Historically, health care careers have been associated almost exclusively with doctors and nurses. However, occupations in health care are as numerous as our health concerns, and if you are interested in a career helping others, there are many options to consider. For example, you could have a tremendous impact on the lives of others as an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA). Sounds great, right? But what does an OTA do?
An OTA works closely with an occupational therapist to assist individuals who struggle with daily living activities due to illness, disability or injury. Therapy may involve:
The therapy solutions they provide help their patients regain their former level of self-sufficiency and independence, and ultimately, improve their quality of life. They do this in a variety of ways, everything from stretching and exercise to the introduction of tools that allow a patient to complete actions more efficiently.
OTAs Are Focused on Patient Care
Frequently, an occupational therapy assistant works with older adults to help them explore ways to live more productively with debilitating conditions like Parkinson’s disease. Someone who has suffered a stroke or lives with arthritis may need the services of an OTA. Those who are trying to regain their work skills after an accident may also need their services, along with those who have developmental disabilities such as autism. Each of these situations and many others could require the help of an occupational therapy assistant.
Career Growth, Good Salary
Because the need is great, those seeking an OTA career can expect a robust job market for their skills. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates job growth for OTAs at 29 percent through 2026, which is much faster than the average. This job growth is due primarily to aging baby boomers, the increasing elderly population and the sharp increase in the number of individuals with developmental disorders.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual OTA salary is $59,010 as of May 2016. If you are looking for a growing career opportunity that blends equal parts compassion and commitment, this may be the field for you.
Become an OTA at CUKC
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) has been educating health care professionals for 95 years, and now offers the Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant (A.A.S.) degree. You can unlock the door to your career options and break into an exciting health care career. If you like to help people, you could experience the satisfaction of making improvements in the lives of others every day as an occupational therapy assistant.
Contact the CUKC Office of Admissions today to learn more about an OTA career. It just might be your chance to be the difference in health care!