Best High Paying Job In America Without Experience Increases Openings

Things Are Looking Up!


The job of Physical Therapist has been the most-advertised position in America from 2009 - 2010s, joined by Occupational and Speech Therapy jobs. After training, work experience is often not needed.

WPA in Michigan

A WPA work crew in Owosso MI.
A WPA work crew in Owosso MI. | Source

Not Your Grandparent's Depression

Announcements naming the Top Stimulus Package Jobs for high wages in the USA through 2012 were welcomed by Americans. Two of these positions will likely remain in high demand and even increase in demand through as far into the future as 2100.

When potential infrastructure and other projects were proposed and highlighted in the media, many Americans envisioned the WPA of The Great Depression and the manual labor jobs it created. Perhaps it was thought that the Stimulus Jobs would all be manual labor and short-term at best. However, neither is the case.

One omission I find is that the Number 1 Top Fastest Growing Job title in America in terms of new openings is Physical Therapist. crawls thousands of websites related to job search and job listings in order to provide employment and job listing trends across the USA. The result of this data shows that Physical Therapists are in highest demand nationwide (see graph below). The general upward motion of the line on the graph, moving from lower left to upper right indicates that increases from 2005 – 2009 and significant increases after 2009 and after January 2015.

Increase in PT demand continued to expand until in June 2009, Physical Therapist became the Number 1 Job Opening across America. It remained in the top three to five jobs through 2020. The highest concentration of openings being in Texas over all and most highly concentrated in three large cities, as shown on the map at the end of this article.

A number of Physical Therapy Assistant positions advertised require a high school diploma or GED certificate, with on-the-job training provide by employers.

Americans waited for the new Stimulus Package Jobs beginning in January of 2009, besieged by escalating layoffs, company closings, bank failures, mortgage death, and rising Unemployment rates to 9.4% on average by the end of May.

Two pieces of legislation set to combat all of this negative curve were the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the Making Home Affordable program. They created new jobs, some requiring advanced education beyond high school and some requiring none beyond the High School Diploma or GED – and no experience.

The complete list of new jobs would emerge 2009 – 2016 as Stimulus-funded projects got underway, designed to improve American economically and help the unemployed and underemployed to gain full-time employment and benefits more quickly in the US Economy.

Top Job: Physical Therapist: New Job Surge in 2015

[Springfield Technical Community College, Springfield MA.]
[Springfield Technical Community College, Springfield MA.]

The job of Physical Therapist stayed high on the list of most-advertised jobs in the USA into the 2010s. It has remained in the top five jobs posted, often joined by Occupational and Speech Therapists.

Top Stimulus Jobs

Physical Therapist

Median salaries, as reported by in conjunction with,, and Absolutely Healthcare range from $68,800 to $74,000 per year across America.

Physical Therapy Assistants [No experience, no degree]

Pt Assistants enjoy a range of median salaries from approximately $35,000 - $52,000 annually without a 4-year degree. While many US States require no training other than on-the-job, certificate programs are available (see links above).

Both of these occupations are increasingly very useful to the American population, because physical therapy is used to help many people return to an active lifestyle and to work: the injured, the developmentally disabled, Workers Compensation claimants, stroke victims, senior citizens. Not only this, but physical therapy can help some individuals maintain health and not decline in old age and during illnesses. Combined with Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy is instrumental in aiding Head Trauma and Stoke victims as well. The fact that a high proportion of wounded individuals return from wars such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars with limb injures rather than death, indicates a growing need for physical therapists and assistants to help rehabilitate these people. These healthcare professionals are very important in the effective use of artificial limbs.

Having worked in a Workers Compensation rehabilitation clinic for a few years, I appreciate the care and effective techniques that the physical therapists and assistants provided to their clients. Electronic limbs helped some individuals to return to a more active meaningful life after their injuries and the innovation of building individually designed arms and legs was miraculous. As medicine advances further along these lines, physical therapists and assistants will likely enjoy even higher demand through 2020 and to the end of the 21st Century.

PT and OT in Spaceflight and Return to Earth

Spacefarers must exercise many hours per day or at least sleep on a low-frequency vibrating pad in order to avoid calcium loss and bone destruction on lengthy journeys to and in space. Upon return to Earth, these long-term travelers to beyond must learn to function once again in high gravity and may require the services of some physical and occupational therapists and assistants in this regard. Considering commercial space travel for research, freight and recreation; and a NASA vision to return to the Moon and then venture to Mars, all beginning in 2020, these healthcare services may become much more important. Than we imagine today.


All US States regulate Physical Therapists practice with licensing that requires a 4-year accredited physical therapist education program and passing a National and State license test. Check your local state for more information.


PT Assistants need not be licensed in all US States, so check with your local licensing authority. States that mandate licensing require specific education, certifications, and examinations needed. Many PT Assistants are trained completely on-the-job, with no more than a high school diploma going in.

