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One used to direct parks construction for a county government in Virginia. Another sold real estate in Florida for 20 years. A third was a longtime musician in Philadelphia. Others forged careers in marketing, web and graphic design, and the automotive field. Another spent 15 years as a stay-at-home parent in the Chicago area.

Feature Second Career

Each returned to school as an older student to pursue a second career that seemed to hit a sweet spot—fulfilling, stimulating, and varied, yet educationally affordable and achievable within a compact timeframe. All of that, and in a "hot jobs" field, to boot, that shows no sign of cooling down anytime soon.

These individuals, like many of their colleagues across the country, sought a new role in the workforce as a physical therapist assistant (PTA). All of them—ranging in age from 38 to 55 when they entered PTA school—relish their current role in the workforce and say they've had no second thoughts about their second career.

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  1. Number of Licensed PTAs as of December 31, 2015. http://www.apta.org/WorkForceData/LicensedPTAsByState/2015/. Accessed April 14, 2017.
  2. Data USA: Physical Therapist Assistants & Aides. https://datausa.io/profile/soc/312020/. Accessed April 14, 2017.
  3. American Physical Therapy Association. Physical Therapist Assistant Member Demographic Profile 2009. http://www.apta.org/WorkforceData/DemographicProfile/PTAMember/. Accessed April 14, 2017.
  4. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016. Physical Therapist Assistants. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes312021.htm. Accessed April 14, 2017.
  5. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides: Job Outlook. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapist-assistants-and-aides.htm. Accessed April 14, 2017.
  6. Costhelper.com. Physical Therapist Assistant Training Cost. http://education.costhelper.com/physical-therapist-assistant-training.html. Accessed April 14, 2017.

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