OK, sitting at a desk most of the day doesn’t meet your life goals…so how about an action-oriented healthcare-focused career…one where your knowledge and skills are helping people succeed in reaching their goals? That’s what’s in store when you earn a 2-year OTA degree and become a certified occupational therapy assistant (OTA).
The practice of occupational therapy means looking at the activities and routines someone wants to do but can’t do due to accidents, injuries, post-surgical complications, or developmental delays.
Unfortunately, clients facing these types of struggles sometimes don’t often get the one-on-one help they need to succeed. Fortunately, though, that’s precisely the role of occupational therapy professionals.
In occupational therapy, a supervising occupational therapist creates the treatment plans for clients, through testing, measurement, and observation, often in collaboration with their OTA partner. It’s the OTA who takes the plan from theory to action. OTAs carry out the therapy plan and report on the client’s progress.
Becoming an occupational therapy assistant is an excellent fit for those who want to spend most of their time with clients and help others make as much progress as possible toward their life goals.
That “progress” can take many forms:
As you can imagine, the therapy solutions OTAs carry out are highly individualized, ranging from specific stretching and exercise instruction to the introduction of adaptive tools, such as reach extenders, magnification devices, text-to-speech synthesizers, or electronic pointing devices.
Ask any OTA who’s been thanked by a client, parent, or caregiving for their expertise, and you’ll know why the 2-year OTA degree is the fast-track answer to a satisfying career. OTAs witness the strength and courage of their clients who strive to find independence in accomplishing activities.
Using their empathy, support, and coaching talents, OTAs find much personal satisfaction in their role. That satisfaction level is reflected in the OTA profession being ranked in the top tier of healthcare support jobs by U.S. News & World Report.
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), 80% of OTAs earned a 2-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant.
The A.A.S. in OTA degree program encompasses classwork, collaborative group projects, practice in simulated living labs, and question-and-answer sessions with instructors. Often, students have access to a skills laboratory, and top OTA programs will bring in guest instructors on special topics.
As early as the second semester, OTA students begin learning hands-on techniques to help clients achieve their best possible future. At the end of the program, students advance to Level I and Level II fieldwork. There, OTA students first observe how OTAs help their clients in real-world scenarios. Later, guided by trained OTA evaluators, they begin applying the skills and knowledge learned in various OTA program-affiliated organizations.
Students decide to earn an OTA degree because they like seeing others succeed, and the profession offers students a launch point to career success.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics sees OTA job growth increasing 30% from 2020 to 2030. New OTA graduates typically earn $45-$47,000, depending on where they want to work.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, chiropractic and health sciences university in Overland Park, Kansas.
CUKC offers an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program that will prepare you to enter the workforce in as little as two years. Our OTA courses are delivered in sequential 8-week modules year-round.
The degree program includes four to five months of required fieldwork experience that meets the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) standards. Our curriculum prepares you for the national exam to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).
Other features of the CUKC degree program:
Request information about our OTA degree program today. You’ll also want to explore the profession’s opportunities with this free eBook: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.