Use your caring and encouragement talents to become an OTA – an occupational therapy assistant. OTAs are healthcare support professionals who help people facing complex challenges to live life to the fullest. Explore occupational therapy assistant school and learn how OTAs become significant contributors to the health and wellness of their communities.
The occupational therapy profession takes a whole-person perspective on health. Occupational therapy practitioners meet clients where they are, helping them overcome all types of conditions:
Those earning an OTA degree are enthusiastic about helping others reach their maximum potential. What does that look like in the work world of the OTA?
The pathway to a healthier community takes many forms. When students attend occupational therapy assistant school, they learn that OTA involvement in health and wellness activities can cover many different areas:
Valerie S. earned her OTA degree in 2022. Here’s how she reflects on her career decision.
“I didn’t know what an OT was before looking at career options,” Valerie says. “I’d been in home health for a long time. One of my clients asked me if I knew what OT was… because I’d be good at it. I looked at what an OTA does, and it seemed like a good fit for me. It’s a hands-on way of working with people one-on-one.”
OTAs have a friendly demeanor, are naturally compassionate, and are excellent one-to-one communicators. OTAs have a compelling desire to help others succeed and are creative in adapting therapies to individual needs.
Becoming an OTGA takes success in preliminary coursework (typically about 24 credit hours), covering subjects like English composition and psychology, plus basic anatomy, physiology, math, and an introduction to healthcare terminology. Students then move on to advanced coursework, labs, and experiences devoted to OTA skills and knowledge.
Here are examples of community programs where OTA knowledge is helpful:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in September 2022 puts the job growth for OTAs at 25% between 2021 and 2031. Healthcare is one of the 10 fastest-growing job markets.
The demand for OTAs is growing due to an aging population and the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions that require therapy services, such as diabetes and arthritis.
In addition, early OT involvement helps children and young adults overcome developmental disorders. Other studies have shown that OT is effective in lowering hospital readmission rates and useful in assisted care facilities.
Because of these factors, OTAs are consistently in the top 25 of “best health care support jobs” published yearly by US News and World Report.
Starting salaries for newly graduated OTAs range from $47,000 to $49,000 in the Midwest. The average wage range for OTAs working today is between $53,762 and $65,564, according to Salary.com.
OTA graduates can work in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, and assisted care facilities.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, chiropractic and health sciences university in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburban city within the Kansas City region. Our mission is to educate and develop leaders in healthcare and health promotion.
CUKC offers a 2-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS degree) in Occupational Therapy Assistant. Our program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
CUKC presents its coursework in sequential 8-week modules year-round. Our program includes the four-to-five months of required fieldwork experience – a unique apply-what-you’ve-learned aspect of attending occupational therapy assistant school.
Other features of the CUKC program:
Request information from an admissions advisor today to learn more about our OTA degree program. You’ll also appreciate our free eBook: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.