical and technological developments will permit a
greater percentage of trauma victims and newborns with birth defects to
survive, creating additional demand for rehabilitative care. In addition,
growth may result from advances in medical technology and the use of
evidence-base practices, which could permit the treatment of an increasing
number of disabling conditions that were untreatable in the past.
In addition, the federally mandated Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act guarantees that
students have access to services from physical therapists and other
therapeutic and rehabilitative services. Demand for physical therapists
will continue in schools.
Job opportunities will be good for licensed physical
therapists in all settings. Job opportunities should be particularly good
in acute hospital, skilled nursing, and orthopedic settings, where the
elderly are most often treated. Job prospects should be especially
favorable in rural areas as many physical therapists tend to cluster in
highly populated urban and suburban areas.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor