According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2010 median pay was $76,310 per year or $36.69 per hour. There was a total of 198,600 jobs.
The projected rate of change in employment for the 10-year time frame between 2010-20 is 39%, much higher than the average growth rate for all occupations, due in large part to the aging baby boomers who are staying active later in life than earlier generations.
There are currently seven specific areas of clinical specializations for physical therapist. These areas are cardiovascular and pulmonary, clinical electrophysiology, geriatric, neurology, orthopedic, pediatric, and sports. Current advantages of being a clinical specialist include new jobs opportunities, increased responsibility, increase in prestige in clinical and community settings, and promotion opportunities for individuals that successfully complete the specialization process.
Eligibility for all physical therapists applying for specialization includes: A current license in physical therapy in the US and a requirement of 2,000 hours direct patient care in the specialty area over the last 10 years with 25% of which must have occurred within the last 3 years. Some of the specialty areas may require more criteria such as CPR competency and emergency care.
For more information go to the Specialist Certification page at the APTA website.