When you start your search for Occupational therapy Assistant schools in Normal, IL, you should soon learn that there has never been a better time for you to undertake a career as an OTA. The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs in this industry to expand by 43% over the 10 year period 2010-2020, this equals over 12,000 new Occupational Therapy Assistant jobs! The better news is the fact that the median Occupational Therapy Assistant pay is greater than $53,000 annually making it right there with the highest paying health care jobs that does not require a Four Year Degree.
Occupational Therapy Schools in Normal, IL
The first step towards a career as an OTA is determining the right Occupational Therapy School. There are at this time approximately 200 accredited occupational therapy schools in the United States and Puerto Rico and most 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 dive in and decide on a school, it is important to analyze all of your options to make certain you choose an Occupational Therapy training program that satisfies all your preferences.
Things You Should Consider When Choosing an Occupational Therapy School
Accreditation by the ACOTE is recommended because you can be assured you will be taught the full variety of competencies needed to be an effective OTA.
Occupational Therapy Assistants work with patients on numerous types of ailments and disorders so it is important that your schooling is very wide-ranging rather then too dedicated to one particular area of specialization.
Another very important feature you should think about is the clinical education experience. This is the hands-on training, and this is when you actually interact with real patients and put your knowledge to use. Some schools commit substantially more time on your actual practical training when compared to the others. In situations where your training program is not spending a large amount of time with clinical instructing, be sure that you ask why.
Something else to think about is the class size. The size of the classes will vary significantly from school to school. Make sure that you find out the class sizes at all of schools you are looking at. Keep in mind, the smaller the classes , the more one-on-one teaching you will get with your professors.
Taking Occupational Therapy Classes Online may not work for each individual student. Nevertheless, for some online courses can alleviate some of the burdens of being a full time student. Job and family members are sometimes driven aside while students carry on their schooling and online classes can offer some flexibility to a busy schedule.
The final thing you might like to examine before selecting an Occupational Therapy School is the rate of the training programs you are considering. Make sure to find out how many trainees finish the program, what their opinions were, and exactly how many of them have gone on to become OTA’s.
Suggested Occupational Therapy Schools in Normal, IL
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What to Expect in OTA School
Generally the course work is about 24 months, with the first year being mostly class-room instruction and with the second year spent going through hands on instruction in a medical center or private medical practice. Some of the course work a student will likely need to take involves pediatrics, gerontology, healthcare jargon, and physical rehabilitation. All States that require licensure only call for a 2 year degree. A Bachelor’s Degree is going to be required if you plan on becoming a full Occupational Therapist, however you will find that a majority of Occupational Therapist began their careers as Assistants and earned their Bachelor’s Degrees some time later.
Licensing Information and Facts
Following graduation, those wanting to get started on their careers have to become certified as an occupational therapist assistant. Every State has its own rules and regulations which are governed by an occupational therapy board, with some being private and several run by the State exclusively. In Illinois, licensing is administrated by the Illinois Occupational Therapy Board. Though every State is unique, there are a number of requirements that happen to be common among most of them and include the following.
Someone attempting to get an occupational therapy assistant license is required to be a U.S. citizen, must have a social security number and needs to have taken and completed acceptable college course work as well as taken and passed the NBCOT exam.
Every State requires a federal background check , but convictions are not necessarily immediate grounds for dismissal. A number of States may consider processing an occupational therapist license as long as a written affidavit is turned in to describe the circumstances of the conviction. Other factors including time frame and nature of the criminal offense may be reviewed and be considered to approve licensure .
Every State will provide an Occupational Therapy Assistant licensure kit which will include numerous forms to complete. Never purchase these forms from a third party as they can be found online from many trustworthy websites. It is important to take a very thorough look through the paper work before trying to complete them. It will have official transcripts necessary; notarized signatures and several States will need you to include a fingerprint card that can be completed at a local police station.
Work Environment for Occupational Therapy Assistants
An OTA works with many different patients who may have needs which may be completely different than from the previous patient. You may be employed in an outpatient facility with small children who may have food or texture aversions or perhaps a hospital rehab center working with a middle age woman with psychological struggles . Though an occupational therapy assistant possesses numerous job skills, a couple of the basics like following direction, keeping up to date with the most up to date techniques and implementing and applying the available technology are the most important. Finally, a COTA also needs to be relatively physically fit, because you will have many instances of moving patients around, including from a bed to a wheel chair.
If this looks like the career for you, then take a few minutes and fill out the search form at the top of this page. You will be shown a list of training programs near Normal, IL that offer Occupational Therapy Assistant classes. Request information from as many schools as you’d like, and good luck in your future career!
Occupational Therapy Schools in Normal, IL reviewed by Fernando SCOTT on June 8.
Terrific Source of Info
Thank You for sharing such an informative website. I was able to find a lot of info about the various schools in my area and chose one that worked for me. I’m now ready to start my training and can’t wait to become an OTA.