UPDATED OCT. 15, 2021
The triple winner of careers in the healthcare field may be the pivotal role of an occupational therapy assistant (OTA). Those who are becoming an OTA find themselves with skills that are in demand, working day-to-day with people of all ages and backgrounds, and entering a fulfilling healthcare career in as little as two years, rather than four.
Ah, you’re still reading, so becoming an OTA has you thinking, “Yes, I’m ready for a career like that.” To help you figure out if an OTA career is a match for you, check out these OTA questions and answers.
Q. How do I know if becoming an OTA is a good career fit?
A. If you love interacting with people and the feeling you get when you help others accomplish their goals, an occupational therapy assistant program is worth investigating.
Successful OTAs have certain qualities, including
Q. What’s the job description for an OTA?
A. Think of an occupational therapy assistant as someone who helps get clients from whatever challenges they are facing to whatever goals they want to achieve.
Those challenges can be developmental, caused by an injury, or be part of a disorder or condition. An OTA is part coach, part teacher, and full-time encourager.
An occupational therapy assistant program teaches OTA students how to:
Q. What do OTAs like about their profession?
A. In a survey asking “What’s it like to be an OTA” on Quora.com, the reasons for becoming an OTA included the day-to-day variety and satisfaction of seeing people achieve personal goals. Some example quotes:
For more about the benefits of becoming an OTA, check out this blog.
Q. Are OTA classes hard?
A. This is a question nearly every new OTA student asks, and it’s a good one. The first thing to know is college is different for everybody, so the answer depends on your background and desire to achieve.
You’ll have prerequisite classes, called general education requirements, at first. These classes cover the basics, such as English, communications, intermediate algebra, sociology, anatomy, and physiology. You’ll also get to know healthcare terminology.
There’s much to learn about becoming an OTA after you get into an occupational therapy assistant program, but here’s what solid OTA programs provide:
Q. What else should I know about the A.A.S. in Occupational Therapy Assistant?
A. The majority of OTAs today choose the two-year OTA degree program because of how fast it gets them into the workforce with all the skills and knowledge they need to make a difference in their community.
The variety of places OTAs can work provides career flexibility. You’ll find OTAs in
The salaries for OTAs are very competitive and can be higher than some four-year degree programs. A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics says demand for OTAs is nearly three times the average for all occupations: 36% growth from 2021-2030.
In addition, OTAs are again a top-15 health care support job for 2021, according to the annual U.S. News & World Report survey.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university in suburban Kansas City.
The occupational therapy assistant program at CUKC results in an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant. In addition to the OTA coursework, you’ll practice OTA skills in our on-campus simulated living quarters lab. You’ll also have four to five months of required fieldwork experience that prepares you to join the OTA workforce.
Features of the CUKC occupational therapy assistant program:
Learn more about becoming an OTA by requesting information, and get the free eBook: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.