If you’re attracted to a career centered on helping people, look into becoming an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA). The need for talented health care practitioners with OTA degrees has grown dramatically – up more than 65 percent since 2002. By earning an OTA degree, you’re focusing on the ABCs: helping people adapt to challenging disorders, build on their abilities, and create an improved future for them and their families.
What You’ll Do in an OTA Career
With an OTA degree, you’re on your way to becoming a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) – an accomplished professional who supports their healthcare teammate, the occupational therapist (OT). Together, the team’s expertise provides clients with help and hope: improved health, elevated self-esteem, and increased independence.
Having muscular dystrophy or suffering a traumatic injury in an auto accident isn’t a choice people make, yet finding ways to adapt to what they’re facing is. Your OTA career will enable you to present numerous practices and techniques that allow your clients to adapt more efficiently to their environment.
Imagine the job satisfaction you’ll have when you
Finding ways to build on someone’s current abilities is a key concept you’ll learn on the way to your OTA degree. The role of OTAs is to look at clients’ current capacity for doing something, then helping them go beyond what they think is doable.
One example of building on a foundational ability might be a stroke victim who is recovering well overall, but is left with a limited range of motion one of her arms. After the team’s evaluation, the OTA shows the person how to use a new one-handed technique that allows her to get dressed by herself.
One aspect of an OTA career many practicing OTAs really appreciate is the ability to apply their creative talent in their daily client interactions.
Occupational therapy is about finding practical, effective ways for people struggling with emotional, developmental, cognitive and sensory issues to lead the life they want. Every issue clients have deserves a specialized, highly personalized solution. Your OTA degree program will encourage and reward out-of-the-box thinking because often those unconventional therapy ideas help deliver the progress desired.
An OTA Career is Satisfying and Rewarding
The specialized nature of an OTA’s training and knowledge – covering problem-solving, relationship-building and knowing how to be creative in treatment activities – rewards those seeking an OTA degree. In fact, a two-year OTA degree often results in an annual salary equal to many professions taking four years or more.
The typical yearly salary for experienced OTAs tops $59,300, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s as much as 40 percent more than other health care support positions.
There’s also plenty of variety in an OTA career. Look at the different environments in which OTAs work:
While the field of occupational therapy is becoming more known to the public, its effectiveness is getting more attention from the health care industry. A 2016 study by Johns Hopkins University concluded that occupational therapy was the only hospital spending category where additional spending showed a statistically valid impact on lowering hospital readmission rates.
So, while the growth of the OTA profession is impressive, its future looks even brighter. The BLS sees the need for OTAs growing at a double-digit percentage at least through 2026.
Becoming an OTA at Cleveland University-Kansas City
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private university located in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of 190,000 residents within the metro Kansas City area. CUKC is an ideal place earn your OTA degree.
CUKC has a well-planned, comprehensive OTA program leading to the Associate of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree. In as little as two years, you’re prepared for national certification and employment as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).
Each class size is limited in size to ensure personalized instruction, and there are three class start dates every year: spring, summer, or fall.
Learn more about this exciting career field by downloading this FREE ebook: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career, or request more information today!