According to a study by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), between 2012 and 2025 the supply of occupational therapists and physical therapists is projected to grow by 46 and 33 percent, respectively, while demand is estimated to grow by 20 percent for occupational therapists and 23 percent for physical therapists over the same period. We note that long-term supply forecasts are better thought of as a gauge of current trajectory rather than as factual numbers which are “set in stone.” Thus, a reasonable interpretation of the study is that given current market dynamics, the US appears to be in relatively good shape with regard to the long-term supply of physical and occupational therapists.
One limiting factor of the study is that it does not account for other factors that might influence demand, such as increasing recognition of the needs of disabled Americans, including veterans. Another limitation is that it is a national projection and does not report on regional imbalances, which can exist in spite of a national surplus.
The full HHS report on occupational therapist and physical therapist workforce projections and associated data tables are available at the following link.