Occupational Therapy Assistant Schools Florida – Millions of people around the world experience injuries, illnesses or disabilities that affect their ability to function both at work and in their daily lives. Fortunately, there is an entire career field dedicated to helping people maintain or regain the skills, strength, and abilities they need to perform daily tasks and live independent and fulfilling lives. If you love the idea of meaningful work that gives you the opportunity (sometimes literally) to help people get back on their feet, becoming an occupational therapy assistant could be the perfect healthcare career for you!
This career guide will teach you everything you need to know about being an occupational therapy assistant, including education requirements, certifications, day-to-day tasks, and how long it usually takes to start your new career.
Occupational Therapy Assistant Schools Florida
Not sure if becoming an OTA is right for you? Click here to see the rest of the careers in our full list of the best entry-level medical jobs.
Best Occupational Therapy Degree Colleges In Florida
Occupational therapy is about helping people develop and maintain the skills, strength, and abilities needed for everyday tasks—whether they’re recovering from an injury or managing a more chronic health condition. As an Occupational Therapy Assistant (also known as an OTA), you will work directly with patients to assist them with treatment routines that can greatly improve their independence and quality of life.
Under the supervision of an occupational therapist, OTAs help patients perform therapeutic activities and assist people with meaningful tasks that take up their time. Occupational therapy assistants work with people of all ages, from newborns to geriatrics. OTAs help educate patients and their families about the use of specialized medical equipment that makes daily tasks easier. OTAs often serve as an important source of moral and emotional support for patients in what can often be a long, slow recovery process.
To thrive as an occupational therapy assistant, you must be a compassionate person with excellent interpersonal skills. Many people in your care may struggle to carry out simple everyday tasks, which can leave them feeling frustrated and isolated. Adaptability and solid problem-solving skills are also essential in OTA, as every patient is different and you may need to try several different therapeutic solutions to help them achieve their goals.
OTAs work in all settings, including schools, outpatient clinics, hospitals, home health, skilled nursing, mental health, dementia care, private practice, travel therapy and community settings. You may also find occupational therapy assistants working in “non-traditional” settings such as hippotherapy, home modifications, prisons, or shelters. One of the great things about working as an OTA is that you can have a degree that gives you the freedom to work in any country in almost any environment you can imagine.
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Occupational Therapy Assistant Education and Certification How long does it take to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant? What degree do you need to become an occupational therapy assistant?
To become an occupational therapy assistant, you must earn an associate’s degree from an accredited college or university. Brooklyn’s OTA program provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to safely and effectively care for a variety of patients. While many occupational therapy assistant associate degree programs take a full two years to complete, our accelerated degree programs allow you to complete your OTA program in just 96 weeks, even while working full-time. This is achieved through a hybrid program where you learn at your own pace online and are only required to be on campus five Fridays per semester.
Like any long-term goal, working towards a new occupational therapy assistant career seems more achievable when broken down into individual steps.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to the education, experience, and certifications you need to become an occupational therapy assistant:
Occupational Therapy Assistant (ota) Program
The first step to becoming an OTA is to enroll in an occupational therapist assistant program from an accredited college or university. It’s a career open to people from all walks of life, as long as you’re willing to put in the necessary time and effort to earn an OTA Associate’s degree. For example, to qualify for the occupational therapy assistant program at Brooklyn College, you need a high school diploma or GED, as well as passing the TEAS A2 entrance exam. Most OTA programs will also require some form of admissions interview to ensure that your goals and personality are a good fit for a career as an occupational therapist.
Like almost any health-related associate degree, your OTA degree will include some general courses of study in subjects such as English, psychology, and communication. These classes will help you improve your critical thinking skills and become a more well-rounded professional. Of course, you’ll also spend a lot of time studying anatomy and physiology to learn more about the human body and how its systems work and interact with each other.
Beginning with occupational therapy assistant career-specific studies, you will gain a greater understanding of how the human body moves, heals, and develops. You will learn to work with different patient groups, from pediatrics to geriatrics. You will also learn about healthcare and industry management and professional best practice, and attend courses designed to improve evidence-based decision-making and general clinical reasoning.
Occupational therapy assistant programs are somewhat unique in that they include a lot of hands-on field work throughout the OTA program. Many of your OTA classes will have a concurrent fieldwork component where you can gain real-world experience with real patients. The final courses of your occupational therapist assistant training include more extensive clinical work with a greater degree of independence, just as you can expect from your first OTA job.
Physical Therapist Assistant > College Of Central Florida
Regardless of where you choose to earn your occupational therapist assistant degree, after completing your OTA degree program, you’ll want to consider colleges or universities that offer additional services to students, such as job placement assistance. Students who have access to placement programs are sometimes set up for interviews before they even graduate!
Becoming a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) through the National Board for Occupational Therapy Certification will allow you to work almost anywhere in the United States, as it is considered the gold standard certification for OTAs. The NBCOT exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions in a maximum of four hours of testing, although you should be at the test center for a little more than five hours to account for the necessary administrative steps before and after the exam.
The cost of a college education makes it increasingly difficult for many people to earn a degree the traditional way. Many major colleges and universities charge more than $20,000 per semester for tuition alone, which often doesn’t even include necessities like lab fees, books, and other course materials. Fortunately, the rise of online education has made earning a college degree much more affordable for countless people across the country because online colleges don’t have the same operating costs and can pass those savings on to students. For example, the occupational therapy assistant program at Brooklyn College not only costs less per credit than many traditional four-year schools, but your quoted cost always includes books and other required course materials. Even better, over 80% of Brooklyn students are eligible for some form of financial aid! No one likes the surprise of a bigger bill than expected, so wherever you choose to get your OTA degree, make sure it’s at a school that is completely open about what you can expect to pay for your education.
According to the latest data from the US. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) median annual salary* among all occupational therapist assistants is nearly $63,000, which is about $30 per hour. Top earners among OTAs can take home even more, with occupational therapy assistants in the top 25% making nearly $75,000 a year, while the top 10% can earn $84,000 or more.
Ota Faculty And Students From Scf Present At State Conference
If you’re looking for a healthcare career with excellent long-term stability, it’s hard to do much better than an OTA career. The BLS projects that employment of occupational therapist assistants will grow by an impressive 36% overall through 2029 (to put this in perspective, the average growth rate for all jobs across all industries is only 4% over the same time period.)
If you’re looking for a career that offers the opportunity to change people’s lives for the better, becoming an occupational therapist assistant is one of the most fulfilling jobs in the medical industry. The fact that it’s one of the highest paying healthcare jobs you can get without completing a four-year degree is also an important reason to consider becoming an OTA! It’s a wonderful way for caring souls to channel their desire to help others into a stable, successful and rewarding career.
Click here to learn more about the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Brooklyn College and start your new career path as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant today!
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Associate In Occupational Therapy Assistant (ota) Degree
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