Top Job Prospects for Physical Therapists in 2017
As 2017 picks up speed, potential physical therapists may be curious to know what their future job prospects are. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for physical therapists is expected to increase by 34 percent by 2024, much faster than the majority of other occupations. How is it that physical therapy is growing so quickly?
Aging Baby Boomers
Older baby boomers are more active in their later years compared to the generations before them. While this trend is great for their overall health, injury risk tends to increase as people get older. Sometimes the injury may be as simple as a pulled muscle from working too hard, but it can be as severe as a heart attack, stroke, or spinal issues that may require rehabilitation from a physical therapist.
Increased Rates of Obesity
Unfortunately, rates of diabetes and obesity continue to increase. As reported by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, over 29 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in 2014, making up almost 10 percent of the population. That’s 4 million more than those diagnosed back in 2010, and the trend is expected to continue moving upward. Physical therapists provide a valuable service for anyone who wants to manage their chronic conditions and mobility. Technological advancements in medicine have made it easier to determine when to prescribe an accurate diagnosis for such diseases, meaning that patients receive a therapy plan more suitable to their needs.
Improved Treatments and More Healthcare
Continued advances in tech mean that more patients are coming out of surgical procedures with higher success rates, leading to more rehabilitative appointments to ensure that the results of the surgeries stick. With recent reform in healthcare, more people are expected to own health insurance, leading to more access to physical therapists as well as other medical services.
Regardless of what type of physical therapy you do, the job prospects look good for all specialties. The single caveat is that the majority of therapists work in urban or suburban environments, while rural areas have few practicing physical therapists. Considering many people who live in the countryside work in high-risk blue-collar careers, the demand will most likely continue to grow. If you’re looking for somewhere to best practice your skills, take a look at our list of physical therapy jobs and contact us for placement information.