Should I try for COTA??

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misshoney718 in Richardson, Texas

58 months ago

I am in my Junior year for my Psychology degree. I was hoping to start Grad school to become an OTR. Right now money is tight and I really need to find a job that is more in my field of interest. I did not get my OTA because I was not aware of this at the time I decided to start my psychology degree. Would it be worth it to get my COTA or should I just continue on with my B.S in Psych for Grad school? Any suggestions of where I could start to get my foot in the door to this field?

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Misshoney718 in Richardson, Texas

58 months ago

To Matilda: I really enjoy the OT field. Right now I work with special needs kids specializing in Autism and granted, there are really tough days with them but I feel like I do have pride in my work. Why do you feel like the way you do? Is there any personal experience you could inform me with? This is the first time I have ever heard something negative about it and I am really curious. Just to let you know I would not work in the school side of it. But really, if you could give me more explanation to your opinion I would greatly appreciate it!!!! :)

FGT: Are you referencing to OTR as well as OT/OTA? Also, why do you consider OT to not be legit?

Thank you all for your comments. I really appreciate it and hope to hear from y'all again.

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Rick in San Diego, California

58 months ago

maltilda in Arizona said: Oh my there is so much wrong with it it is unbelievable. Did you read the other forums under occupational therapist. Did you read the indeed.com forums under OT? Try to search if you can, the topics go on for years apparently with peoples gripes. I think they are OT burnout, and careers other than OT, and more. I would think if you really like working with kids with autism why not be a special ed teacher, or child psychologist, or even speech therapist. Those are more legit careers that actually make some sense. OT just has no meaning that anyone can figure out. Sort of tries everything but accomplishes nothing.

I don't know what to tell you. Just be careful.

I have to agree with you. OT has gotten worse over the years, but I feel PT is just as bad. Neither OT/PT is a legit profession, need I say more. The only reason people get into this field is for the money, nothing else. Go look under COTA, Occupational Therapy Assistant, OT, and Occupational Therapy in the forums here on indeed.com. You will find your answers there. I'm just glad I'm leaving this field in the very near future.

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FGT in Greenville, South Carolina

58 months ago

Rick,
What is your new career field. I've been a COTA for 1 year and pretty much hate it. Its absolutely ridiculous. I can't even believe how much money is spent on a therapy like OT. And since there is so much money to be made in therapy, there is so much fraud and abuse. For instance, today I was told to see 4 med B patients for 1 hr each in the 2 hrs I was at the facility. As far as I've been told, I didn't think you were suppose to see more than 1 Med B patient at a time. I really do hate this field.

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Gee in The Colony, Texas

58 months ago

maltilda in Arizona said: If you have an ounce of sense do not do OT. It is a totally meaningless, depressing job. If you enjoy psychology do something with that and at least have a sense of pride in what you do.

Misshoney718 it sounds like a case of another case of the Arrogant Disgruntled Therapist (Better known as ADT,) and obviously Matilda is not practicing OT. I have an Idea what field Matilda practices in, but let’s just take the higher road. MATILDA is one of those…. that needs to make herself feel better by belittling others. I am sure she’s real liked outside of work as well. Matilda’s POC consists of listing to herself talk and patting herself on the back for STG #1. LMAO
Matilda , I could care less if one of my Clients gets a little more attention from whatever discipline that walks into their room. As long as the practitioner is competent in the tx plan, and it benefits’ the Client…. Hello, what’s the problem? ….Oh, I know what the problem is….. Can everyone please tell Matilda how great she is so she can move on with her day. Matilda you get a gold star and a happy face for a good days work. You’re the best.

SHHHHHH, dont tell Matilda I like my career in OT. Be very quite or she might get mad.

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Misshoney718 in Richardson, Texas

58 months ago

Hey Gee I live in Dallas,Tx and I can see you don't live to far. Could you tell me any tips on the OT field? How do you like it? Are you working in the school or private industry? Any tips or advice would be appreciated. I am kind of freaking right now because my whole like I have wanted to be an OT but now that I have longed on to this site I am hesitant to spend almost 100,000 on Grad school for this.

Thank you all who have responded with a legitimate answer.

