OTA Career Outlook

If you are creative and enjoy helping people, you might find your career niche as a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA). The OTA career outlook is strong and full of opportunity. On its list of Best Health Care Support Jobs, U.S. News and World Report ranked the position of occupational therapy assistant No. 1 for 2023. The list weighs the job outlook, stress level, salary, and work-life balance of health care support positions in America.

OTA in group setting

To join the profession, you must have an associate degree from an accredited OTA program and pass the NBCOT® Exam for certification. St. Catherine University’s online OTA program can launch your career by providing the skills and experience needed to take the NBCOT exam and earn your OTA certification confidently.

We even developed an NBCOT Prep Coaching Program that helps prepare you to sit for the exam after graduation.

Let’s examine what made OTA stand out and win the top-rated spot.

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Through the St. Kate’s OTA Program, I get to do something that I know that I’m called to do. I’m going to get to be in a field that really is impactful in people’s lives and is foundational to helping people have a great quality of life.

Kristi Baker, Class of August 2021

High Demand Occupation

Occupational therapy is one of the top healthcare fields in the United States today, and the occupational therapy assistant (OTA) profession is in very high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates that employment for the profession will grow by 24% between 2022 and 2032. For reference, the BLS expects overall U.S. employment to grow by just 3% for the same period.

An OTA career can also provide a comfortable salary. You can find the average OTA salary and hourly wage data as of May 2022 via the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Opportunities for Advancement

The OTA career offers many opportunities for you to advance and grow. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) also offers certification programs for post-graduate OTAs in the following specialty areas:

  • Driving and community mobility
  • Environmental modification
  • Feeding, eating and swallowing
  • Low vision
  • School system
woman helping a child with a walker

Diverse Profession

A highly diverse profession, occupational therapy assistants work full-time in various practice settings, from hospitals to schools to nursing homes. While most OTAs work in a hospital or nursing home setting, more and more (one-third) are turning to private practice, and 10% choose in-home settings.

There are also various practice areas you can work in as an OTA, such as children and youth, productive aging, and health and wellness, to name a few. Occupational therapy is a diverse and expanding field where you can find the specialty and setting that best suits your strengths.

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The Ultimate Guide to Occupational Therapy and OTA

Get answers to your questions about the field, about the OTA career path, and about St. Catherine University’s Online OTA program.

book with cover title: Occupational Therapy Assistant Explained