“Basically this means our program is extremely strong,” said Lisa Carruth, director of GNTC’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program. While unemployment numbers continue to hover just below the 10-percent mark, growth in this field is expected to grow 30 percent in the coming years according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Carruth has been in charge of the OTA program at Georgia Northwestern since 1996. Her lead instructor, Marilyn Irwin, has been with the program since 1997.
“This is a career that is in high-demand right now,” said GNTC Provost Jeff King. “Mrs. Carruth and Mrs. Irwin provide training that you can’t find anywhere else.”
Georgia Northwestern is one of only two colleges in Georgia fully accredited to teach and train students in Occupational Therapy Assisting. GNTC graduated its first OTA class in 1999. In 2008, the average salary of an OTA professional was $48,230 per year. “Salary depends on where you choose to practice and what kind of facility you are employed by,” said Carruth.
The faster than average growth of the OTA field is due in large part to the increasing elderly population in the United States. “We are here to serve our students,” said King. “But we also serve our communities and our neighbors. The careers we train for truly prepares this region for the future.”
Georgia Northwestern Technical College serves Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties in Georgia with campuses located in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker and Whitfield counties.
For more information on the OTA program at Georgia Northwestern, call 1-866-983-4682. Program information is available at GNTC.edu. Georgia Northwestern is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.