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Gee

58 months ago

Misshoney718 in Richardson, Texas said: Hey Gee I live in Dallas,Tx and I can see you don't live to far. Could you tell me any tips on the OT field? How do you like it? Are you working in the school or private industry? Any tips or advice would be appreciated. I am kind of freaking right now because my whole like I have wanted to be an OT but now that I have longed on to this site I am hesitant to spend almost 100,000 on Grad school for this.

Thank you all who have responded with a legitimate answer.

Hello Misshoney718

I would say it is like any other career path; you make it what it is. I am a COTA and like any other career, OT has its moments I am sure, it just depends what you focus on. If I were you I would go for grad School unless your 50 yrs old (just because of the student loans would follow you to the grave.)
I have worked in Children Psych at a state facility - tough job most of the children where abuse physically or sexually abused in some way or another, a little too much to handle with so many kids in a group setting. I felt more like a warden in a prison do to the fact that most of these kids had to be locked down themselves because of learned behaviors of their attackers. Don’t get me wrong; there were some good OT’s that had better mind sets for this type of work. . It just was not for me
I worked SNF for geriatric clients and thought that was the last place I would find myself but liked it tremendously. I had been in some bad SNF and good SNF. You can tell a facility and how it is run by visiting about 8PM at night or on weekends.
I worked in sub acute rehab facilities and outpatient facility that I am currently working in now. I take care of government employees that have repetitive stress injuries such as Plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, lower back Strains, hip replacements, knee replacements, carpal tunnel, rotator cuff tears, Morton's neuroma.
I love OT because of the diversity of all the fields that we can practice

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Gee

58 months ago

Hey I got cut off so I am finishing my blog.

in. I am sure we all have are reasons that bring use to Healthcare. If you’re going into the field of OT/ PT/ SLPs for a pat on the back, and or the glory of the gods. FYI… you might want to look elsewhere or you will become disgruntled like Matilda. Just to let you know do get a pat or two on the back at times, but not enough to spend a life time chasing after to satisfy a need or define oneself. I can go on forever about pros or cons and how I cope. I need to get off the computer. If you want more detail just shot me a message and I will see what I can answer. Just short on time right now.
If you would like to catch up at a starbucks or something similar for question and answer session that would be fine as well. I live in frisco and work in dallas so something in between here and there would work.

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Misshoney718 in Richardson, Texas

58 months ago

Jillie if the heading was such a joke, why did u take the time to comment?

I don't understand all the rude remarks. Everyone claims to be a "professional" yet there is a lot of childish remarks.

Thank you all that contributed to this board and I really do appreciate it.

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Nate in Grayson, Georgia

53 months ago

Thank you for your posts they have been helpful.

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John in Jacksonville, Florida

45 months ago

FGT in Greenville, South Carolina said: Miss Honey,
Please take a good week to check out this site and see what the thoughts are on OT/OTA. Get your BS in Psych and move on from there. Or look into a PTA or nursing program. Most other health care professions are legit. OT is not.

your on CRACK! OT is an incredible field with a variety of settings one can work in. I love my career as an OT and make $150k a year doing it. Im not sure where you got your information from, but your understanding of OT is not "legit". You should probably speak to a few OT's before you make such an ignorant statement. Im just saying.

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simpson in Bradenton, Florida

45 months ago

John in Jacksonville, Florida said: your on CRACK! OT is an incredible field with a variety of settings one can work in. I love my career as an OT and make $150k a year doing it. Im not sure where you got your information from, but your understanding of OT is not "legit". You should probably speak to a few OT's before you make such an ignorant statement. Im just saying.

That is ridiculous. OTs do not make that much money. Who is paying you to write this nonsense. I have to agree with FGT. OT is a lot of nothing.

