When people ask, “how much does an occupational therapy assistant make,” they’re often surprised at the documented $56,000 per year median salary. But the OTA salary isn’t necessarily the best part of the job – it’s the personal satisfaction of helping others relearn everyday activities, find adaptive ways to care for themselves independently, or return to the work and activities they love.
It’s pretty smart to be looking into health care as a profession because of the rate it’s expanding year after year, and the OTA role is right at the center of this growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics sees a 26 percent growth for the profession through 2026. Even more impressive, the role of OTA is again a top-10 health care support job for 2018, according to the US News and World Report annual survey.
To earn the OTA salary, it’s essential to:
Achieving the OTA Salary
Acceptance into an OTA program first requires 24 credit hours of “general education” coursework. “Gen eds” cover intermediate algebra, English, psychology, health care terminology, anatomy, and physiology. (Don’t worry if you’re not quite there because serious health-care centered universities will have a way to earn these courses either online or in a combination online/classroom format.)
At the same time, the OTA salary rewards those who have deep listening skills and can communicate instructions effectively to people of all cultures and ages. For the hard work dictated by many therapy plans, the ability to gain a patient’s trust from the start is crucial.
Not sure you measure up? Remember this: “soft skills,” such as resourcefulness, conflict resolution, and mid-problem critical thinking can improve through expert instruction. The art of establishing therapeutic rapport can be a challenge, for sure, and not all OTA programs teach it.
This kind of comprehensive coursework, integrated with valuable fieldwork experiences, makes the difference for employers when it comes down to evaluating job candidates.
OTAs Find Employment Everywhere
It’s easy to think of an OTA working in a nursing or medical care facility, but the healing scope for OTAs is very wide. OTAs are in demand in hospitals, physician offices, and nursing or assisted-care centers. Even specialists like audiologists and speech therapists sometimes call on OTAs to assist in a treatment plan.
Also, there’s a lot of physical work that goes into earning an OTA salary – it’s not a job for those who just want to work behind a desk. Sure, there’s administrative work to be done, but most of the day will be interacting with patients and executing the plan designed by the occupational therapy team: the patient’s physician, the supervising OT and the OTA.
An OTA’s tasks vary daily, and a typical shift may include:
Getting into a strong OTA program will get you on track to the career you want and the OTA salary that comes with it.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at CUKC
The best next step to an occupational therapy assistant degree is to choose a two-year accelerated degree program such as the A.A.S. in Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC).
The OTA program consists of 16 core courses and the 16 weeks of fieldwork education OTA employers seek. Concentrated eight-week courses immerse you into your subjects so you’re on track to earn the OTA salary you’ve been waiting for.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), is a nonprofit, private, health care focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas, a Kansas City metro suburb. CUKC admits students into the OTA program 3 times a year, giving you the option to begin your studies when you’re ready.
To learn more, request more information today!