The Growing Value of an Education in OTA
Why more people are pursuing this popular occupation, ranked as one of top 20 highest paying for those with associate degree
When Eastwick College in Ramsey finalized the addition of a new Occupational Therapy Assistant degree to their growing list of medical degrees, they knew they were tapping into one of the next high demand careers. Yet even they’ve been surprised by how popular the program has become.
“As the first private sector college in the state to offer an OTA degree program, we expected that there would be strong interest,” explains President Tom Eastwick, “and it has exceeded our expectations. In fact, local community organizations have shown a particularly strong interest in the program, and we predict our next class start will begin to fill shortly as well.”
With an average wage of $64,910 in the NY/NJ Metro Area according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and a 43 percent increase in employment expected by 2024 (more than six times the average for all occupations) it is clear why occupational therapy has become an attractive career path for many. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s one of the top 20 highest paid occupations for workers with an associate degree.
Whether due to an injury, illness or disability, it can become difficult for someone to be independent in their occupation and day-to-day activities.
This is where occupational therapy comes in. Occupational therapy assistants assist patients in overcoming these obstacles, helping them develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working so they can be successful and happy in their career and most important life aspiration.
Occupational therapy assistants work with occupational therapists to help develop and carry out a treatment plan based on the needs of the individual patient. Activities in plans range from teaching the proper way for patients to move from a bed into a wheelchair to the best way to stretch their muscles, helping them get back into the workforce or allowing them to be more independent.
The OTA program at Eastwick College is 18 months in length, and offers extensive hands-on training in a specialized classroom setting. Students are also able to earn externship experience, providing them confidence in the field and improved career opportunities. Eastwick is also a proud and active member of MOTEC (Metropolitan Occupational Therapy Education Council.
“Our students are trained to work in a variety of different settings, including long-term care, hospitals and schools, which means they have a greater number of career entry opportunities upon graduation,” explains OTA program.
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Eastwick College – Ramsey