If you’ve had enough of jobs that don’t make you eager to get to work in the morning, you or don’t have the income you thought you’d have by now, take a look becoming an Occupational Therapy Assistant. Not only is an OTA program accomplished in just two years, it also lands you right in the center of the expanding world of allied health care.
An OTA degree is just one of many allied health degrees that now make up more than 60 percent of jobs in the health care industry. Some roles in allied health are highly technical and emphasize routine tasks. Some, like occupational therapy assistants, offer much more:
Even more impressive, the role of OTA is again a top-10 health care support job, according to the US News and World Report annual survey.
The A.A.S. in Occupational Therapy Assistant
The right two-year OTA program results in an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in two years while preparing you for the national licensure exam of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The NBCOT certification opens the door to the state-issued license you’ll need to be employed as a certified occupational therapy assistant.
The national certification is why occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) often earn twice as much as other health care support jobs like home health aides. A comprehensive two-year OTA program that satisfies the Level I and II Fieldwork requirements can lead to a first-year salary of $45,000, nearly double that of a CNA. Compensation potential also goes up. The median salary for experienced OTAs is $59,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Secure Future for OTAs
The last thing you want in a career search is to start down a path that won’t provide the long-term job security you want. So what proof is there to make allied health degrees like those of an OTA a solid choice?
Today’s aging populations are living longer and demanding a high quality of live. From 2012 to 2050, those aged 65 and over will have doubled to 83.7 million people. In an OTA program, you’re on the way to becoming a medical professional who will help people relearn daily tasks and recover from debilitating injuries.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics sees a 26 percent growth for OTAs through 2026, and you could work in a hospital, health clinic, rehabilitation center, school district, or a large company.
Deciding on an Allied Health Degree
Everyone knows that making a change from a set routine is difficult. However, sometimes taking a step forward is a decision that leads directly to a better life. Ask yourself these questions:
If the answer to any one of these questions is “no,” choosing an OTA program to get that career boost is worth investigating. OTAs are the health care heroes that former patients love to tell their friends about.
CUKC: An Allied Health Degree via the OTA program
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, health-care focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas. It’s your source for two, top-10allied health degrees: The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant and the A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology.
In the OTA program at CUKC, focused, eight-week courses immerse you in your class subjects, provide hands-on instruction, and allow for completion of the OTA degree in as little as two years. Each class size is limited to 15 students to allow for personalized instruction.
Both two-year programs accept new students in spring, summer, and fall.