According to the American Staffing Association, physical therapist positions are among the top 10 hardest to fill. Offering upwards of $45 per hour (median wages) and typically requiring a manageable four-year degree, the occupation seems like it should be an allure for jobseekers. Businesses certainly want to hire; there are currently 48,000 unique job postings for physical therapists nationwide and a crazy total of 275,000 ads floating around on the internet (a number which includes duplicates), telling us that the job is very important to employers. Yet despite all the advertisements, the average number of hires per month since 2011 has been a mere 9,750.
Employers having a particularly difficult time filling these positions might get ahead of the game by looking at the schools with the greatest supply of graduates in relevant programs. They might also consider the schools whose number of graduates is growing the fastest from year to year. Other factors could be where to recruit diverse or female candidates. We consider all four factors below in our analysis of the top schools for recruiting graduates ready to work as physical therapists.
1. Top schools for physical therapy graduates
Here is a list of schools producing the most gradates in the physical therapy/therapist (CIP 51.2308) postsecondary program.
- University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences had the most graduates in 2013—410 spread across four campuses: Miami; Austin; St. Augustine, Florida; and San Marcos, California. According to its website, University of St. Augustine’s mission is “the development of professional health care practitioners through innovative, individualized, and quality classroom, clinical, and distance education.”
- Utica College, a private college in Utica, New York, ranks second with 241 grads in 2013.
- A.T. Still University ranks third with 207 grads in 201. It is another postsecondary school focused on health care education with campuses in Kirksville, Missouri; and Mesa, Arizona.
2. Fastest growth
These schools have had the fastest growth in producing graduates from 2012 to 2013.
- Two of our usual suspects show up again: Ithaca College (at the top with 62) and Utica College (ranked fourth with 41).
- Ohio State University grew by 45 grads in one year.
- Midwestern University – Glendale (Arizona), The University of Texas Medical Branch, and Lynchburg College (Virginia) aren’t far behind.
3. Diverse graduates
More and more businesses are trying to recruit diverse candidates. Here are the schools with the greatest number ethnically diverse graduates.
- Utica College is at the top with 167 diverse grads in 2013.
- Dominican College, of Orangeburg, New York, had 110 diverse grads.
- A.T. Still University had 101.
4. Female graduates
These schools had the most female grads in 2013.
- University of St. Augustine had 248 female grads.
- A.T. Still also had a lot of female grads: 136.
- Utica College, Ithaca College, and Northwestern all graduated over 100 females.
For this analysis, we used a new college recruiting tool from EMSI and CareerBuilder that makes finding and filtering this data much easier. If you are interested in the tool or would to see the data for another occupation, please contact us.