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The Physical Therapy Profession Remains in High Demand
Date:10/8/2007

DETROIT, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Michigan residents looking for a change in career may wish to consider becoming a physical therapist due to the profession's high ranking in demand and job satisfaction, the Michigan Physical Therapy Association said today.

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth identified physical therapists as having one of the top 50 jobs in the state. More than 5,000 physical therapists and more than 3,000 physical therapist assistants are employed in various settings throughout Michigan. Demand for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants is expected to grow by 27 percent through 2012 with an expected shortage of 2,300 physical therapists in the state by 2015.

"Physical therapists are experts in movement and function and we serve people of all ages in our communities," said Michigan Physical Therapy Association President Peter Loubert, PT, PhD. "Our profession can best be described as 'the science of healing and the art of caring' and what we truly enjoy is to see our patients take those all important steps, whether big or small, towards independence."

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) reports a national unemployment rate for physical therapists of less than 1 percent. The US Department of Labor expects that physical therapist and physical therapist assistant employment will grow much faster than the national average over the next seven years as baby boomers continue to age.

The April 15, 2007 issue of Parade Magazine reported that physical therapists were found to have one of the six "Hottest Jobs for College Graduates." According to a worker satisfaction study by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, physical therapists ranked second only to clergy in both job satisfaction and general happiness. In this study, more than 75 percent of the therapists surveyed reported being very satisfied with their job, compared to the average of 30-40 percent from most other professions.

According to a 2006, Wall Street Journal's CareerJournal.com survey of U.S. adults, physical therapists were determined to have one of the "eight best careers" based on intellectual stimulation, strong job security, level of control and freedom, and extensive direct contact with customers/clients.

There may be education assistance for individuals interested in employment as a physical therapist assistant. The state of Michigan has begun a job transition program called No Worker Left Behind (NWLB) http://www.michigan.gov/nwlb. Gov. Jennifer Granholm proposed the No Worker Left Behind program in her 2007 State of the State address as part of her plan to transform Michigan's economy. Depending on the program, NWLB will provide up to two years of tuition assistance at any Michigan community college, university, or other approved training program for qualifying participants. Physical therapist assistant education is one of the job training areas eligible for the NWLB program.

October is also National Physical Therapy month. Across the country physical therapy professionals will be serving their community through education, service, and community relations. Physical therapists are health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, physical therapists work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

Physical therapists must earn a graduate degree from an accredited physical therapist education program before taking the national licensure examination that allows them to practice. Physical therapist assistants provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs must complete a 2-year associate's degree from an accredited PTA education program.

The Michigan Physical Therapy Association (MPTA), a component of the APTA, is an organization dedicated to the service of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in Michigan. Its goal is to foster advancements in practice, education and research to better serve patients within the state. For more information, visit http://www.mpta.com.

The American Physical Therapy Association (http://www.apta.org) is a national organization representing more than 71,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students nationwide. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapist education, practice and research. Consumers can access physical therapy news and information at http://www.apta.org/consumer.


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SOURCE Michigan Physical Therapy Association
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