Employment and Job Outlook For Physical Therapy Assistants

It’s no secret that the current economical situation has limited the job prospects for many different careers and specialties. For some, it makes them either hesitant to pursue an education for a particular job path, or eager to jump on the first job or career that they are lucky enough to find though. The good news is that some fields are still burgeoning and experiencing great growth, and right at the top of the list is the career of a physical therapy assistant.

Before embarking on any career path, it’s always important to know what the employment and job outlook situation is. Having passion for something is always a must, but if you have passion for something or a desire to pursue a career which ultimately isn’t going to get you a job, then you may want to reconsider or alter your plans. Education takes too much time and effort, and costs too much money, to be put in a direction that isn’t productive for you and your life both immediately after graduation and over the coming years and decades as well.

As mentioned those, physical therapy assistants are burgeoning, and the entire field is on the rise. There are a number of explanations from this – including the aging demographic of baby boomers which require more physical care and assistance, an increased focus and understanding not only on the benefits of physical therapy, making it more popular, but also on the preventative or maintenance side of the equation, a broader scope of job settings where physical therapy may be practiced, and more.

Looking at the numbers, there is a projected 35% growth in the field of physical therapy assistants and aides for the decade between 2008 to 2018. What this means literally is that a 2008 employment level of 109,900 individuals is expected to explode towards 147,800 by 2018. Now, that overall field includes two distinct different job types – PT assistants and aides, which sound similar, but are indeed very different.

Job Outlook for PTAsPhysical therapist assistants are the larger portion of this field, and on their own are expected to grow 33% over that period of time, from 63,800 to about 85,000. The smaller half of PT aides will grow slightly quicker, at a 36% clip, from an employment level of 46,100 to 62,800. All told, it’s almost 40,000 new jobs and a very quick growth rate, and all of that is happening at a time when many other industries or fields or on the verge of collapse, or have been left stagnant and overpopulated for years.

All of this means that now is an ideal time to get started with a career as a physical therapy assistant. Jobs are on the rise, and the entire field is growing at an extremely fast, and well above average, rate. This means that qualified and licensed professionals entering the field will have their choice of potential jobs in terms of location, setting, specific focus or specialty and much more. If you’ve been on the fence about a career as a PTA, then you should certainly jump on the idea now, and get into the mix while the employment growth is phenomenal as it is now and for the coming next few years.


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