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Toni Talks about PT Today

There Aren't As Many PT Jobs As Before

Published October 14, 2015 12:14 PM by Toni Patt

I just got back from a teaching trip in two larger cities near Lake Erie. I was lucky in that I was able to eat lunch with some of the attendees. Both times the discussion eventually turned to concerns about our profession. They had a different perspective than I do.

In that area, new graduates don't hold out for more money. They accept jobs that pay less, which I was told drives down salaries across the board. Because facilities can hire new graduates for less, they don't want to pay too much more for experience. Anyone who wants to work has to accept what is offered to have a job. I can see that trend spreading nationwide.

Both groups independently brought up the belief there are fewer jobs for PTs overall. They felt the job market is shrinking. I agree. I'm seeing the same thing here. Everyone agrees facilities are using less staff to accomplish the same work. But I think there are also fewer patients.

Censuses are down everywhere in Houston. I was told the same is true in the cities where I was teaching. I'm not sure what the problem is. There are fewer patients in facilities, but is that because there are fewer people requiring services or because payers are limiting stays, or because we have an overabundance of facilities compared to demand? I don't know.

Meanwhile, the supply of PTs is ever-growing. I don't think it is as bad for PTAs. When I check the employment ads, there are still more opportunities for PTAs than PTs. But then you can hire two PTAs for the cost of one PT with experience.

I won't even lay this at the feet of the APTA, although they bear some responsibility. Employment opportunities follow the economy and that is reimbursement-based. There are plenty of people who want PT but aren't able to get it. What is sad it that no one seems to care.

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Hi Toni, the same thing goes for Utah. The APTA just listed Utah as the #1 state to practice in for the third year in a row. Funny how the APTA's own jobsite has no jobs listed for Utah. Yeah, a nice place to live, IF you can get a job. Meanwhile, we have 2 PT schools pumping out graduates for 0 jobs. Oversaturation is a huge problem, and no employer seems to be willing to pay for experience - so ageism also is a problem (why employers want to hire millennials over experience is another question). I have no idea what the answer is but, at my age it is difficult to make another career change when I am still paying off student loans from this career change. = frustration

Shelly Smith, PT, DPT November 3, 2015 2:56 PM
Salt Lake City UT

Toni, interesting blog.  The same goes for PTAs' here in Upstate, NY.  NO jobs for PTAs'.  I have 10 years exp., have been a per-diem for the last 4+.  Cannot find a perm. job.  In fact, even my per-diem hours have been way down.  And I am hearing from other areas of the country that jobs for PTAs are very hard to come by.  I think the PTA field if way over saturated!  Don't know what the answer is but I am currently finishing my BS degree in Business to go back to where I came from..the corp. world!!

Doreen, , per-diem PTA Multiple October 14, 2015 1:26 PM
Rochester NY

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