We study the national-level supply and demand projections for allied health professionals.
We use HRSA’s Health Workforce Simulation Model (PDF - 2 MB) to do this.
How does this data help?
The data helps policymakers and other stakeholders make decisions about allied health workforce education, training, and delivery of care.
What do we study about the allied health workforce?
- The current number of allied health professionals in the U.S.
- The projected number of allied health professionals
- Current use of allied health services
- The projected changes in demand
How do we determine future supply and demand?
We apply current patterns of health care use and delivery to future population projections of various demographics.
What are our key findings?
In 2016, we estimate that there were approximately:
- 57,470 chiropractors and 18,160 podiatrists
- 60,630 Community Health Workers (CHW) in demand
- 262,340 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics
- 166,730 medical and clinical laboratory technologists
- 104,290 occupational therapists and 237,550 physical therapists
- 42,680 optometrists and 61,640 opticians
- 302,600 pharmacists in the workforce
- 78,970 registered dieticians
- 111,210 respiratory therapists
By 2030, we project these increases in supply of allied health workers:
- 26% increase to 72,330 chiropractors and 5% increase to 19,010 podiatrists
- 45% increase to 150,810 occupational therapists and 27% increase to 302,360 physical therapists
- 19% increase to 50,870 optometrists and a 12% increase to 68,860 opticians
- 36% increase to 410,490 pharmacists
- 24% increase to 97,940 registered dieticians
- 50% increase to 166,930 respiratory therapists
By 2030, we project the following demand for allied health workers:
- 7% growth in demand for chiropractors (to 61,540) and 28% increase in demand of podiatrists (to 23,290)
- 11% increase in demand for CHWs (to 67,560)
- 17% increase in demand for EMTs and paramedics (to 305,770)
- 19% increase in demand for clinical laboratory technologists (to 198,440)
- 22% increase in demand for occupational therapists (to 127,260) and 26% increase in demand for physical therapists (to 298,820)
- 9% increase in demand for optometrists (to 46,730) and a 9% increase in demand for opticians (to 67,290)
- 19% increase in demand for pharmacists (to 359,770)
- 21% increase in demand for registered dieticians (to 95,540)
- 30% increase in demand for respiratory therapists (to 144,100)
Past Allied Health Workforce Reports
Chiropractors and Podiatrists
Community Health Workers
Dieticians and Nutritionists
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists
Occupational and Physical Therapists
Optometrists and Opticians
Health Workforce Projections: Pharmacists, 2016-2030 (PDF - 248 KB)
Health Workforce Projections: Psychologists, 2012-2025 (PDF - 95 KB)