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Utah Physical Therapy Jobs

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A career in Physical Therapy involves improving a patient's overall mobility and well-being. People who work in Physical Therapy assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury. Physical therapists can work in a wide variety of settings. Hospitals, acute care settings, and outpatient rehabilitation clinics are the most common settings. In these settings physical therapists are able to see a variety of patients from geriatric individuals to infants.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Physical Therapy field can expect faster-than-average job growth. The BLS states that Physical Therapy employment will grow nationwide by 2 percent between 2006 and 2016, which is faster than the average job growth rate expected for all U.S. jobs. The growing elderly population in the U.S. and its associated health risks will contribute to an increasing demand for physical therapy services. Improved life-saving techniques will also increase the need for therapists who are qualified to work with trauma victims. The BLS also predicts that an increased interest in the promotion of health will create employment opportunities for those in physical therapy. Many employers are interested in educating their employees on the benefits of safe work habits and may hire physical therapists or related health care providers for this reason. Therapists with specialized training may have exceptionally strong job prospects.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services also reports that this occupation is expected to experience a much faster than average employment growth with a high volume of annual job openings. Business expansion, as opposed to the need for replacements, will provide the majority of job openings in the coming decade. Job opportunities should be especially good in settings that primarily treat the elderly. The Utah Department of Workforce Services gives the occupation a statewide five star rating. An occupation with a five star rating has the strongest employment outlook and high wages.

Employment projections for the period of 2008-2018 indicate an annual 4.8 percent increase in state employment in the occupation versus a 3 percent increase nationwide. The state of Utah currently employs 1,727 physical therapists statewide with a projected need of 2,559 by 2018. This reflects an opening of 100 jobs in the field annually for the state of Utah.

Physical Therapists in Utah are regulated by The Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. The state requires that students obtain a bachelor's or master's degree in physical therapy from a nationally accredited school. The education and training received from a bachelor's degree is sufficient to obtain licensure as a physical therapist; however, a master's degree is highly recommended and will most likely be needed to practice. Through continuing education, physical therapists in the state must complete at least 40 credit hours, that pertain to physical therapy, every two years and 6 of the credit hours must pertain to ethics and law regarding physical therapy. Utah is an ideal state for the outdoor enthusiast, and is well known for its year-round outdoor and recreational activities among other attractions. With five national parks, Utah has the third most national parks of any state after Alaska and California. In addition, Utah features seven national monuments, two national recreation areas and six national forests.