“Georgia Northwestern trains Occupational Therapy Assistant students on treatment procedures and plans for people with limitations. Former GNTC student Janel Hartman takes part in a range of motion exercise with a fellow student. GNTC is one of two colleges in the state of Georgia to offer the popular program.”
Occupational Therapy Assistant Path Sees Promising Job Growth

(Rock Spring, Georgia) – With record unemployment numbers, the region’s largest college is keeping tools for future careers strong. The Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education just awarded Georgia Northwestern Technical College seven more years of accreditation to the college’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program.

“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 and 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 student 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,” said Carruth.

The faster than average growth of the OTA field is due largely in part to the quickly 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. Approximately 23,383 people a year benefit from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs, making Georgia Northwestern the largest college in the state of Georgia.

For more information on the OTA program at Georgia Northwestern, call 1-866-983 GNTC (4682). Program information is available at GNTC.edu. Georgia Northwestern is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.