UPDATED APRIL 29, 2020
Ask Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTA) why they love their work, and you’re likely to see a huge smile light up their faces. So what makes OTAs smile like they’ve got the best job in the world? Here are 7 reasons.
1. They get to be creative.
Occupational Therapy Assistants love working to find creative solutions to implement their client’s treatment plans. Every day is different. This means OTAs must be open-minded to understand their clients’ strengths and challenges as well as the environment in which the activities need to be performed. While there are plenty of tools, adaptations, and resources available to them, it’s up to the OTA to determine how to take the lead in helping their clients achieve their goals.
2. They bring out the best in people.
Occupational Therapy Assistants love working to see their clients find success in performing daily living activities. OTAs get to witness the strength and courage of their clients who strive to find independence in accomplishing activities, such as feeding, dressing, and preparing a meal. OTAs work with the whole person to understand their clients’ needs, abilities, and situations so that they may encourage and empower them. In doing these things with empathy and support, OTAs find they see the best of the people they serve.
3. Their work is life-changing.
Occupational Therapy Assistants love working to get to know their clients as individuals. It’s this interaction with people that truly makes being an OTA life-changing for the OTA and their clients. Improving an individual’s ability to participate in the things that give their life meaning and freedom can’t be under-estimated.
4. OTAs are active.
Occupational Therapy Assistants love working on their feet throughout the day with their clients. Their work provides them with several opportunities to get out from behind the desk and interact with other people. Depending on their client’s needs, an OTA may be showing someone adaptive ways to reach an object on a shelf, tie shoes, or prepare a meal.
5. They’re in high demand.
Occupational Therapy Assistants love working in one of the fastest growing health care careers. According to US News, Occupational Therapy Assistants are in the top-25 of health care support jobs. Because the need for OTAs is so high, the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that employment in this field will grow 31% from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.
6. OTAs can choose their work environment.
Occupational Therapy Assistants love working where they and their clients thrive. Clients of all backgrounds and abilities may need occupational therapy due to injury, illness, or disability. OTAs may choose to work in a hospital, senior living facility, school, or an occupational therapist office. Some OTAs enjoy working mostly with children in school settings; others prefer working with adults in nursing homes, while other OTAs enjoy working with a wide range of clients at a hospital.
7. They earn good money.
Occupational Therapy Assistants love working in a field that pays well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that career outlook for he profession is 31% through 2028. OTA compensation averages above $53,000, according to Salary.com. This compensation is attainable after earning a two-year college degree. Some universities, like Cleveland University-Kansas City, even offer an accelerated, year-round program. Accelerated programs allow OTA students to earn an associate of applied science degree and get into the profession they’re passionate about without delay.
Consider becoming an OTA at CUKC
If you’re ready to love your job and begin a career that makes you smile, consider becoming an OTA. In as little as two years, you could earn your A.A.S. degree, enter the profession, and have a fulfilling career empowering others to live their lives fully.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of the Kansas City metro. CUKC offers a two-year Associate of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree.
Click here to receive a free OTA careers eBook: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.