One of the first things to check into for any health science degree is how well it translates into employer demand. There is a degree option that gets a lot of attention: an occupational therapy assistant – an OTA. Today, OTAs are needed in school districts, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, senior care and assisted living facilities, and in the home.
Why Are OTAs So Needed?
You probably know someone who’s been helped by an OTA – you didn’t realize it. Occupational therapy assistants are the ones carrying out the one-to-one activities and exercises that allow people of all ages to recover faster from injuries, re-learn daily living tasks, and adapt to life-altering changes.
One of the drivers for the OTA health science degree is the success of occupational therapy techniques and methods in delivering a better quality of life for clients. Occupational therapy – perhaps best defined as performing tasks that occupy daily living – has proven effective within the healthcare landscape.
In an occupational therapy assistant degree program, students learn how to help those who face short- and long-term challenges:
High Application of Skills = Multiple Employment Options
In an independent study by health policy researchers looking at three major health conditions, the increased use of occupational therapy delivered a statistically significant association with lower readmission rates. In recognizing the value of adding occupational therapy practitioners to a patient’s healthcare team, expect more hospitals and medical centers to call for more OTA involvement.
Those with an occupational therapy assistant degree are important to schools because of the many types of services their skills and knowledge can offer:
Rehabilitation Centers/Physical Therapy Clinics
During rehabilitation, clients often see changes in their physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities. These changes affect their ability to do daily tasks that once were simple, drive to work or school, or be as active as someone prefers to be.
An OTA version of a health science degree lets you make an impact on a client’s path to recovery. As an OTA, imagine helping someone
OTAs provide in-home visits that enable people to live productively and safely. By observing clients in their environment, OTAs can help evaluate in-home conditions and the client’s ability to do the daily tasks they want to do.
An OTA may be involved in recommending modifications to the home, changing the way he or she does a home task, or demonstrating the use of adaptive tools.
Demand + Satisfaction = Career Opportunity
Due to the rapid increase in the number of senior adults and longer life expectancies, the career outlook for those with an occupational therapy assistant degree is projected to increase by 31% from 2018 to 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The people-oriented nature of those with the OTA health science degree also delivers career satisfaction. For 2019, the U.S. News “Best Jobs” ranking ranked the OTA profession at #22 on its list of Best Health Care Support Jobs. According to Salary.com data, the average salary for an OTA is $58,517.
Complete it in 2 Years: Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university offering an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant.
Along with the class and lab-based knowledge and skill-building, our occupational therapy assistant degree helps build job confidence through supervised multiple-month fieldwork experiences. (You’ll find details about OTA fieldwork in this CUKC blog.)
The CUKC program prepares you for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Certification Examination to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).
Health science degrees offer great opportunities for the future. Now’s the time to see what that opportunity might look like with an OTA degree. Download this free career ebook today: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.