• News New Blog Banner

  • The Fastest-Growing of the Fastest-Growing: PTs, PTAs Near the Top of Employment Growth Projections

    The health care employment outlook is projected to grow rapidly in the next 3 years, and physical therapy-related professions aren't just a part of that growth—they're among the leaders.

    The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that, overall, health care will become the largest job sector in the US within the next 3 years. Across all professions, 3 different physical therapy-related careers are cited as areas of particularly strong growth over the next 8 years, with all 3—physical therapist (PT), physical therapist assistant (PTA), and physical therapy aide—registering in the top 10 overall.

    The BLS rates, published in December 2015, estimates PTAs as the third fastest-growing occupation in the country, projecting a 41% increase in employment through 2024. Physical therapy aides were fourth, with a projected increase of 39%, and PTs were in eighth position, with a projected increase of 34%.

    Wind turbine service technician was the top-ranked occupation, with a projected growth of 108% between 2014 and 2024.Other occupations listed in the top 10 include occupational therapy assistants (second at 43%), home health aides (fifth at 38%), commercial divers (sixth at 37%), nurse practitioners (seventh at 35%), statisticians (ninth at 34%), and ambulance drivers and attendants (10th at 33%).

    The BLS list also includes median pay for each occupation. In 2014, BLS estimated the median annual pay of PTs at $82,390. PTA annual pay was estimated at $54,410 annually, with physical therapy aide pay at $24,650.

    As an employment sector, health care fared especially well last year, adding 480,000 jobs, according to an article in TIME Money. If growth continues as projected, health care will surpass retail employment as the country's largest employment sector by 2020.

    Take advantage of the favorable outlook for PTs and PTAs—join the upcoming APTA Virtual Career Fair, April 14 at 1:00 pm, ET. The fair is an online event that puts you in contact with multiple employers, all from the convenience of your computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can chat online with employers from large and small providers about their current and future needs, and your experience and interests.


    • I am a PTA student. This news is very encouraging

      Posted by Akinwale Awowale on 3/9/2016 3:58 PM

    • I have been in the field find a full time job. I have a lot of experience and new grads are hired before me. It's a growing occupation, but it is not fair to those who have been in the profession a long time. I graduated when there were less schools and more jobs, now due to all of the competition I am struggling. I thought experience would benefit instead if hurt my career. This is quite disappointing. This is what is not said about this profession.

      Posted by J on 3/10/2016 6:59 AM

    • The salary figures seem to be largely off compared to what the going rate for PTs is in my geographic region in urban PA. We need to advocate for better reimbursement, as it has not changed and has even gone down in many areas over the past decade. Students spend a lot of time, energy, and money investing in this wonderful profession and are struggling for financial stability let alone comfort due to this. Also practice owners and healthcare systems are making all the profit and giving very low salaries to experienced PTs because of the boom in the field and ease in hiring young professionals. We have work to do in these arenas.

      Posted by DPT on 3/10/2016 11:00 PM

    • Im surprised to read this information as all I see in my area is down sizing. Our department in acute care in a state of the art growing hospital, trauma level 1 was just downsized practically 75%, we are salary, our hours were increased, we are encouraged to work late each day (11-12 hours a day), we are exhausted. Our productivity levels are almost unattainable- and if you do get them, you are barely doing actual physical therapy! I see downsizing in many of the rehabs and out patient centers around this hospital. I cant believe this professional is still "booming" even though common sense and my beliefs are that there is such a high need for it. Maybe I should move.

      Posted by Confused on 5/15/2016 12:13 PM

    Leave a comment
    Name *
    Email *