Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Renee Mabey


Job Satisfaction


This study investigates University of North Dakota Department of Physical Therapy (UND PT) alumni job satisfaction. The field has evolved greatly with regards to educational requirements, autonomy of practice and utilization of skilled services. With these significant changes in the field, a look at job satisfaction of alumni was warranted.

Methods: The Job Descriptive Index (JDI), Job In General (JIG), and a demographic survey were sent out in 1994, 1999, and 2004 to all alumni of the University of North Dakota (UND) physical therapy program. Subjects were excluded if they were no longer practicing physical therapy, or if they were not employed as either a full-time or part-time therapist. Only the subjects from the 2004 survey were used when performing demographic comparisons.

Results: The results of the demographic comparisons from the 2004 surveys showed male PTs were more satisfied with promotion. They also indicated that American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) members were more satisfied in the areas of work, promotion, and JIG than non-members. Availability of direct access had no effect on PTs satisfaction in 2004. The private practice owners were more satisfied than clinical staff PTs in the areas of work, pay, promotion, and JIG. Finally, the 2004 surveys showed that outpatient facility employees and those in academia were more the most satisfied with work, promotion, and JIG.

Physical Therapists (PTs) were more satisfied with pay in 1994 than in 1999 or 2004. Satisfaction scores for promotion were the same in 1994 and 2004 and significantly · higher than in 1999. PTs were the most satisfied with supervision in 2004. There was no significant difference in satisfaction scores of the work subscale between the years 1999 and 2004. Finally, PTs were significantly more satisfied with the JIG in 2004 and the least in 1999.

Conclusion: In 2004 there were significant differences amongst demographic profiles. In addition, there were significant differences when comparing JDI and JIG scores across the years 1994, 1999, and 2004. Satisfaction with co-workers and work remained high across all three years. Also, the overall job satisfaction for physical therapists as represented by UND PT alumni and measured by the JIG, is above average when compared to national norms of other professions.