As you start your search for Occupational therapy Assistant schools in Columbia, PA, you will probably soon find that there has never been a better time for you to go after a career as an OTA. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs in this field to increase by 43% over the ten year period 2010-2020, this equals over 12,000 new Occupational Therapy Assistant jobs! The even better news is the fact that the average Occupational Therapy Assistant income is over $53,000 yearly which makes it amongst the best paying medical occupations that does not call for a Bachelor’s Degree.
Occupational Therapy Schools in Columbia, PA
The initial step towards a career as an OTA is selecting the best Occupational Therapy School. There are at the moment almost 200 accredited occupational therapy schools in the US and Puerto Rico and almost all of the schools accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) offer Occupational Therapist Assistant degrees and Master’s Degrees, with many also offering Doctoral degrees. Before you decide to dive in to choose a school, you will need to evaluate all of your alternatives to make sure you locate an Occupational Therapy school that matches all your preferences.
Things You Should Consider When Choosing an Occupational Therapy School
Accreditation by the ACOTE is essential because you will be assured that you will learn about the full variety of competencies needed to be a certified OTA.
Occupational Therapy Assistants work with patients on a wide array of health problems and disorders making it imperative that your training is very wide-ranging instead of too concentrated on a particular area of specialization.
Another important component you should think about is the clinical training experience. This is your practical training, it is where you actually interact with actual patients and put your skills to use. Some schools commit substantially more time on your actual practical experience when compared to the other training programs. In situations where your school is not devoting large amounts of time with clinical instructing, be sure that you ask why.
Something else to look into is the class size. The size of may vary considerably from school to school. Make an effort to find out the class sizes at all the schools you are looking at. Bear in mind, the smaller the classes , the more one-on-one time you will get with the teachers.
Taking Occupational Therapy Classes Online may not work for every student. However, for many people online courses can relieve many of the burdens of being a full time student. Jobs and family members will often be pushed aside as students undertake their education and online classes can offer a bit of flexibility to a busy schedule.
The final item you want to look into before choosing an Occupational Therapy School is the graduation rate of the training programs you are evaluating. Make sure to find out how many people complete the program, what their assessments were, and just how many of them have gone to become Occupational Therapy Assistants.
Featured Occupational Therapy Schools in Columbia, PA
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What to Expect in OTA School
Normally the course work is approximately two years, with the first year consisting of mainly classroom instruction and with the second year spent going through hands on learning in a hospital or private care office. Some of the course work a student will be required to take includes pediatrics, gerontology, medical terms, and physical therapy. All States that require licensure only want a 2 year degree. A Bachelor’s Degree will be required if you plan on becoming a full Occupational Therapist, but you will find that the majority of Occupational Therapist launched their careers as Assistants and obtained their Bachelor’s Degrees several years later.
Following graduation, those prepared to begin their careers have to become licensed as an OTA. Every State has its own rules and regulations which are governed by an occupational therapy board, with many being private and several run by the State exclusively. In Pennsylvania, licensing is administered by the Pennsylvania State Board of Occupational Therapy Education and Licensure. Even though every State is different, there are a number of requirements that happen to be common among most of them and include the following.
Someone trying to get an occupational therapy assistant license will have to be a U.S. citizen, will need to have a social security number and must have taken and completed acceptable college course work and also taken and passed the NBCOT exam.
Each State requires a federal background check , however convictions are not always immediate grounds for dismissal. A handful of States may consider processing an occupational therapist license as long as a written affidavit is filed to describe the circumstances of the conviction. Additional factors including time period and nature of the transgression may be evaluated and be taken into consideration to grant licensure .
Each State will provide an Occupational Therapy Assistant licensing kit that is going to include quite a few forms to complete. Never pay for these forms from a third party as they can be accessed online from many legitimate websites. It is advised to take a very comprehensive look through the paper work before trying to complete them. It will have official transcripts needed; notarized signatures and many States will need you to include a fingerprint card that can be completed at a local police station.
Job Environment for Occupational Therapy Assistants
An OTA works with an assortment of patients who have needs that may be totally different the previous patient. You could be employed in an outpatient clinic with toddlers that happen to have food or texture aversions or a hospital rehabilitation center working with a middle age woman with psychological struggles . Though an occupational therapy assistant possesses numerous job skills, some of the basics including following direction, keeping up to date with the most current techniques and learning and employing the available technologies are the most important. Finally, a COTA also needs to be relatively physically fit, since you will have numerous instances of transferring patients around, such as from a bed to a wheel chair.
If this looks like a career your interested in, then take a few minutes and visit the search form at the top of this page. You will be shown a list of schools near Columbia, PA that offer Occupational Therapy Assistant training. Request information from as many schools as you’d like, and good luck in your future career!
Occupational Therapy Schools in Columbia, PA reviewed by Juan SIMMONS on June 15.
Thank You for creating such an informative website. I was able to find more info about the various schools in my area and found one that worked for me. I’m now ready to start my training and can’t wait to work as an OTA.