Jennifer Gamboa is a physical therapist and owner at Body Dynamics Inc. in Arlington, Va.
Top 50 rank: 7
What they do: Restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion to people who have been sidelined by injury, illness, or disease.
Why it's great: Unlike many health-care professionals, physical therapists generally see great progress in their patients. "I don't just treat the symptoms--I give people the tools to get better," says Jennifer Gamboa, an orthopedic physical therapist in Arlington, Va. Plus, there's no overnight or shift work.
Medical advances that allow a growing number of people with injuries and disabilities to survive are spurring demand, says Marc Goldstein, senior director of research at the American Physical Therapists Association. And hey, baby boomers' knees aren't getting any younger: An aging population means more chronic conditions that need physical therapy treatment.
Drawbacks: The impact of health reform on the profession is a wild card. Can be physically demanding.
Pre-reqs: A master's degree, plus certification and state licensing. Many employers prefer a doctor of physical therapy degree.
Do Physical Therapists have great jobs, or what?
Physical Therapist stats
|Job title||Best Jobs rank|
|Telecommunications Network Engineer||30|
|Personal Financial Advisor||N.A.|