During Spring 2015, an average daily employment posting of 70,000+ Physical Therapy jobs existed in the United States. The average wage for a Physical Therapist in America is $88,000. An assistant makes an average of $69,000/year.

A Direct Impact of the Stimulus Package

It is reported that the 2009 Stimulus Package or ARRA extended additional medical and healthcare benefits to American unemployed workers receiving cash benefits under Unemployment Insurance (UI).

These benefits include payment for the services of physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants and increased the demand for these professionals. The trend continued after the Stimulus program expired.

Employment & Salary Trends in Physical Therapy & Assisting

In the last 10 days of Jun 2009, over 106,000 jobs were listed under Physcal Therapy on, which examines thousands of sites for jobs and trends.

Physical Therapist Assistants are needed in over 48,500 job openings consistently, largely located in St. Louis, Albuquerque, Jacksonville and North Fort Myers FL, Louisville and Lexington KY, Colorado Springs, and Memphis. Salaries have increased by a larger percentage for these assistants than for physical therapists (see graphs below).

Physical Therapists are required in over 121, 000 jobs most months, heavily concentrated in Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth, Texas, Albuquerque, Jacksonville and North Fort Myers, St. Louis, Louisville and Lexington, Memphis, Colorado Springs, and Chicago.

Texas is the Number One Top State for Physical Therapist jobs, but not for PT Assistants.

Employment and Salary Trends

A new job surge began January 2015.
A new job surge began January 2015. | Source
Salaries continued to rise after 2009.
Salaries continued to rise after 2009. | Source
Looking at the scale at the left on the graphs, we see that the salary of the PT Assistants higher than most of the jobs US listings (actually higher than 65% of them), more so  than the salary of the Physical Therapist.
Looking at the scale at the left on the graphs, we see that the salary of the PT Assistants higher than most of the jobs US listings (actually higher than 65% of them), more so than the salary of the Physical Therapist.
Wages were significantly lower from 2007 - 2009.
Wages were significantly lower from 2007 - 2009. | Source

Location - About 12% of Physical Therapy Jobs are in Texas

show route and directions
A markerHouston -
Houston, TX, USA
[get directions]

B markerSan Antonio -
San Antonio, TX, USA
[get directions]

C markerDallas -
Dallas, TX, USA
[get directions]

D markerAustin -
Austin, TX, USA
[get directions]

E markerFort Worth -
Fort Worth, TX, USA
[get directions]

Another 10% of Jobs are in California

show route and directions
A markerLos Angeles -
Los Angeles, CA, USA
[get directions]

B markerSan Diego -
San Diego, CA, USA
[get directions]

C markerSan Francisco -
San Francisco, CA, USA
[get directions]

D markerSacramento -
Sacramento, CA, USA
[get directions]

E markerFresno -
Fresno, CA, USA
[get directions]

© 2009 Patty Inglish

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Comments & Additions 15 comments

RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

Great! I hope some people are directed here to get some hope.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Thanks RGraf - I want to find out what other jobs are emerging under the Stimulus Package that can help people. I look every day for more info to post.

fcornelius profile image

fcornelius 7 years ago from Georgia

wow!!! great info.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Thanks very much. Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants can earn very good salaries and have rewarding careers helping people remain mobile as long as possible. They can be miracle workers in this way.

Erick Smart 7 years ago

Physical therapy and nursing are always two areas that are in need of people. This makes them excellent careers that will not falter when the economy does.

Woody Marx profile image

Woody Marx 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I wonder if there is any call for a 'metaphysical therapist'?

I'd be good at that! ;)

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

That sounds right these days, Woody!

charm_baker profile image

charm_baker 7 years ago from Los Angeles, California

Good job. I agree with the other comments. You can't go wrong in the medical field, especially with PT and Nursing. Thanks for sharing.

Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

Pretty cool Patty I'm looking into this. I just applied for two city positions (library aid and park/rec. assistant) I wonder what Wisconsin's phys therapy licensing requirements where did I put that Google.... aha!

Thanks again Patty, for looking out for us!

subhashlaxmin profile image

subhashlaxmin 6 years ago from Chhattisgarh India

good job

LifeDegrees 6 years ago

This is good info which will no doubt be of value to some. There are many people these days who are taking a short cut, I recently came across an informative youtube. I might prove interesting to the reader, bye now:

MikeNV profile image

MikeNV 5 years ago from Henderson, NV

Why would you want to go to an inexperienced Physical Therapist?

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Because, when my ankle was crushed/compound fractured, only the "inexperienced" PT right out of University helped me. The Tx's done/instructions given by older experienced PTs did 100% NO GOOD. I have no trace of diasbility from that ankle now.

The right combinaton of up-to-date education and experience is usually best.

LSU from Pitt 5 years ago

PT is great but lets not forget Occupational Therapy that is growing by leaps and bounds due to the number of individuals who desire to grow old in their own home instead of living in a nursing home!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

I'd say that's exactly right - really a lot of job postings for OT this past year.

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