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Employment Outlook

  • Employment opportunities for physical therapists remain robust. The need for PT's is expected to remain strong into the foreseeable future as the US population ages, chronic conditions increase, and the demand for physical therapy services grows. The Bureau of Labor suggests that with changes in restrictions on reimbursement from third party payers, there will be an increase in demand for service. Improvements in medical technology will also increase the manner in which PT's are able to provide service to individuals with movement dysfunction. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016-2017 report) forecasts a 34% growth in employment of physical therapists from 2014-2024, much faster than the average for all occupations ( The average annual starting salary for a physical therapist ranges from $55,000 - 75,000.

    Current workforce information reported by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) on job vacancy noted a 10% vacancy rate in acute care/hospital facilities, 11.2% in private practice settings, and 12.1% in skilled nursing facilities (; accessed 06-08-2017). The APTA also notes a 1.1% unemployment rate among physical therapists. Physical therapists rank 16th in a list of the 100 "Best Jobs in America" as reported by US News and World Report.

    Graduates of the DPT program in Erie who choose to work in the field of physical therapy enjoy a 100% employment rate.