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I have chosen to go to school for Physical Therapy. I am wanting to know is there anyone else who has chosen this path, and if so was it hard obtaining a job once you graduated?

I am going back to school after 12 years of being out. I have heard good and bad things about this career choice, and I want to endure that I am not going to be graduating in a field where I will not be able to utalize my degree.
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Katelyn’s Answer

I’ve been a PT for 5 years and have also never had a hard time finding a job. With the aging population, we have fairly good job security. However, that doesn’t mean that your first job out of school will be your ideal work hours, setting, etc. Sometimes therapists take what they can get (hourly/PRN work, part time, or a setting that they’re less passionate about) until their “dream job” opens up.

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Lori’s Answer

I have been a Physical Therapist for 20+ years. I have never had difficulty finding a job. There are opportunities for Physical Therapists to work full-time, part-time or as needed, in hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, in home-care and many other environments. You can specialize to work in an area like neurology, orthopedics, women’s health, cardio-pulmonary, sports medicine, pediatric or geriatric therapy. PT has been a great career for me as a mom, too. I’ve been able to easily transition in and out of the workforce and different work environments as my kids have grown. I have also been able to move with my family and be employed /licensed in 3 different states. Salaries can vary greatly depending upon where you plan to work. Currently, I work in an area that happens to be among the lowest paying in the country for PTs. It’s a bit of a disappointment making less now than I did 10 years ago in Florida or South Carolina. Despite that, I still make decent money in the scheme of things, and I have high job satisfaction. My collegues in the south tend to make more than I do. The American Physical Therapy Association (apta.org) will be your best source for information about educational requirements, programs, salaries and job prospects.

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Linda’s Answer

I have been a physical therapist for over 30 years and have NEVER had a difficult time getting a job. There are many different areas to work in so also easy to change jobs if you would like to: outpatient, inpatient, home health, skilled nursing facilities and home health to name a few.

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Karla’s Answer

I am a fairly new PT and have been working for 10 months. I had no difficulty finding A job as a physical therapist and had several offers right away. However, I am very interested in neuro rehabilitation, and for that specific field, I have had a harder time here in Fayetteville, NC. However, I have been able to work and learn a lot in the acute care, and outpatient orthopedic field.

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Joan’s Answer

Once graduating, there are plenty of jobs available for PT. This is a great profession, but has become more stressful as therapists are being pushed to see more patients and reach a high productivity level (sometimes 90%). It has not become a doctorate program and if you have to rely on school loans will end up with some horrific debt. Sometimes you can find companies out of school who will assist with repayment to some degree but they may be in less desirable locations.

You may also want to investigate Physician’s Assistant programs, or if you have any nursing background, a Nurse Practitioner program. Chiropractic is also a good field.

What does your heart tell you?

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KYLE’s Answer

I have been a PT for 5+ years and it was the best decision. I was out of school for 10 years and decided to change careers. PT school takes up a lot of time and you become a full time student again. I have not had any difficulty finding a job. There are many different settings that you can go into. I would not change anything.

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Clifford’s Answer

I have been practicing for just over 10 years now. I think that there is no shortage of job opportunities. The field is vast in its areas of treatment and your employment will be based upon your areas of interest. I have met many therapists over the years that have evolved their area of focus over time. We can start out working in a skilled nursing facility and then go into an outpatient orthopedic site. I met a therapist that "retired" from out-patient orthopedic work and did pediatric work 3x/wk in a local school. The possibilities are only limited by you yourself.

I'd also like to mention that in my graduating class there were 3 classmates that had pivoted careers or had come back to school after being stay at home parents. Neither of them has regretted their choices.

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