DEMAND FOR THERAPISTS CONTINUES TO GROW
Economic health directly impacts job trends, but jobs in some market sectors are relatively unaffected by economic downturns. Those jobs are in industries which are driven more by demographics than by economics. One of these sectors, the healthcare industry, is experiencing growth primarily tied to population factors as baby boomers age and as Generation X spawns its own next generation.
Aging Americans, who are living longer and are more health-conscious, want and expect to continue independent lifestyles despite health-related limitations. They seek affordable professionals to help them maintain or improve their level of functioning. Therapists, medical professionals who deliver both preventative care and recuperative care, are now and will continue to be in demand.
In any ranking of “best jobs,” those jobs with strong hiring trends, the spectrum of therapists – physical therapists and assistants, occupational therapists and assistants, and speech therapists – nears the top of the list. How fast are therapy jobs expected to grow over the next ten years? As recently as December, 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] projected that “Healthcare occupations … are expected to have the fastest employment growth and to add the most jobs between 2014 and 2024.” During that time period, average job growth for all wage and salary workers is estimated at 7%. For health care positions, growth is estimated at 20%, much faster than average.
Job Trends For Therapists
The BLS breaks it down by occupation, and the job growth projections are even more exciting:
Speech Therapists – 21%
Occupational Therapists – 27%
Physical Therapists – 34%
Occupational Therapy Assistants – 40%
Physical Therapist Assistants – 40%
Currently the demand for therapists to fill jobs outpaces the supply of practicing therapists. Many therapists use this discrepancy to create opportunity by working multiple jobs, e.g. a full-time job and one or more PRN jobs, or supplementing a private practice with outside jobs. These income-generating opportunities also make therapy
jobs more attractive.
That’s the big picture. Focus on HTS: Total new jobs in 2015 increased 22% over new jobs in 2014. Factor in new PRN openings, and the increase is a phenomenal 42%. With numbers like that, HTS undoubtedly has an opportunity for YOU!