After you begin your search for Occupational therapy Assistant schools in Worcester, MA, you are going to quickly see that there has never been a better time for you to pursue a career as an OTA. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics is expecting jobs in this industry to increase by 43% over the ten year period 2010-2020, this is over 12,000 new Occupational Therapy Assistant jobs! The better news is the fact that the average Occupational Therapy Assistant salary is greater than $53,000 annually making it one of the highest paying health care occupations that does not require a Bachelor’s Degree.
Occupational Therapy Schools in Worcester, MA
The initial step towards a career as an OTA is finding the best Occupational Therapy Program. There are at the moment approximately 200 accredited occupational therapy schools in the US 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 jump in to select a school, make sure you evaluate all of your options to make certain you choose an Occupational Therapy school that fulfills all your requirements.
Items You Should Consider When Selecting an Occupational Therapy School
Accreditation by the ACOTE is important because you can be reassured that you will be taught the full array of competencies necessary to be a competent OTA.
Occupational Therapy Assistants work with patients on numerous types of health conditions and disorders making it crucial that your schooling is very wide-ranging instead of too dedicated to one particular area of specialization.
Another important factor you must consider is the clinical training experience. This is the hands-on training, it is when you will interact with real patients and put your abilities to use. Some schools commit considerably more time on your actual clinical experience when compared to the others. In cases where your school is not investing a considerable amount of time with clinical training, make sure that you find out why.
Something else to look into is the class size. The size of will vary considerably from school to school. Make sure you find out the class sizes at all the schools you are looking at. Keep in mind, the smaller the classes , the more one-on-one time that you receive with the teachers.
Taking Occupational Therapy Classes Online do not work for every student. However, for many of us online classes can relieve several of the burdens of being a full time student. Work and family members are often times driven aside as students pursue their education and online classes can provide a bit of flexibility to a busy schedule.
The final issue you should consider before choosing an Occupational Therapy School is the graduation rate of the schools you are evaluating. Make sure to find out how many students graduate from the program, what their evaluations were, and how many of them have gone to careers as OTA’s.
Suggested Occupational Therapy Schools in Worcester, MA
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What to Expect in OTA School
Typically the course work is roughly 2 years, with the first year being mainly class-room training and with the second year spent doing hands on lessons in a healthcare facility or private care practice. Some of the course work a student will want to take involves pediatrics, gerontology, clinical terminology, and physical therapy. All States that require licensure just want a 2 year degree. A Bachelor’s Degree shall be required if you plan on becoming a full Occupational Therapist, however you will find that the majority of Occupational Therapist started their careers as Assistants and obtained their Bachelor’s Degrees several years later.
Following graduation, those prepared to get started on their careers need to become licensed as an OTA. Each State has its own policies and regulations that are governed by an occupational therapy board, with a few being private and several run by the State exclusively. In MA, licensing is handled by the Massachusetts Board of Registration Allied Health Professions Division of Professional Licensure. Although each State is unique, there are a number of requirements that happen to be common among the majority of them and can include the following.
Any individual applying for an occupational therapy assistant license is required to be a U.S. citizen, must have a social security number and is required to have taken and passed acceptable college course work as well as taken and passed the NBCOT exam.
Every State requires a federal background check , but convictions are not always immediate grounds for dismissal. A few States may consider processing an occupational therapy license in a case where a written affidavit is submitted to describe the circumstances of the conviction. Additional factors including time and nature of the transgression may be evaluated and be taken into consideration to approve licensure .
Every State will provide an Occupational Therapy Assistant licensing packet that will include a number of forms to fill out. Never buy these forms from a third party as they can be accessed online from many legitimate sites. It is important to take a very comprehensive look through the forms before trying to complete them. It will have official transcripts needed; notarized signatures and many States will need you to submit a fingerprint card that can be completed at a local police station.
Work Environment for Occupational Therapy Assistants
An OTA will work with a number of different patients that have needs that may be totally different the previous patient. You might be working for an outpatient facility with young children that have food or texture aversions or perhaps a hospital rehabilitation center working with a middle age man with psychological and mental struggles . Although an occupational therapy assistant has numerous job skills, a few of the basics like following direction, keeping up to date with the freshest techniques and implementing and employing the available technologies are the most important. Finally, a COTA should be reasonably physically fit, as you will have several instances of shifting patients around, for example 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 Worcester, MA 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 Worcester, MA reviewed by Bryson GONZALES on June 15.
Terrific Source of Info
Thank You for creating such an informative website. I was able to find a lot of info about the various schools in my area and found one that worked for me. I’m now ready to start my classes and can’t wait to work as an Occupational Therapist.