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It was predicted that 71 percent of staffing and recruiting firms would experience growth in 2015. On top of that, 91 percent of firms were expected to see at least 10% growth in 2016, according to Bullhorn, a software company for the staffing industry.

Did all of these predictions come true? Miraculously for the most part, yes. After all of this steady growth in the industry for the past few years and a new President-elect means our predictions may not be as spot-on as years past.

One thing we do know to be true though, things are still looking up for therapists whether the stars align perfectly. Physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, and occupational therapists will see steady growth in the number of jobs and a slight increase in pay, if all goes as predicted.

We don’t want to lead you to believe we hold the crystal ball to the future but we have been in the industry for quite some time. Here are our predictions for 2017. We think it will be just as great as 2016.

Old fortune teller is strange with her crystal ball

Growth in the Industry

You probably know the aging population in the U.S. quite well. These folks needing care in growing numbers combined with an estimated growth in annual healthcare spend from 2014-2018 of 4.9 percent means industry growth. Projected growth is higher for physical therapists than most occupations, and growing steadily for occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists.   

Employment of PTs is projected to grow at a much faster rate than the average growth rate for all occupations. That adds up to a projected growth of 36% between 2014 and 2024.

Employment of OTs is expected increase by 27% until 2024. OTs become a more critical part of our healthcare system as baby boomers age and attempt to keep active lifestyles.

Employment of SLPs will increase by 21% up until 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As insurance companies begin to accept Speech-Language pathology in its modern form, such as Teletherapy, the industry will continue to grow.

More SLPs Will Find Jobs Right Out of College

It’s true, your professor lied to you. With our new grad program, we’re helping SLPs right out of college get the clinical experience they need to go out into the therapy world on their own. When you travel with us that world can be all over the U.S. We’re one of the only staffing companies in the nation where speech-language pathologists can travel while completing clinical fellowship requirements. 

More Therapists Will Take Assignments with Staffing Companies

As more OT, PT, and SLPs are needed throughout the U.S., the travel therapy industry grows too. More therapists will opt to travel as they realize not only how rewarding travel can be but how good it can be for their pocketbooks. The lower cost of living in smaller towns and mid-size cities can make for a higher overall take-home pay. Advanced Travel Therapy’s relationships with facilities have placed more therapists in facilities and schools than ever before. Check out all of the travel therapy jobs currently available in many states.

Wages Will Keep Increasing Steadily But Location Will Still Play A Role

Factors such as cost of living, rate of reimbursement, and other benefits will affect salary just as they have in the past. For example, ASHA’s findings in 2015 for salary by population density was $73,833 in suburban areas, $75,000 in city/urban areas, and $78,266 in rural areas. Additionally, SLPs working in Western U.S. states made more than those in the South by nearly $13,000. Similar realities are projected for occupational therapists and physical therapists.

Organizations in the U.S. are planning to boost pay by around 3 percent on average—as they did in 2016, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. The increase will be steady without drastic increases. The best way to increase your salary? Education was cited as a major factor in increased salary by ASHA. Therapists with advanced degrees are more likely to work in administrative positions (e.g., directors or supervisors), thus often obtain higher salaries.

Want to make our predictions of more traveling healthcare providers, more SLPs working right out of college and increased pay? Contact us today by calling 1-800-330-7711 or apply now.