Job Outlook for Physical Therapists
Demand for physical therapists is expected to increase according to the 2012-13 Occupational Outlook Handbook, a document created every two years by the U.S. Department of Labor. Employment of physical therapists is predicted to grow 39% between 2010 and 2020, "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 and orthopedic settings.
For another perspective, the American Physical Therapy Association developed a model to determine the number of physical therapists required to meet the health care demands of Americans. Their 2012 projections indicate that by the year 2020 there will be a shortage of between 9,385 and 40,934 physical therapists in the United States, depending on the attrition rate. They cited increased demand as a result of the Affordable Care Act as one factor in this predicted shortage.
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