No one wants to miss an outstanding opportunity, and that’s a great reason to learn all you can about occupational therapy careers. Now, both an occupational therapist (OT) and an occupational therapy assistant (OTA) help people of all ages meet their life challenges, ranging from developmental to emotional difficulties. Many of those who are exploring OT options (83%) choose to earn a two-year OTA degree.
Occupational therapy aims to enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest. That translates into helping clients find ways to live more comfortably with injury, illness, or disability. Occupational therapy practitioners consider environment (context) and current and future abilities needed for desired tasks.
OTAs, in coordination with their OT partner, work directly with clients. While occupational therapists take the lead in developing a treatment plan, OTAs spend most of their time carrying out and adapting therapy activities to meet client goals.
Occupational therapy can help with restricted or delayed advancement, and that’s where the skills and knowledge of occupational therapists (OTs) and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) can offer help and hope
In this practice area, expertise for those who earn the OTA degree can take short- and long-term forms, such as
Rehabilitation is at the core of occupational therapy. It addresses the needs of those recovering from injuries or illnesses or needing to adapt to life-altering conditions, such as cognitive impairment or loss of a limb.
Rehabilitation plans often go beyond physical healing and include activities that help individuals return to psychological and social well-being. An OTA’s involvement may include ways a client’s family can help or coordinate care from other healthcare areas.
Today’s senior adult population is increasingly seeking a more active and independent lifestyle, yet they still face aging-related health problems. More than 65% of people over age 80 in the U.S have five to nine health ailments.
Physical impairments often affect the capacity to continue living independently. With an OTA degree, you’ll know the questions to ask when helping assess a client’s ability to do what they wish to do. Can the client move from sitting to standing without losing balance? Can the client navigate a stairway without losing his or her balance? Are there ways to eliminate fall risks?
Occupational therapy practitioners are often involved in caring for those with drug or alcohol issues or are dealing with various levels of mood or mental disorders. OTs and OTAs can help their clients employ countering strategies and find helpful community resources.
For clients desiring to return to the jobs they love, OTs and OTAs can work with employers to modify or adapt work situations to meet client concerns and employer expectations.
Ellen S. changed careers and graduated with her OTA degree in 2021. She saw how occupational therapy filled a gap in healthcare services. The deep concern she had for others, plus her talents in teaching and encouragement, were an excellent match for the OTA profession.
“I’d been working with people with special needs all of my life,” Ellen says.”I just needed to take it to another level. The OTA degree was it.”
OTAs love what they do because they like seeing the difference they make in people’s lives. A 2021 report by U.S. News & World Report says those earning an OTA degree are in one the “best health care support jobs” available.
One reason is its rapidly expanding future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sees OTA job growth increasing more than 30% from 2020 to 2030.
Because of this demand, a newly graduated OTA can earn a salary between $45,000 and $47,000 (plus benefits), according to Salary.com. The average salary for all OTAs in the workforce is between $55,800 and $61,900.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, chiropractic and health science university in Overland Park, Kansas, the largest suburb in the Kansas City region.
CUKC offers an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program that’s fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
Coursework is presented in sequential 8-week modules year-round, allowing students to complete the degree in as few as two years. Our OTA degree program includes the four-to-five months of required fieldwork experience.
Other features of the CUKC program:
Connect with an admissions advisor today to learn more about our two-year OTA degree. You’ll also want to download our free eBook: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.