UPDATED APRIL 28, 2020
There are good reasons why a career as an occupational therapy assistant (OTA) is so popular these days. More people need assistance in recovering from injuries and disorders than ever before. The current emphasis on making occupational therapy assistant programs more available is proof that the demand is real.
The Bureau of Labor Statics predicts 31% growth in the field between through at least 2028, far faster than the national average for most jobs – even those that are also in the healthcare sector.
It’s easy to find information about becoming an OTA. Still, it’s a bit harder to tell the better occupational therapy assistant schools from the ones that aren’t up to speed in the demands of this profession.
Ask these questions to help you choose the right occupational therapy assistant school for you:
1. Is this a comprehensive, convenient program?
You’ll hear some occupational therapy assistant schools say their OTA program is mostly online. While online degree programs are convenient, it not’s the best arrangement for becoming an occupational therapy assistant. It’s a physical, people-focused work environment. Getting the technical skills needed requires hundreds of hours of fieldwork because OTAs will use different procedures and practices for the diverse ages of the audience they serve.
Some programs do a combination of online coursework and periodic on-campus work, but this can make becoming proficient a lot harder than it should be.
2. Is this a health-focused environment?
You may find occupational therapy assistant programs being offered by a university or school that has little or no experience in the healthcare field.
The ideal environment for an OTA education is one in which you’re taught by those with experience in the OT field, the academic coursework matches employer expectations, and there’s an overall commitment to advancing the healthcare industry through many healthcare-centered degrees.
3. Is this OTA program ready for the real world?
Remember that the goal of occupational therapy assistant schools is to achieve real-world employment for its students. The wise choice is to visit the campus or talk to an advisor, to make sure laboratory and training areas emulate true working world conditions.
Fieldwork experience is crucial to OTA certification; check into relationships in effect with area hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, and medical offices. Employers love to see time in internships and experience with patients.
The OTA Degree Program at Cleveland University-Kansas City
If you like one-on-one contact with people and want to be a part of the healthcare field, an occupational therapy assistant program is for you.
The A.A.S. Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) consists of 15 core courses, which include approximately 4-5 months of fieldwork education. Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of the Kansas City metro.
Focused 8-week courses inegrate the class subjects. The two-year CUKC degree prepares students for national certification and professional occupational therapy assistant job opportunities.
Contact the CUKC Office of Admissions today to learn more about an OTA career and get the free eBook: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.