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15 Hottest Healthcare Fields of 2009

Georgia Price / AllHealthcare

Physical Therapy Assistants

The aging population and greater emphasis on non-pharmaceutical treatments has fueled the demand for physical therapy assistants. As physical therapists take on more clients, they hire more assistants to develop treatment plans, prepare equipment, and assist patients with basic therapy procedures.

Relevant Statistics

  • Projected Need: 27,000

    Projected Growth: 27+%

    Median Wage: $21/hr

Most states require that physical therapy assistants hold at least an associate degree. Licensure or registration is mandatory in a number of states. Many physical therapy assistants specialize in a an area such as geriatrics, pediatrics, or sports injuries. Increased knowledge in one area helps if a physical therapy assistants desire to go back to school to become a licensed physical therapist.

The impact of limits on Medicare reimbursement for services may affect the short-term job outlook for physical therapist assistants. However, long-term demand will continue to rise, as the number of individuals with disabilities or limited function grows.

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