Occupational Therapy Assistants & Registered Nurses: Similar Yet Different Careers…Both in Demand!

Nursing and Therapy Assistant Programs

Occupational Therapy Assisting, like Nursing, is a rewarding field that can provide job growth and financial security. With the anticipated increase in job availability and the stable source of income both result in, it’s clear why they are such desirable career paths for so many of our students.

Career Growth Potential

A career as an Occupational Therapy Assistant or a Registered Nurse can create many opportunities for growth. OTA is one of the top 20 highest paid occupations for those who have an Associate Degree. Students can also expect to have a steady income as Registered Nurses with an average salary of around $90,000 in the NY/NJ Metro Area. Registered Nurses and Occupational Therapy Assistants are also some of the fastest growing occupations with Nursing growing at twice the U.S. average and OTA having an anticipated increase of 33 percent by 2028 – more than six times the average!

Diverse Job Opportunities

Those entering both fields can look for employment in a variety of locations such as clinics, hospitals, schools, mental health centers, rehabilitation facilities and various other facilities that need to meet the individual needs of their clients. With a great number of jobs open in these fields, occupational therapy assistants and nurses are in high demand. This also gives professionals in these fields the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of environments and mediums to work in, catered to their individual skills and interests.


When looking to enter the field of occupational therapy, find an accredited program. Eastwick 

College offers an AAS in Occupational Therapy Assistant program which has been accredited 

by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association. At Eastwick College, the graduation rate from 2018 to 2020 was 79% for those studying to be occupational therapy assistants. Those who graduate from this program will be eligible to partake in the national certification exam for occupational therapy assistants, which is given by the National board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. Once this exam is successfully completed the student will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. Those pursuing this degree will learn about the treatments available for people with physical ailments, mental disorders, and chronic illnesses.

Job Requirements

For those who are considering pursuing either Occupational Therapy Assisting or Nursing as a career path, they should examine whether or not their skillset is best suited for these professions. Those who make good fits for the jobs will need to have compassion, critical thinking skills, a good work ethic, patience and enjoy helping others. Being able to maintain a healthy balance of mental acuity and interpersonal skills is also important for succeeding in these fields.

For those who want to pursue a career as an Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA), Eastwick College offers two Associate Degree programs ranging from 21 months for day students, and 27 months for evening students on our Ramsey, NJ campus. For those who want to pursue a career as a Registered Nurse (RN), Eastwick College offers an Associate Degree program which has a duration of 18 months for day students on our Hackensack, NJ and Ramsey, NJ campuses.