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bob in West Greenwich, Rhode Island

45 months ago

Hi everyone,
i am on the verge of changing careers and cota has come up, and it seems like a rather interesting career with alot of possibility for employment in my area anyway.i have been reading posts on here and i have to say there are some characters.so with that said could someone honestly let me know what i would be getting into.i am a single dad with alot of family help.i need to know do i need to pay for my own medical,is it wacky hours, good pay etc. i am coming into this due to a injury where i can no longer work at my old job wich was construction.(pretty much cant lift 45# over head) will that be a problem. def looking forward to hearing back from whomever thanks

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queen bea in Chicago Heights, Illinois

43 months ago

oh my i have never heard such negative things about the field of OT, I did not know it was such a hatterville topic, i have been thinking about going into OT for a while now. i am taking courses for my foundation now and i just think some of the things said may be far fetched. as a paraprofessional i watch the otd,ota's or whatever they are work with my students and since they are profound special needs i can see the affects if they did not have ot over the years. yeah i know the fact that OT olone did not do it the students have PT,OT,Speech and many more services provided to them. but i think 1 or 2 by themselves would not have the same affects as the whole assistance team

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weiner in Plano, Texas

43 months ago

I am considering a Masters in OT.
With a masters in health Admn, I feel I need a technical/professional degree (not a generalised degree) to be able to get into a field where job demand is high and the pay decent.
Another thing i am wondering about--will a special ed teacher in public school experience help when i choose to study OT or work as OT?or does it not matter.
I am financially not ready to pay for masters , so want to work as special ed teacher fro acouple of yrs and then go for a masters.
Would appreciate any advise!

thanks

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ExperiencedOT in Flower Mound, Texas

40 months ago

weiner in Plano, Texas said: I am considering a Masters in OT.
With a masters in health Admn, I feel I need a technical/professional degree (not a generalised degree) to be able to get into a field where job demand is high and the pay decent.
Another thing i am wondering about--will a special ed teacher in public school experience help when i choose to study OT or work as OT?or does it not matter.
I am financially not ready to pay for masters , so want to work as special ed teacher fro acouple of yrs and then go for a masters.
Would appreciate any advise!

thanks


I absolutely love being an OT and have been one for 23 years. There are so many areas to go into and I found OT thru working with special needs children. I am currently a hand therapist although I have worked in the neonatal intensive care unit,school district and acute care. It does take a certain type of personality to be able to work with all types of patients so if you don't enjoy others or are very Type A then it is not the field you want.

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cota wanna be in New Orleans, Louisiana

39 months ago

FGT in Greenville, South Carolina said: Rick,
What is your new career field. I've been a COTA for 1 year and pretty much hate it. Its absolutely ridiculous. I can't even believe how much money is spent on a therapy like OT. And since there is so much money to be made in therapy, there is so much fraud and abuse. For instance, today I was told to see 4 med B patients for 1 hr each in the 2 hrs I was at the facility. As far as I've been told, I didn't think you were suppose to see more than 1 Med B patient at a time. I really do hate this field.

considering changing from respiratory therapy to cota. is there anything positive you can name for the field? seriously.

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RT_going into OTA/PTA in Los Angeles, California

38 months ago

cota wanna be in New Orleans, Louisiana said: considering changing from respiratory therapy to cota. is there anything positive you can name for the field? seriously.

Hi cota wanna be, I'm in the same situation. I am a respiratory therapist and I'm starting to hate it and planning on going to cota. RT job is chill but I hate the schedule. So, are you going for cota soon?

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LG in Houston, Texas

26 months ago

Rick in San Diego, California said: I have to agree with you. OT has gotten worse over the years, but I feel PT is just as bad. Neither OT/PT is a legit profession, need I say more. The only reason people get into this field is for the money, nothing else. Go look under COTA, Occupational Therapy Assistant , OT, and Occupational Therapy in the forums here on indeed.com. You will find your answers there. I'm just glad I'm leaving this field in the very near future.

It's a very sad day when you do something you hate!! Leave.... No one is making you stay!!! God willing you never ever get very sick in life because that is when you WILL figure out there is a need for and that there is a "legit" side to OT/PT professions!!

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LG in Houston, Texas

26 months ago

I am a COTA & proud of it! You can ask me any given moment what I'm doing with my patients & I will give you a straight up "legit" answer. I cannot speak for all OT/COTAS but for most of us we love what we do with. One common denominator....... We want to HELP people! That is the bottom line! If that is NOT your interest then find another career...a more "legit" career if you will.
Those of you whom feel that therapy is not a "legit" field .... I have plenty of past patients that would love to chat with you.... Thanks to the dedication of a caring therapist they can walk, talk, dress, bathe, and move their limbs thanks to therapy!!

