Physical therapists are health care professionals who evaluate and treat people with health problems resulting from injury or disease. Among other responsibilities, physical therapists assess joint motion, muscle strength and endurance, function of heart and lungs, and performance of activities required in daily living. More than 90,000 physical therapists practice in the United States today, treating nearly one million people every day.
Although many physical therapists practice in acute care or subacute care hospitals, more than 65 percent practice in private physical therapy offices, community health centers, industrial health centers, sports facilities, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, schools or pediatric centers, work in research institutions or teach in colleges or universities.
After graduation, candidates must pass a state-administered national exam. Other requirements for physical therapy practice vary from state to state according to physical therapy practice acts or state regulations governing physical therapy.
According U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapists is expected to grow 27 percent from 2006 to 2016, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Physical Therapy Organizational Links
- American Physical Therapy Association: National professional organization Web site with numerous resources for professionals and students
- Tennessee Physical Therapy Association: State professional organization Web site with information on membership and upcoming local events of interest
- Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy: Information on the board examinations for licensure
More than 90,000 physical therapists practice in the United States today, treating nearly one million people daily. The UTC Physical Therapy Program offers a curriculum which prepares graduates to work in a variety of healthcare settings and serve patient populations across the lifespan. According to two March 2001 employment surveys conducted by the APTA, employment conditions have improved and unemployment rates have decreased substantially in the last six months alone (from 1.8% to 1.4%). Our program, likewise, has experienced a significant increase in notification of position openings for entry-level therapists. These facts point to an optimistic future for the profession.
- U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics - Physical Therapy Information
- Physical Therapist named a "Best Job" in 2012 by US News & World Report
- CNN Money names Physical Therapy the 8th "Best Job in America"
- Forbes Magazine names Physical Therapy one of "The Ten Happiest Jobs"
- Physical Therapy is projected to experience a 35.7% increase in demand for services
From: Preparing the Health Workforce (Issue paper #8), Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, 2006
APTA News Release
PHYSICAL THERAPY: A CAREER THAT FITS YOUR FUTURE
"Alexandria, VA – For Americans looking for a rewarding career in a struggling job market and down economy, a career in physical therapy could be the perfect answer. Boasting plentiful job openings, strong job security, flexibility and a high satisfaction rating among those working in the field, a career in physical therapy has been ranked among the best jobs in America by major publications, including CNNMoney.com, Forbes, and US News & World Report."...