Are you considering a career in physical therapy (PT) but wondering about the job outlook once you get there? This article will outline why physical therapy is one of the fastest growing careers in America, and why it offers top job satisfaction and security.

The health care sector has been reported as one of the fastest growing industries in America. This is largely due to an increasing ageing population and a concerning increasing rate of obesity, which will place increased pressure on services from all health care professionals. With the current trends we are seeing more and more people presenting to hospital and health care services. Their complaints are varied but a large percentage of them require input from a physical therapist. Due to our ageing population it is expected that orthopaedic presentations such as total knee and hip surgery, low back pain and shoulder pain will increase. Neurological problems such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease may be also on the incline as well as more presentations for cardiopulmonary conditions such as COPD, heart disease and cancer. The more hospital admissions mean more work for physical therapists and other health professionals, which in turn drives the demand for health sector workers.
Even during a recession, the bureau of labor statistics indicate an expanding PT workforce growing by 39% over the next 10 years, adding a further 75000+ jobs, to the current 200000 jobs, by 2020. It is partly due to this that Money Magazine on CNN Money, rated physical therapy as the second best job in fast growth fields in 2011.

To add to this, there is a shift towards direct access to PT services for consumers. This means that patients do not require a doctor’s referral to access physical therapy. Currently in the U.S. 46 States plus the District of Columbia offer direct access for patients. All physical therapists are highly qualified practitioners and are capable of performing appropriate assessment and management of patients. The American Physical Therapy Association hopes to change all physical therapy programs to Doctorates by 2020, leaving it difficult to dispute the competence of physical therapists as first contact practitioners. Considering the push for healthy lifestyles and more and more people taking control of their health, it makes sense to offer a physical therapy service without a referral from a doctor.

As well as job security, a positive work-life balance and job satisfaction are major factors when planning a career. A career in physical therapy is diverse, offers flexibility and is very rewarding. Physical therapists working full time usually work a 40hour week but this is quite flexible. Most therapists can choose to work weekends or evenings to earn extra money, or they might work part time. Other physical therapists might decide to work two part time jobs in two different areas for more of a challenge. It is because of this flexibility and diversity that Workforce Developments report that 78% of physical therapists are satisfied with their jobs, compared to the national average of just 47%.

So there you have it. The physical therapy job outlook is very positive indeed. If you are thinking about a career change or deciding what career path to take, you can be rest assured that a physical therapy career will be a rewarding and safe bet.

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If this sounds like the career for you visit for further information. You will find all you need to know about how to become a PT, including what PT schools you can choose from to study your DPT program.