So stick that in your pipe & smoke it!! That is if you can hold a pipe!

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Lizbeth in San Diego, California

22 months ago

LG in Houston, Texas said: I am a COTA & proud of it! You can ask me any given moment what I'm doing with my patients & I will give you a straight up "legit" answer. I cannot speak for all OT/COTAS but for most of us we love what we do with. One common denominator....... We want to HELP people! That is the bottom line! If that is NOT your interest then find another career...a more "legit" career if you will.
Those of you whom feel that therapy is not a "legit" field .... I have plenty of past patients that would love to chat with you.... Thanks to the dedication of a caring therapist they can walk, talk, dress, bathe, and move their limbs thanks to therapy!!

So stick that in your pipe & smoke it!! That is if you can hold a pipe!

Hi! I have a question does the OTA needs to lift patients very often, and where are most of the ota jobs located?
I like working with kids, so I would like to know if there are lot of jobs for ota in schools?

Let me know your answers.
Thank you!

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Aspiring OTA in Portageville, Missouri

17 months ago

Hello guys, I just graduated in 2012 and now attending a community college finishing up the basics (A&P) Public Speaking and Math. The deadline to submit our applications are on May 31, 2013. I currently have a 3.4 GPA and have been working in a assisted living home for about 4 months now as a CNA. I am in love with the profession of helping people, and succeed at it and I bring out the best in every one of my patients. I am nervous about OTA school because it is very competitive, and I'm afraid I won't get in. I am a very hard worker and already have my shadowing hours as well as my volunteer hours. Do you think me working at an assisted living program gives me an edge on the others? I would greatly appreciate it if you gave me your honest opinion. I just wanted to know what some experienced OTA/OT's would recommend. Thank you.

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DWhite626 in Costa Mesa, California

17 months ago

I've been a Cota here in Cali(Southern California) for about 6 years. I totally agree with all the other posters that are Cotas as well. This is not a promising career what so ever. All the jobs that are posted are re posted from the same companies. Job outlook is horrible here in Cali. I feel like I am in danger of my job at all times, its miserable. Please people, reconsider. Look into other fields, such as nursing. Although people say that their is an over supply of nurses, people that I know that have just graduated from nursing school always seem to be finding jobs. Whats the deal with that?? I regret going into this field. Should have went nursing instead. At least by then I would have been able to accumulate enough nursing experience to be able to get hired anywhere I want... So here I am, working 24 hours max at my current cota job, and taking a prn job at another rehab center. Taking pre-reqs for nursing, little by little. Hopefully all this effort is worth it. *Crossing fingers*

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DWhite626 in Costa Mesa, California

17 months ago

I feel you. Just two more years of pre requisite classes for me and hopefully I'm done with this field. I actually thought about Dental Hygiene for a bit too. Goodluck in what you do brotha.

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Michelle OT in Humble, Texas

15 months ago

Aspiring OTA in Portageville, Missouri said: Hello guys, I just graduated in 2012 and now attending a community college finishing up the basics (A&P) Public Speaking and Math. The deadline to submit our applications are on May 31, 2013. I currently have a 3.4 GPA and have been working in a assisted living home for about 4 months now as a CNA . I am in love with the profession of helping people, and succeed at it and I bring out the best in every one of my patients. I am nervous about OTA school because it is very competitive, and I'm afraid I won't get in. I am a very hard worker and already have my shadowing hours as well as my volunteer hours. Do you think me working at an assisted living program gives me an edge on the others? I would greatly appreciate it if you gave me your honest opinion. I just wanted to know what some experienced OTA/OT's would recommend. Thank you.

Hi Aspiring OT!

I am an OT for about 8 years now. Having the passion to help people and bringing out the best in people is an edge in itself. Many go into the OT field for the wrong reasons and that's when they gripe and whine. To me, its a very rewarding job. If you end up working in geriatrics, as in Assisted Living, its rewarding to see you're patient being able to dress or feed themselves again after an injury. If you work in pediatrics as in with special kids, its very rewarding to see you're kids, be able to focus on activity, thus do well in school. Financially... most therapy jobs pay you well and give you good benefits.

