You see a healthcare occupation as a logical place to use your caring and encouraging instincts, but the idea of dealing with blood, invasive tests, and irregular hours is not how you want to spend your day. Not to worry…there are options, like the expanding role of occupational therapy assistants (OTAs). OTAs get to focus on the activities of daily living their clients wish to do but can’t without specialized assistance.
It’s All About Helping Others Live Life to the Fullest
It’s common to think of “occupational therapy” as only helping with job skills, but it’s much more than that.
Occupational therapy practitioners help people overcome or manage developmental delays, find strategies for sensory processing difficulties, carry out healing therapies for emotional or mental conditions, and teach clients new ways to adapt to sudden or lifelong physical changes.
In short, OTAs make activities of daily living possible: preparing a meal, typing an email, managing a schedule, or enjoying the benefits of social interaction.
Right there, you can see why many people like yourself are discovering – and enjoying – the rewards and opportunities of becoming an occupational therapy assistant. And once you’ve started exploring this wide-open and rewarding career option, it’ll dawn on you. “Becoming an OTA is the right choice for me!”
Real-life Examples: What OTAs Do in Their Profession
Newly employed OTA Sophie tells of helping an adult client with memory problems. “Yesterday, I was playing Solitaire with a client because he loves card games,” Sophie says. “They’re improving cognitive skills by counting forward and backward and remembering sequences of patterns and colors.”
Ellen, who decided to switch careers and entered the OTA profession, likes the creativity she can use to administer therapy activities. One of her clients is working to regain physical strength, balance, and range of motion after an injury.
Learning that he loves to golf, Ellen adapted the therapy plan to something familiar. “He loves being able to stand and putt the ball,” she says, noting the activity fulfills his therapy goals. “It is a lot of fun for him and also scientific.”
4 Advantages of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Profession
You’ll Interact With Clients of All Ages
Helping people in so many ways and seeing their clients make progress is personally satisfying.
An occupational therapy assistant may work one-on-one with a senior adult facing a debilitating disease like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, a person seeking to regain work skills after an accident, or a school-age child diagnosed with autism.
You’ll Complete Your Degree in Two Years
An associate of applied science (A.A.S.) degree is the choice of more than 80% of OTAs. In an associate degree OTA program, the combination of class time, experience in labs and group learning, and time working in the field is set up in a two-year format.
The goal of this concentrated degree program is to provide the education necessary to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Curious about what an OTA education covers? This blog discusses what to expect.
You’ll Have a Variety of Work Settings
Because their education teaches wide-ranging skills for diverse types and ages of clients, OTAs find positions in
You’ll Earn a Competitive Salary in Two Years
After completing the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree, an OTA’s salary compares favorably to some occupations requiring a four-year bachelor’s degree. An occupational therapy assistant’s salary ranges from $48-$54,000, according to Salary.com.
Meanwhile, a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA) earns a salary that’s typically higher than other healthcare positions not requiring a four-year degree. Examples: Medical Assistant: $34,729; Medical Records Technician: $35,900; Certified Nursing Assistant: $29,660.
Your Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree at CUKC
CUKC offers an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant most students complete in two years. Our two-year program delivers classes in sequential 8-week modules year-round.
The OTA degree program includes the four-to-five months of required fieldwork experience, which ensures mastery of essential OTA skills and knowledge.
Other features of this people-focused degree in healthcare:
Request information today to learn about becoming an OTA. For a comprehensive look at the OTA profession, download this free eBook: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.