Job Outlook for Physical Therapists
Demand for physical therapists is expected to increase according to the 2015-16 Occupational Outlook Handbook, a publication of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment of physical therapists is predicted to grow 34% between 2014 and 2024, "much faster" than the average growth rate for all occupations. The report concluded that job opportunities will be most promising in acute hospital, skilled-nursing facilities, and orthopedic settings.
For another perspective, the American Physical Therapy Association developed a model to estimate the number of physical therapists required to meet the healthcare demands of Americans. Their 2015 projections for the year 2025 present three different scenarios for supply and demand for physical therapists based on three different attrition rates, the rate at which physical therapists leave the profession. In the first scenario with the highest attrition rate, their model projects a shortage of 18,350 physical therapists in 2025. The second scenario projects a slight surplus of 736 physical therapists. The third scenario with the lowest attrition rate predicts a larger surplus of 21,494 physical therapists. These scenarios suggest that whether there will be a surplus or shortage in the industry depends greatly on the attrition rate.
Increasing demand for the services of physical therapy practitioners may also drive up salaries.
Graduates of the George Fox University's physical therapy program will be trained to find employment as physical therapists in:
- Acute care centers
- Independent outpatient orthopedic clinics
- Rehabilitation centers/clinics
- Skilled care facilities
- Sports medicine clinics
- Home health settings
Are you a high school student? Learn more about George Fox's pre-physical therapy undergraduate major in Exercise Science, which prepares students to go on to grad school to study physical therapy.