No one wants to take on a career where the pay isn’t great and the work isn’t personally satisfying. Before you “lock onto” a job idea because you think it’s the right move…take a deep breath. Now’s the time to explore three things about becoming an occupational therapy assistant (OTA): what you’ll do, where you’ll get to go, and the OTA salary itself.
OK, so you don’t want to wait for the details about OTA salary. Who could blame you? Making a competitive yearly salary has to be a big-time consideration, especially when you have – or want – a family or you want a professional career that’s respected and needed.
Here are three quick facts showing how OTAs are viewed in today’s healthcare world:
Are you unsure what occupational therapy is and what OTAs do in this unique healthcare role? You’re not alone, especially if you haven’t explored how the expanding use of occupational therapy gives people of all ages their best possible life.
To realize this goal, occupational therapy encompasses a whole-person approach to improving health and wellness. Occupational therapy is about finding individualized ways to help people struggling with emotional, developmental, cognitive, and sensory issues.
OTAs are directly involved in giving therapy to people, and seeing the progress makes this job exceptionally rewarding over one’s lifetime.
It’s very different than physical therapy assistants (PTA) and aides, who only focus on physical function. The differences are explained nicely in this blog post.
Knowing all that, you can see why the in-depth, multifaceted knowledge OTAs receive in an Associate of Applied Science (two-year) degree program shows up in the OTA salary range and in the multitude of places OTAs apply their talents and abilities:
If you can imagine yourself as an OTA, you might be curious to see where you can find the best possible workplace for you.
Got a love for the ocean? The west coast and east coast states are showing some of the highest annual OTA salaries: a median wage of $62,530 and more for OTAs in the field today, depending on geographic location, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meanwhile, the top-paying states for OTAs with experience are Texas, New Jersey, Nevada, and California, averaging just over $69,800 per employee.
And if you’re thinking city life fits you best, top-tier population destinations include the New York-New Jersey corridor, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston/The Woodlands area, Phoenix/Mesa, Ariz., and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale in Florida.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas.
The two-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree Program at CUKC includes 15 core courses along with the four-to-five months of required fieldwork experience. For better learning outcomes, the coursework is presented in eight-week segments.
At CUKC, the OTA program offers class starts in spring and fall each year.
Other features of the CUKC program:
Look, we know OTA salary is only part of loving the job you choose. That’s why you’ll want to learn more by getting this free ebook: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.