first job

Finding your first job as a new Physical or Occupational Therapist may be challenging for the following reasons:

  • Competition:
    Large numbers of therapists graduate at the same times of year, flooding the job market; in addition therapist
    new graduates have to compete for a limited number of entry-level positions. Many physical, occupational, and speech therapist job openings require a certain number of years of experience or recruit for a specialty position that requires advanced training.
  • Inexperience increases indecision.

However, with the US Department of Labor predicting a 19- 36% increase in demand for therapists by 2022, finding a job as a new graduate is not really that hard. The trick is finding the right job – a job that is a great fit for your location, skills, interests, and lifestyle preferences. Finding the right job requires making difficult decisions. Using a weighted decision making chart can help you clarify the factors that you care about the most. As you consider your options, keep in mind the following tips for choosing your first job as a physical or occupational therapist.

An ideal first job for a new therapist graduate should have some of these components:

  • Supportive Coworkers.  A new grad therapist needs other team members who have time to answer       questions.
  • Variety.   A setting with rotations or multiple settings enables you to keep your options open by gaining experience in as many areas as possible. Once you know where you want to focus, you can pursue a specialized setting.
  • Access to Continuing Education.   Therapy covers such a huge body of knowledge that that new grads will soon find out what skills and research they are lacking. Having access to continuing education via stipends or in-house seminars gives new graduates a means to pursue in depth learning in an area where they want to become an expert.
  • Potential for Promotion. One or two years is all you need to gain the experience necessary for more challenging positions. If your current staff position doesn’t have a challenge that you want to tackle, start looking! One of the blessings of your profession is the multitude of career options.
READ  Physical Therapist Salaries - Where Do You Rank?

For example, the following hot jobs for new therapists meet the above criteria:

PT – Inpatient Physical Therapist – Stockton, CA –#10212
Independent, Non Profit Facility with excellent reputation in the community – Perm

PT – Outpatient Physical Therapist – Salina, CA – #10229
Therapist Owned Clinic near Monterey Bay and San Francisco – Travel or Perm

PT – Pediatric Outpatient Physical Therapist – Soldotna, AK – #10021
Therapist Owned Pediatric Out Patient Clinic – Travel or Direct Hire

PT – Outpatient Physical Therapist – Coos Bay, OR – #9454
Mixed Setting – mostly outpatient, with some inpatient. Direct Hire

PTA – Outpatient Physical Therapist Assistant – New Haven, CT – #10220
Well Respected Therapists Owned Clinic. Direct Hire.

OT – School Occupational Therapist – Muskegon, MI – #8669
Flexible – up to 40 Hours. Contract for 2015 -2016 School Year

OT – Inpatient/Outpatient Occupational Therapist – Stockton, CA – #10213
Non Profit Facility with excellent reputation in the community – 13 Week Travel

Although physical and occupational therapist jobs are plentiful, preparing a resume and interviewing may be time consuming and nerve wracking! For more in depth help finding your first job, our New Grad Therapist Job Search Guide  will help you research all your options.

PT Solutions specializes in connecting therapists with employers.  Contact us today for in person therapy career advice, or spend some time browsing other available job options. 











New Grads: Hunting for your first job as a PT or OT? Check out these tips! was last modified: by



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