You probably already know that occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) work with patients under the direction of occupational therapists (OTs) to help patients achieve more out of life. Patients of all ages work with OTAs – from the elderly needing help with the pains of growing old to the very young needing help with childhood disabilities. While you may have already known the basic job outline of an OTA, here are a few facts you may not know.
Fact 1: You can make more than $70,000 a year.
You shouldn’t expect to make this much right out of school. In fact, the median salary for an OTA is around $55,000 a year according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However the top 10% of occupational therapy assistants make around $74,000 a year. So there is room for growth in this job market in terms of salary.
Fact 2: As an OTA, you have the opportunity to work in many different settings.
About 26% of OTAs work in a hospital setting, which is where you might expect to see one. However, here are some other settings where many OTs and OTAs work. This data is from http://www.aota.org/.
21% – Schools
19% – Nursing Homes
9% – Outpatient Clinics
6% – Home Health
Fact 3: The job market for occupational therapy assistants is growing quickly – quicker than the national average.
Healthcare jobs are on the rise across the industry. OTA jobs are no exception! From the year 2012 to the year 2020, the job market is expected to grow 41%. That is much higher than the national average.
Fact 4: You can become an OTA quickly.
May schools offer OTA programs that are accelerated and can be completed quickly. For example, here at St. Catherine University, we offer a 16-month OTA program. A majority of the coursework is done online so you can do it at your convenience. There is also a hands on lab component and a fieldwork component that is completed in either the Northern Virginia area, the Northern California area near Sacramento, or the Southern California area near Los Angeles or San Diego.
Fact 5: You can make a difference and keep your sanity while doing it.
OTAs work directly with patients to help them overcome obstacles in their lives. You get the satisfaction of knowing you are directly helping people on a daily basis. Occupational therapists were also listed as one of the top 10 least stressful jobs by Career Cast. You can make a difference in people’s lives as an OTA. However, you can do it without losing your own sanity. It’s a win-win for everyone.
If you are interested in becoming an OTA there is no better time then now to get started. Feel free to contact us to learn more and get all your questions answered about becoming at OTA.