I would say, if you want to help people achieve their optimum function and independence, go for the OTA/OT program, and just do it! Good luck. All the best.

Michelle

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LJ in Fenton, Michigan

15 months ago

Hello, I am a new grad in MI and cannot find a job in anything but SNF which is where I'm at now. I honestly do not like it at all and wish I could work with peds...is there any chance at all that will happen with a COTA degree?

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LJ in Fenton, Michigan

15 months ago

Thanks Davey! I am sooooo discouraged right now! My degree should have said COTA for SNF only!!! I am not super worried about the pay but I do want to be happy with what I am doing. I am considering part time Peds jobs and pay for my own insurance. I am super sad and have been from the moment I started this job. It's a great paying job, with great benefits but I NEVER wanted to do SNF and feel unfulfilled and sad every day. Maybe it will get better???

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OTinHI in Honokaa, Hawaii

14 months ago

Aspiring OTA in Portageville, Missouri said: Hello guys, I just graduated in 2012 and now attending a community college finishing up the basics (A&P) Public Speaking and Math. The deadline to submit our applications are on May 31, 2013. I currently have a 3.4 GPA and have been working in a assisted living home for about 4 months now as a CNA . I am in love with the profession of helping people, and succeed at it and I bring out the best in every one of my patients. I am nervous about OTA school because it is very competitive, and I'm afraid I won't get in. I am a very hard worker and already have my shadowing hours as well as my volunteer hours. Do you think me working at an assisted living program gives me an edge on the others? I would greatly appreciate it if you gave me your honest opinion. I just wanted to know what some experienced OTA/OT's would recommend. Thank you.

I don't know how competitive your school is but from what I've heard there are waiting lists for students even with a 4.0 GPA - don't let that stop you from trying, however. I think your experience as a CNA puts you in a favorable light as you know what you are getting into, then say, someone whose only worked in retail and volunteered the minimum amount with a 3.8 GPA. Make some friends or network with other COTAS and OTRS at your facility as you will most likely need a letter of recommendation for admission to therapy school. It really helps if you get a positive and glowing letter of recommendation from an OTR. Good luck! Let us know if you got in!

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OTinHI in Honokaa, Hawaii

14 months ago

Lizbeth in San Diego, California said: Hi! I have a question does the OTA needs to lift patients very often, and where are most of the ota jobs located?
I like working with kids, so I would like to know if there are lot of jobs for ota in schools?

Let me know your answers.
Thank you!

hi Lizbeth in San Diego - it depends on which field you go into. If you work in acute care or SNF, sure...you will have some lifting to do. If you work with Peds, you may still have to lift (kids). I've worked in every type of setting and the only setting where I didn't have to lift patients as much was outpatients and work conditioning programs.

What scared me about peds were really large kids that would lash out and try to hit/punch me or throw themselves on the ground and refuse to get up, but of course that depends what kind of age group and diagnoses.

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OTinHI in Honokaa, Hawaii

14 months ago

LJ in Fenton, Michigan said: Hello, I am a new grad in MI and cannot find a job in anything but SNF which is where I'm at now. I honestly do not like it at all and wish I could work with peds...is there any chance at all that will happen with a COTA degree?

hi LJ - there are so many SNF jobs now because the baby boomers are getting older. It's really a hard setting for a new graduate to get into...and I am saying this as an OTR with 20+ years of experience. I often shake my head and wonder how these new grads (either COTA or OTR) make it from day to day in the SNF setting; especially for new OTR grads who have to come up with goals to address cases where the patient cannot do anything for themselves.

It can be a depressing or rewarding situation, and those factors depend a lot on how the facility is run. I've been to some SNF facilities where it smells bad and no one is smiling. I work in a nice SNF facility and everything is clean and the residents are well cared for and a lot of the employees are happy and satisfied, so that makes a huge difference for me. Of course, it doesn't have to be stated that you also have to like working with geriatric patients - so if you don't enjoy working with that population or course you will hate it, no matter what.

