The nation’s aging population and expanded health care coverage will increase the demand for physical therapist (PT) services, says the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Alexandria, Va, in a statement, as a new federal report that presents a projection of potential developments in the US labor market over the next 5 to 10 years is released.
In its report, titled Preparing the Workers of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers says that health care "dominates" the list of industries that are projected to add the most jobs during 2008 to 2016, says the APTA statement. The increased demand in this area stems largely from an aging population that will require care at home, in nursing care facilities, and in inpatient and outpatient settings. Occupations that will "likely grow in importance" include PTs and PT assistants. In addition, the expected expansion of health care coverage through reform measures could lead to increased demand for health care professionals, says the statement.
The report also says that the US economy appears to be shifting toward jobs that require workers to possess greater analytical and interactive skills—skills typically acquired through post-secondary education. PTs are required to receive a graduate degree—either a master’s degree or a clinical doctorate. Though the clinical doctorate currently is not a requirement, the majority of PTs now graduate with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, says the statement.
[Source: American Physical Therapy Association]