As you start your search for Occupational therapy Assistant schools in Lake Forest, IL, you should quickly find that there has never been a better time to pursue a career as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics is expecting jobs in this particular industry to expand by 43% over the ten year period 2010-2020, this means over 12,000 new Occupational Therapy Assistant jobs! The even better news is the fact that the average Occupational Therapy Assistant pay is greater than $53,000 yearly which makes it among the best paying medical vocations that does not require a University Degree.
Occupational Therapy Schools in Lake Forest, IL
The first step toward a career as an OTA is determining the right Occupational Therapy School. There are presently approximately 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 jump in and choose a school, make sure you analyze all of the options and make certain you choose an Occupational Therapy training program that fulfills all your preferences.
Details You Must Consider When Picking an Occupational Therapy School
Accreditation by the ACOTE is recommended because you can be assured you will learn about the full variety of competencies necessary to be a knowledgeable OTA.
Occupational Therapy Assistants work with patients on a wide array of ailments and disorders making it imperative that your schooling is very diversified rather then too focused on a particular area of specialization.
Another really important variable you should consider is the clinical teaching experience. This is the practical training, and this is where you are able to interact with actual patients and put your abilities to use. Some schools dedicate substantially more time on your actual clinical experience as compared to other training programs. In cases where your school is not spending large amounts of time with clinical training, make sure that you ask why.
Another thing to also consider is the class size. The size of can vary greatly from school to school. Make sure that you find out the class sizes at the schools you are looking at. Bear in mind, the smaller the classes , the more one-on-one instruction that you receive with the professors.
Taking Occupational Therapy Classes Online might not work for every student. Yet, for many people online classes can ease several of the burdens of being a full time student. Job and household are frequently driven aside while students continue their education and learning and online classes may offer a little flexibility to a busy schedule.
The final thing you want to look at before choosing an Occupational Therapy School is the success rate of the training programs you are considering. Make sure you find out how many students finish the program, what their observations were, and how many of them have gone to become OTA’s.
Recommended Occupational Therapy Schools in Lake Forest, IL
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What to Expect in OTA School
Typically the course work is roughly two years, with the first year being primarily classroom training and with the second year spent doing hands on learning in a medical facility or private care practice. Some of the course work a student will likely need to take involves pediatrics, gerontology, medical terminology, and physical therapy. All States that require licensure simply call for a two year degree. A Bachelor’s Degree will be needed if you intend on becoming a full Occupational Therapist, but you will find that the majority of Occupational Therapist started their careers as Assistants and achieved their Bachelor’s Degrees some time later.
Following graduation, those wanting to start their careers will have to become certified as an occupational therapist assistant. Every State has its own policies and specifications which are governed by an occupational therapy board, with many being private and several run by the State exclusively. In Illinois, licensing is administrated by the Illinois Occupational Therapy Board. Though each State is different, there are a number of requirements which are common among the majority of them and include the following.
Any individual applying for an occupational therapy assistant license has to be a U.S. citizen, needs to have a social security number and must have taken and completed acceptable college course work in addition to having taken and passed the NBCOT exam.
Every State requires a federal background check , however convictions are not necessarily automatic grounds for dismissal. Some States may consider processing an occupational therapist license in a case where a written affidavit is turned in to explain the circumstances of the conviction. Additional circumstances including time frame and nature of the criminal offense may be reviewed and be considered to approve licensure .
Each State will provide an Occupational Therapy Assistant licensure package that will contain quite a few forms to fill out. Never purchase these forms from a third party since they can be found online from many trustworthy web sites. It is important to take a very thorough look through the paper work before trying to complete them. There may be official transcripts necessary; notarized signatures and many States will ask you to include a fingerprint card which may be completed at a local police station.
Work Environment for Occupational Therapy Assistants
An OTA will work with an assortment of patients that have needs which may be totally different than from the previous patient. You might be working for an outpatient facility with toddlers who have food or texture aversions or perhaps a hospital treatment facility working with a middle age patient with psychological and mental struggles . Even though an occupational therapy assistant possesses a large number of job skills, a few of the basics including following direction, keeping up to date with the latest techniques and learning and employing the available technology are extremely important. Finally, a COTA should also be relatively physically fit, because you will have numerous 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 to visit the search form at the top of this page. You will be shown a list of schools near Lake Forest, IL 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 Lake Forest, IL reviewed by Mike RAMOS on June 9.
Very Helpful Site
Thank You for sharing such an informative website. I was able to find great info about the OTA schools in my area and chose one that worked for me. I’m now ready to start my classes and can’t wait to work as an Occupational Therapy Assistant.