Want a career that brings together innovative healthcare skills, a talent for being creative, deep-down compassion for people, and a competitive salary? No, it’s not nursing – that’s four years or more of college. No, it’s not working in a doctor’s office – you want to be involved directly in client care. Instead, look into the two-year’s time it takes to earn the occupational therapy assistant degree.
Here’s why: In two years of college, you can join the occupational therapy assistant (OTA) profession, which will expand by more than 30% from 2019 to 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Why the Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree?
The emphasis in occupational therapy is to focus immediately and actively on clients’ functional and social needs. What could be more rewarding than that?
Occupational therapy has been a part of healthcare since its founding in 1917. The profession uses a combination of whole-health and instructive therapies to help those with disabilities, injuries, and life-altering conditions to live their best possible lives.
You see, the “occupation” in occupational therapy health refers to doing the everyday things people want to do: get dressed by themselves, reach up into a kitchen cabinet, moving up and down stairs safely, remembering a “to do” schedule, and interacting socially with others. Occupational therapy assistants – OTAs – help their clients achieve their goals.
Recent research by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has shown that occupational therapies have a significant role in improving healthcare outcomes for those with developmental, emotional, mental, and physical conditions. Occupational therapy is effective in numerous client scenarios, from young children to today’s growing senior adult population.
(This Q&A blog provides a solid overview of the profession and why earning the occupational therapy assistant degree is more important than ever.)
OTAs Have a Wide Variety of Skills
Occupational therapy assistants offer teaching and encouragement in many ways:
How to Know Becoming an OTA is for You
Now that you realize the essential role occupational therapy assistants have in healthcare, how do you know earning the occupational therapy assistant degree is the right choice for you?
Here’s an assessment checklist you can use to make that decision:
An Exciting Outlook for the Occupational Therapy Assistant Career
Statistics and job rankings tell a compelling story why the timing is right to earn an occupational therapy assistant degree.
U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 2021:
The Top Health Care Support Jobs of 2021: Occupational Therapy Assistant is #12.
Business Insider, Aug. 2019:
The 25 Highest-paying Jobs with an Associate Degree: Occupational Therapy Assistant is #16.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sept. 2020:
Fastest Growing Occupations: Occupational Therapy Assistant is #4.
While many OTAs work in occupational therapy practices, OTAs also are employed by schools and school districts, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing and assisted living centers, and home healthcare organizations.
The 2-Year Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree at Cleveland University-Kansas City
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, within the Kansas City metro. Our two-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree consists of 15 core courses and includes the four-to-five months of fieldwork experience.
Other elements of the CUKC degree program include:
Our program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). After graduation, our students are eligible for national certification to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) – the preferred standard of OTA employers.
To learn more about our occupational therapy assistant degree, request information here, and get an overview of the OTA career with this free eBook: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.