Outlook of PT

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by wwuviking, Dec 2, 2011.

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  1. wwuviking

    wwuviking MOTIVATED 2+ Year Member

    May 5, 2010
    Hello all,

    I'm an undergrad deciding on my future and I think it is only responsible to think about the financial outlooks for all possible careers. Although money isn't everything, and what attracts me to PT is not the financial gain, but the patient doc relationship I still have concerns about bringing home the bacon. (I know its all about how you choose to live, so please no "spend less than you make" comments)

    I am specifically wondering how healthcare reform will have an effect on earning potentials for private PT clinic owners, will they be phased out in favor of hospitals vice versa?..what other outcomes may come from healthcare reforms. No doubt all areas of medicine will be affected, but after much research I don't have a clear outlook of what the future of PT will include.

    I've read that private clinics will be given set amounts of money per patient instead of pay by number of visits...I suspect this is in terms of making deals with insurance companies who provide exclusivity. idk. If anybody with extensive knowledge on this subject could reccomend any readings or provide some clarity on this subject, I would greatly appreciate it. I'm not sure which sources are reputable and which I can dismiss. Thanks for any advice on the matter.
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  3. wwuviking

    wwuviking MOTIVATED 2+ Year Member

    May 5, 2010
    have i been shunned? or does nobody have insight on the matter?
  4. A Burly Man

    A Burly Man 2+ Year Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Hi There,
    The Outlook for PT is defined by the APTA as Vision 2020. If you happen to use the forum's search engine for this you would find,


    Although there are no absolute answers, the threads will give you insight on what challenges lie ahead for PT's.
  5. PT Dad

    PT Dad 2+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2009
    78 million baby boomers entering their retirement years will keep you busy for the next 30 years.
  6. goyo1010

    goyo1010 5+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Let them come!
  7. Akiramay

    Akiramay 7+ Year Member

    Nov 18, 2008

    Gah, darn you facebook! =P
  8. 8MoreReps


    Aug 16, 2011
    Anyone else think the field of PT will improve in the years to come? Now that a DPT is needed and there will be many baby boomer's needing help, won't there also be salary increases to help justify the cost of school plus the added education. Also do you think it will be more respected and better understood down the line? Some people see it just as a massage therapist or advanced gym teacher lol.
  9. Solis


    Dec 11, 2011
    I think if you ONLY look at the fact that the baby boomers population are becoming old, then one can easily say DPT is more in demand and hence higher salary. I think that's true for most jobs in the health industry.

    However, there are other facts to consider. If there are also just as much of an increase in qualified PT candidates each year, then there won't be as much salary increase as much as you would have originally thought.

    Since I'm just a student, I have no idea what the trend is like for how many new PT enters the field. We can all easily get facts and figures on the demand side (population, life expectancy, etc.) from comprehensive government backed research, but it is difficult to get a good guestimation on how many new PT are being graduated. Even though the government's job outlook page said PT is expected to grow faster than average, they only seem to have been looking at the demand side of the equation with very few research on the supply side.

    Has anyone stumble upon good sources of how many new PT are being graduated and entering the field?

    I only see sketchy sources that doesn't really provide good backup to the number of PT entering the field. I suppose you can get a total # of school that offers the program and give a reasonable average # of people graduated each class, but it seems that each school has a pretty large variance in graduating class size.
  10. jesspt

    jesspt 7+ Year Member

    Jan 31, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    All of whom will end up on Medicare, further stressing the healthcare system, and likely continuing to decrease our reimbursement. Just looking at population demographics gives a very inaccurate picture of the outlook for PT.
  11. Litlwarrior08

    Litlwarrior08 2+ Year Member

    May 23, 2011
    No one has a crystal ball for any field...........so just make sure you really enjoy what you do.
  12. TheOx777

    TheOx777 Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    I tend to agree with this notion. Quite frankly, I don't know if many people truly know where the profession is headed. I sure don't, and it has been a sense of consternation since I started school this summer. There seems to be a lack of evidence in a number of PT interventions, and it will be up to this generation of DPTs to change that. Insurance companies and medicare are tightening up on everything, thus PT has to step its game up, and I believe the DPT is a move in that direction. That said, I would be leery of any person/rhetoric that leads you to believe that the profession has things figured out....I guess that can be said about all professions though!

    On another note, salary and finances are relative. And "bringing home the bacon" for one person may mean a middle six figure salary while person B finds 50K sufficient. It's all relative!
  13. Solis


    Dec 11, 2011

    Very true. I don't have the insight to the implication of insurance companies tightening up and people being on medicare, but here's what I think about at least...

    PT provides a very real service that more and more people will need. PT are also not easy to become.

    I think those fact along makes me think it will provide sufficient income if you're not thinking you'll be rich and famous.

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