To answer your question, yes, it is possible for a COTA to get a job in Peds. We have a COTA now in our SNF facility who worked in the school state peds system and didn't last a month. I only lasted a few months with peds and I quit. It wasn't working with the kids, but rather the system. I won't get into detail as this will get lengthy but you can reply and I can give you specifics, if you want.

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OTinHI in Honokaa, Hawaii

14 months ago

DWhite626 in Costa Mesa, California said: I've been a Cota here in Cali(Southern California) for about 6 years. I totally agree with all the other posters that are Cotas as well. This is not a promising career what so ever. All the jobs that are posted are re posted from the same companies. Job outlook is horrible here in Cali. I feel like I am in danger of my job at all times, its miserable. Please people, reconsider. Look into other fields, such as nursing. Although people say that their is an over supply of nurses, people that I know that have just graduated from nursing school always seem to be finding jobs. Whats the deal with that?? I regret going into this field. Should have went nursing instead. At least by then I would have been able to accumulate enough nursing experience to be able to get hired anywhere I want... So here I am, working 24 hours max at my current cota job, and taking a prn job at another rehab center. Taking pre-reqs for nursing, little by little. Hopefully all this effort is worth it. *Crossing fingers*

DWhite626 - I agree with you that a lot of jobs that are posted are re-posts of the same companies and many are PRN/travel jobs. The job market sucks really bad right now, whether you are a nurse or not. Healthcare in general is not promising right now with all the medicare cuts and employers cutting back on positions/hours/raises. It's ironic that Hawaii's nursing shortage from a few years back had COTA students dropping out from the program to enroll in nursing, only to flood the market with new nurse graduates, who were out of work for 8 months or more. I've known a few personally, who graduated nursing school only to face the dilemma of not finding gainful employment because they were not experienced. I know a hospital admin who told me for one nursing ad he put out, over 30 applied. I'm not sure COTAS have to contend with that kind of margin, but of course, it boils down to demographics/location.

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OTinHI in Honokaa, Hawaii

14 months ago

Robert in Huntington Beach, California said: I just found out today that the company I work for is going to make salary cuts starting April 1, 2013. I will be getting a $3.00 an hour pay cut and will have to pay an extra 10% out of my pocket for benefits. I've been looking for a new job in Texas but everyone tells me they are laying off and cutting salaries as well. I am not sure if the lay-off rumors are true, but I do know that I have been averaging only 28 to 32 hours a week. My advice for anyone thinking of getting into this field is to call around and ask what the market is in their area, and ask other therapists what their getting paid.

Medicare cuts went into effect April 1, 2013. We got hit with pay cuts months before April 1, 2013. This is nation-wide but it probably affects those working in the SNF and public schools system as well as federally employed OTR/COTAs more than a therapist working in an outpatient setting whose reimbursements are not Medicare-based.

As far as people asking me what my salary as an OT is, I only give an estimate based on the wide range of salaries typical for the profession.

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mscota in Winter Park, Florida

13 months ago

Hey I just got accepted into the OTA program at my school. I start in the fall and I can't wait, I'm so excited. I'm really in love with this field and I love that eveb though I will only be an assistant, I will get to work more with the patients and I can still make a difference in people's lives, help people regain their functional ability. I was torn between nursing and OTA but I ultimately chose OTA because it's more my passion and I don't think I could handle being a nurse. My question is this though, are there opportunities in regards to career advancement for OTAs without additional schooling. I have thought about going for my MOT later but MOT programs are so darn expensive and I heard that in the real world the only difference between OTs and OTAs is that OTs do evaluations and make 8-10 dollars more.

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mscota in Winter Park, Florida

13 months ago

Hey I just got accepted into the OTA program at my school. I start in the fall and I can't wait, I'm so excited. I'm really in love with this field and I love that even though I will only be an assistant, I will get to work more with the patients and I can still make a difference in people's lives, help people regain their functional ability. I was torn between nursing and OTA but I ultimately chose OTA because it's more my passion and I don't think I could handle being a nurse. My question is this though, are there opportunities in regards to career advancement for OTAs without additional schooling. I have thought about going for my MOT later but MOT programs are so darn expensive and I heard that in the real world the only difference between OTs and OTAs is that OTs do evaluations and make 8-10 dollars more.

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