If you’re in the market for a new job or want to change careers, The American Physical Therapy Association reports that “physical therapist” has been ranked as the No. 3 Best Health Care Job.

According to a news release, U.S. News & World Report examined jobs with the largest number of projected openings from 2021 to 2031, as determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the top 100 jobs were ranked. In 2023, 40% of the best jobs are in health care, with physical therapy coming in at number three. It ranked No. 6 in the overall top 100.

Best of the Best

“Recognition as the third-best healthcare job in the U.S. is a testament to the vital role the physical therapy profession plays in helping people maximize their quality of life,” said APTA President Roger Herr, PT, MPA in the news release. “Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are building a community that advances the profession of physical therapy to improve the health of society. By demonstrating the value in our work, we have become an integral part of health care teams today and are at the forefront of addressing the health care challenges of the future.”

As our country continues to navigate its emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no denying that healthcare providers continue to face significant challenges, with physical therapists and physical therapist assistants being no exception. Even though reimbursement cuts from public and private payers continue, education costs and loan debt have risen, and administrative burdens and burnout are a reality, physical therapy professionals continue to be in high demand. In 2021 APTA launched a campaign to recruit the next generation of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.

“Since its inception, APTA’s PT Moves Me Ambassador Program has been incredibly successful,” said APTA Director of Centralized Application Services and Student Recruitment Ryan Bannister in the news release. “Through national recruitment efforts that share our members’ passion for their profession and the patients whose lives they transform, we have been able to engage and inspire children of all ages at a local level.”

Longterm Profession

Regardless of the challenges the profession faces, Herr adds, “APTA will continue to advocate on behalf of the physical therapy profession to improve the long-term sustainability of the profession by leading efforts to modernize health care laws and regulations strengthening provider health and well-being.”

This examination and high ranking of the physical therapy profession by U.S. News & World Report also coincides with consumer support of the profession. Data from a 2021 APTA Consumer Research Report shows a deepening knowledge of physical therapy. Among the findings, 92% of people who have received physical therapy rated their experience as either very (63%) or somewhat (29%) beneficial.


The American Physical Therapy Association represents more than 100,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and physical therapy students nationwide. Visit apta.org to learn more.

Source: American Physical Therapy Association