If you're a physical therapist, you're undoubtedly someone who really enjoys being around and caring for people. Or, as one physical therapist we know once said, "I became a PT in part because I really get to spend time with my patients, about 45 minutes at least a session. I really get to know them." As a PT, you may want to know yourself how the job outlook for the next few years looks for PTs. The answer? Excellent!
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports in its Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 that employment for PTs through 2018 "is expected to grow much faster than average because of increasing demand for physical therapy services." In addition, the BLS continued, the "increasing number of people who need therapy reflects, in part, the increasing elderly population. The elderly population is particularly vulnerable to chronic and debilitating conditions that require therapeutic services." PTs often are compensated very well for their services, with the median average salary for PTs in 2009 running about $75,000.
Physical therapists earn every penny of their salaries. Let's take a look at a "typical" work day for a PT:
* Upon arriving at work, the physical therapist will look through the medical histories of the patients he or she is scheduled to see that day.
* Once with a patient, the PT will test the individuals balance and coordination, strength, range of motion, motor function, muscle performance, posture, and respiration.
* Looking at the results, the physical therapist then will determine the patient's abilities (with regards to independence and/or being able to return to day-to-day activities or work).
* Finally, the PT will put together treatment plans for the patient, plans that detail the physical therapy treatment strategy and the outcome the therapist expects as a result.