When you have a calling for helping people, being an occupational therapy assistant (OTA) is a smart choice. What’s also a good call is locating the right two-year OTA degree program. OTAs in the workforce say you want an OTA program that teaches you technical knowledge and integrates classes and instructions in what today’s employers call the “soft skills.”
What Soft Skills Are, and Why They’re Essential
It’s no secret that some college grads seem to have an advantage when it comes to getting hired. Often it comes down to a person’s soft skills – everything from how to express oneself clearly to how to work well with other team members.
Research from the National Soft Skills Association says that 85% of job success comes from having well-developed abilities in areas beyond technical knowledge. A smartly designed OTA program enhances and expands soft skills.
So, what does the term soft skills cover? Here’s a list for OTA students to have.
Love to Help People? Discover an OTA Degree Program
OTAs are healthcare professionals who love interacting with people and devote themselves to finding customized, creative solutions that give people the independence and skills needed for daily living. OTAs are filling a gap in the healthcare world by addressing the needs of those with mental, emotional, developmental, and physical challenges.
Occupational therapy assistant degree programs want students to have specific “people-first” qualities:
How to Choose the Right 2-year OTA Degree Program
More than 80% of OTAs working today choose the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant.
Why is that? In these two-year programs, you’ll first complete all prerequisite (preliminary) coursework and then advance into professional OTA coursework. That encompasses not only class sessions but also group learning sessions, hearing working OTAs discuss their approaches, and performing “hands-on” activities that accelerate skills mastery.
Finally, you’ll have the four-to-five months of guided fieldwork that meets the training standards set by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). AOTA is the national professional association of today’s occupational therapy practitioners.
The OTA Degree Leads to a Fulfilling Career
If you like the idea of a two-year degree that can quickly get you into the workforce, the OTA degree is right up there. In fact, occupational therapy assistants rank as the 4th fastest-growing job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. OTAs also make the top-20 list of “best healthcare support jobs,” compiled yearly by U.S. News and World Report.
The multi-dimensional skill set required for an occupational therapy career is reflected in the OT profession’s growth overall, and the OTA’s expanding role and pay scale.
Starting salaries for new OTAs average about $46,000 per year, and experienced OTAs have a median yearly salary of $59,000, according to the data site Salary.com. Best of all, the demand for occupational therapy assistants is projected to grow by 35% from 2019 to 2029.
Learn About Two-year OTA Program at CUKC
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university located in suburban Kansas City. CUKC offers a 2-year degree in occupational therapy assistant: the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S).
In addition to the professional coursework, you’ll practice your OTA skill set in our on-campus simulated living quarters lab. Finally, you’ll do the four-to-five months of required fieldwork experience that gets you ready to help people of all ages reach their full potential.
Features of the CUKC OTA program:
Ready to learn more about a two-year OTA degree? Click here to receive full degree details. Bonus: request a free OTA career eBook: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.