January 28, 2011
Physical therapy jobs are projected to grow in 2011, according to career experts.
A press release reported that there are more than 120,000 licensed physical therapists and physical therapy assistants either practicing or looking to practice in the US, according to leading physical therapy staffing firm Travel Force Staffing.
Currently, the unemployment rate for the occupation stands at 1.1 percent. As more baby boomers retire, the profession has experienced a spike in demand, improved patient access and increased referrals, resulting in some of the best employment conditions since the1990s.
Physical therapy job opportunities in hospital, nursing and orthopedic settings that are geared toward the elderly will be particularly promising, according to Mary Kay Hull, recruitment vice president for Travel Force Staffing. In addition, aspiring therapists will find better job prospects in rural regions, where there is less competition than in suburban and urban areas.
"Demand for Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants will be high in just about every healthcare market in the nation this year," she said. "In some regions of the country, the need for physical therapy services already exceeds the number of available PT and PTA job candidates, creating immense opportunities for physical therapists who don't mind a little travel or who are looking to relocate to revitalize their careers."
Based on salary, job satisfaction and demand, the physical therapy occupation ranked fourth in CNN Money Magazine's list of top 100 jobs in the US, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. Well compensated and offering good job security, physical therapist careers are highly attractive in today's tough job market.
The profession is appealing to many students, especially those considering careers in healthcare.
"What I love about physical therapy is that you can heal someone naturally, and you get to know your patients while helping them," said Constance Foster, who originally went to college with the intent of applying to medical school. "You develop relationships."
In addition to the interpersonal benefits of the profession, physical therapists perform diverse health-related activities that keep them engaged at work. According to a recent survey, many people have misconceptions concerning the duties of physical therapists, believing that they are responsible solely for the injured or disabled, TransWorldNews noted. Dr. Kevin McGovern, founder of McGovern Physical Therapy Associates and Game 7 Sports Training, says that physical therapists are professionally trained to perform a wide array of tasks to help people focus on specific health concerns, not just rehabilitation.
"Today's physical therapists are taking a proactive role in helping people stay healthy and fit," he said. "Visiting a physical therapist can not only help you recover from an injury, but can help you improve your sports endurance and performance, and can reduce medical costs by helping you avoid expensive surgery."
Compiled by Alexander Gong
"Editor's Notes: Physical therapy students have bright futures," ajc.com, January 17, 2011, Laura Raines
"Face of Modern Physical Therapy is Changing," transworldnews.com, January 17, 2011
"Physical Therapy Jobs Solid for 2011, Says Physical Therapist Careers Expert," prweb.com, January 25, 2011