Employment and Job Outlook For Occupational Therapy Assistants


The entire field of occupational therapy is growing very quickly right now, and that includes everyone from the occupational therapists to the OTAs, or occupational therapy assistants. More students than ever before are getting started down this path, and they’ll have the luxury of entering a job environment where skilled individuals are in high demand, and there’s no shortage of work to be found. Here’s an overview on the overall employment and job outlook for occupational therapy assistants.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that from 2008 through 2018, there’s a projected 30% growth in the employment levels of occupational therapist assistants. That’s much faster than average, and it shows how in demand this type of career is right now. Unlike many other professions which are stagnant, severely impacted by the economy and its downslide, or even shrinking in size, occupational therapy continues to grow and flourish.

Quantitatively, that 30% growth over this decade translates into about 10,000 new jobs in the field. That’s a lot of work available for new OTAs out there, and that’s one of the many great benefits to pursuing this line of work and getting started with an educational program right now.

There are many different reasons why occupational therapy is growing right now, and learning more about those will help to explain this trend, while also shedding more light on what you might be doing with your career and where you may be working. One major factor influencing the growth of this field is the aging population, as baby boomers have become senior citizens. This is a large influx of elderly citizens who may suffer declining physical or mental capabilities due to any number of conditions or setbacks, and they will need treatment and assistance from OTAs.

Another reason for the growth of occupational therapy occurs on the other end of the spectrum of life, with young children. Children with disabilities and special needs are gaining ever more attention which they richly deserve, and their needs have become more well known and understood. This has opened up the doors for kids from a young age to receive help and treatment from OTAs, and it has also led to increase funding from governments and nonprofits for the betterment of our youth.

Yet another reason behind the growth of occupational therapy is improvement of medical technology and treatment which will allow more patients of traumatic injuries to survive. This is a great thing, but these survivors will then need a level of increased assistance not needed in the past, as they cope with the changes of their bodies and minds whether it’s paralysis, the loss of limbs, brain injury or anything else.

All of this and it’s just the beginning, so occupational therapy is a field which is going to continue to thrive for quite some time into the future. It’s becoming more important each passing year, and the result is a quickly growing workforce, and students entering the field with a wide range of great job opportunities available to them immediately.

Next: How Much Do Occupational Therapy Assistants Get Paid?

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