How Do You Become An Occupational Therapy Assistant

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How Do You Become An Occupational Therapy Assistant – There are many careers to choose from, so why should you train to become an occupational therapy assistant (OTA)? A better question would be “why not?”.

Occupational therapy professionals help people participate in meaningful activities and enjoy life to the fullest. As an occupational therapy assistant, you will make a difference in the lives of people of all ages. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities fully participate in academic and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing support to older adults who are experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

How Do You Become An Occupational Therapy Assistant

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that the job outlook for occupational therapy assistants will continue to improve. OTA jobs are projected to grow 27% or more through 2029.

How To Become An Occupational Therapy Assistant: A Physical Career Full Of Learning Opportunities

1. See or observe an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant. You can also schedule a phone or virtual interview with several of them in different settings. There are several occupational therapy groups on social media that are open to the public and willing to help potential students with their questions and observation sessions.

2. Decide between an associate or OTA degree – You can pursue an associate or degree to become an occupational therapy assistant. A bachelor’s degree will better prepare students to demonstrate in-depth knowledge in specific areas of practice. It will also help you meet the requirements to become an occupational therapist at the graduate level.

3. Login and complete the OTA program. You complete educational and clinical courses. In addition, you will be required to complete rotations at several institutions during your final semester in the program.

4. Pass the NBCOT COTA exam. To become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA), you will need to take and pass the National Board Examination. For more information, visit

How To Become An Occupational Therapy Assistant

5. Apply for a state license to practice. Each state has licensing requirements to maintain eligibility to provide services.

If you are looking for a challenging career and have a desire to learn, achieve and give your best to society, an occupational therapy assistant career is for you!

Take the next step by contacting a friendly member of our on-site team at 1-800-741-1844. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about occupational therapy and can tell you more about our Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program with a minor in Health Services Administration. In the meantime, why not find out more about what it’s like to study here?

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Occupational Therapy Aide Salary (july 2023)

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Storage or technical access is necessary to create user profiles for the purpose of sending advertisements or to track you on a website or across websites for similar marketing purposes. Did you know that Dallas Community Colleges offers an Applied Science degree? Is it true! Now you can study to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) without leaving Dallas. Do you enjoy working with people and want to be part of the growing medical industry? If so, read on to learn how to get started at Mountain View College.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Explains Her Job

Occupational therapy assistants work with occupational therapists to help patients develop and regain activities of daily living such as dressing, driving, and working. They also help patients improve and maintain skills. As an occupational therapy assistant, you will be directly involved in providing therapy and patient care.

Depending on the age group you would like to work with, there are different options for places you can work as an occupational therapy assistant.

Graduates of the OTA program can register to take the National Board of Certification for Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam. Once you earn your associate’s degree, complete your internship, and pass the NBCOT exam, you can apply for a state license.

The primary role of an occupational therapy assistant is to help patients recover and develop skills needed for daily living and work. But that’s not all: as an OTA you can also:

Occupational Therapist Assistant And Physiotherapist Assistant

You may be wondering if you have the skills to be an occupational therapy assistant? Check out some skills to check off your list or start working on.

You bet! Employment of occupational therapy assistants is projected to grow by 29% from 2016 to 2026. The demand for occupational therapy assistants will increase over the next decade due to the health needs of an aging population. One of the most common questions I see on occupational therapy Facebook groups and OT forums goes something like:

“Would I have to invest all the time and money in graduate school to become an OTR if I am currently a COTA?”

Seeing this so often, I wanted to compile the most common answers and things to think about for those of you with this big question on your mind.

Occupational Therapist Resume Example 2023

The pros and cons in this post come from personal interviews and many online discussions about COTA searches, COTA’s transition to OTR, and COTAS’ decision not to become OTR.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average wage for a COTA is $61,730 per year. In comparison, occupational therapists at the master’s or doctoral level (OTR) earn an average of $85,570 per year (or $41.14 per hour) based on the median salary. The OTR salary is therefore 43% higher on average.

Of course, the amount you earn as COTA or OTR may be higher or lower depending on your location, experience and setup.

For more information on occupational therapist salary based on actual OT and COTA data, see our article Occupational Therapist Salary: Data from 2,322 OTs and COTAs.

Occupational Therapy Resume [sample & How To Write]

Many facilities such as hospitals, dispensaries and schools take less COTA or in some cases no COTA. In some cities, it can be increasingly difficult to find clinical work as a COTA, and many have reported that this is a reason to go back to school and become an OTR.

As an OTR, you are in control of the patient’s care plan, treatment planning, discharge planning, etc. As a COTA, you follow the OTR’s treatment plan and may not have many creative treatment options based on the OTR’s goals for the patient.

It may seem obvious, but many COTAs who have gone on to OTR say they have really expanded their OT knowledge by pursuing an OT graduate program. If you are passionate about healthcare and helping patients on their healing journey, you may find that your passion for the field is what motivates you to pursue an OT degree.

A popular non-clinical opportunity is teaching. Many OT schools hire OTRs with master’s or doctoral degrees to become educators.

What Is An Occupational Therapy Assistant?

Another common example is that it is usually much easier to start your own therapy practice as an OTR. This would be much more difficult as a COTA if related to occupational therapy as you would likely need to have an OTR on staff.

These other popular non-clinical positions may hire COTAs, but are often more likely to hire an occupational therapist with a college degree or higher depending on the specific job requirements.

Note: I see so many creative COTAs now starting their own non-clinical businesses that do not involve direct patient care, so having a non-clinical career is still very possible as a COTA!

While there are fewer disadvantages than advantages, these major disadvantages are often enough to make many COTAs decide not to go back to school and become an OTR.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

While OTRs have a higher salary than COTAs, the cost of obtaining a master’s or doctorate in OT is very high. Many COTAs who only plan to work for the next ten to twenty years say they would struggle to pay off their debt in retirement.

Using national averages for salary and the average cost of a weekend master’s program, your OTR degree will take at least 7.5 years to pay off, assuming all of your additional costs

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