OTA to OTR Route? Or OTA vs OT?

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Comments (9)

Alexandra in Jacksonville, Florida

25 months ago

Hello there! Lately, i have been having the dilemma of choosing between ota or ot. Right now, im attending a community college getting all my pre reqs in. At first, I wanted to be an OTA because its less schooling and I'll be able to support myself as well. Then, I started to think , well Im still young, only 19 years old, no kids and just focusing on school. Why not go ahead and do OT? I feel that it would give me better financial security later in my life and i can be the "boss". The thing that worries me is being in school for such a long time (im guessing 5 to 6 more years) and having no job. How do i support myself through undergrad and grad school? Is it better to start off as a OTA first, then find a bridge program for an OT? I currently live in Jacksonville, FL and the only bridge program i found is in Miami, I dont know if i would be willing to move! Plus, that would mean i would have to quit my job as an OTA (if thats the career path i choose) just to go to the program in Miami. I don't know whats better, either start off as a ota or just do schooling all the way? Any comments and advice would be greatly appreciated! :)

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OT-Lulu in Long Beach, California

25 months ago

Alexandra in Jacksonville, Florida said: Hello there! Lately, i have been having the dilemma of choosing between ota or ot. Right now, im attending a community college getting all my pre reqs in. At first, I wanted to be an OTA because its less schooling and I'll be able to support myself as well. Then, I started to think , well Im still young, only 19 years old, no kids and just focusing on school. Why not go ahead and do OT? I feel that it would give me better financial security later in my life and i can be the "boss". The thing that worries me is being in school for such a long time (im guessing 5 to 6 more years) and having no job. How do i support myself through undergrad and grad school? Is it better to start off as a OTA first, then find a bridge program for an OT? I currently live in Jacksonville, FL and the only bridge program i found is in Miami, I dont know if i would be willing to move! Plus, that would mean i would to quit my job as an OTA (if thats the career path i choose) just to go to the program in Miami. I don't know whats better, either start off as a ota or just do schooling all the way? Any comments and advice would be greatly appreciated! :)

Well I would say don't cut yourself short.. I think if you are interested in a masters program then aim for that. I can tell you that you're in a good position since you're young and you know exactly what you want to do. This is the time to focus and try to get really good grade in all the prerequisite courses an overall in all your classes. Preparing now is really going to help you get into the program. I'm not sure how competitive its out in Florida but I live in California and I've had some trouble getting into masters program. This is my third year applying and I'm actually considering COTA a program

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OTjohn in South Pasadena, California

25 months ago

OT here. If you're at all interested in going for the OTR/L level, I'd say go for it. OTs are in such high demand and while COTAs are hugely helpful, they're also sometimes the first to go when budget cuts are made. Going for OTR/L will definitely pay off in the long run when you look at both our projected salaries and the ever-increasing demand for skilled therapists. In the long run, 5 years is nothing! Go for the OTR/L!

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Alexandra Alvarenga in Jacksonville, Florida

25 months ago

OTjohn in South Pasadena, California said: OT here. If you're at all interested in going for the OTR/L level, I'd say go for it. OTs are in such high demand and while COTAs are hugely helpful, they're also sometimes the first to go when budget cuts are made. Going for OTR/L will definitely pay off in the long run when you look at both our projected salaries and the ever-increasing demand for skilled therapists. In the long run, 5 years is nothing! Go for the OTR/L!

Thank you for your advice!!! I was talking to my dad about it and He thinks the beat option for me is to go for ota, work and go to school at the same time for OT. I know thats going to take longer but he said at least i would be making an income!! Do you know any OTs that went through that route?

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Alexandra Alvarenga in Jacksonville, Florida

25 months ago

Alexandra Alvarenga in Jacksonville, Florida said: Thank you for your advice!!! I was talking to my dad about it and He thinks the beat option for me is to go for ota, work and go to school at the same time for OT. I know thats going to take longer but he said at least i would be making an income!! Do you know any OTs that went through that route?

*best

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OTJohn in Los Angeles, California

25 months ago

Alexandra Alvarenga in Jacksonville, Florida said: Thank you for your advice!!! I was talking to my dad about it and He thinks the beat option for me is to go for ota, work and go to school at the same time for OT. I know thats going to take longer but he said at least i would be making an income!! Do you know any OTs that went through that route?

I don't know your particular situation but I respectfully disagree with your father. I think it's more difficult to go for OTA, then work and go to school part-time for OTR/L. I know it's a scary venture to take on the amount of debt needed to complete a Masters in OT, BUT it's totally doable. I know many OTs who pay off all of their student loans in under 10 years. For me, it has been worth it to work my butt off for an extended period of time, and then be finished and extremely valuable in the job market.

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Alexandra Alvarenga in Jacksonville, Florida

25 months ago

Yes thats true. I still have lots of time to think thoigh! Do you know any OTs who went from ota to ot?? Do you know how it was for them?

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Alexandra Alvarenga in Jacksonville, Florida

25 months ago

OTJohn in Los Angeles, California said: I don't know your particular situation but I respectfully disagree with your father. I think it's more difficult to go for OTA, then work and go to school part-time for OTR/L. I know it's a scary venture to take on the amount of debt needed to complete a Masters in OT, BUT it's totally doable. I know many OTs who pay off all of their student loans in under 10 years. For me, it has been worth it to work my butt off for an extended period of time, and then be finished and extremely valuable in the job market.

Yes thats true. I still have lots of time to think thoigh! Do you know any OTs who went from ota to ot?? Do you know how it was for them?

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OTJohn in Los Angeles, California

25 months ago

Alexandra Alvarenga in Jacksonville, Florida said: Yes thats true. I still have lots of time to think thoigh! Do you know any OTs who went from ota to ot?? Do you know how it was for them?

I don't. Sorry.

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