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What can a degree as an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) do for you?

Well, for Mary Graham of Marengo, it changed her and her family’s life.

Graham“I had two children and I was working two jobs – renting a house and living paycheck to paycheck,” Graham said. “Now I work one job, I just built a house, I have a reliable car, and I have more time to spend with my children.”

Graham’s coworkers suggested she would be a good fit for the OTA program, which helps people gain or regain skills needed for more independent living, such as bathing, cooking, and dressing. She searched OTA programs online and was pleased to learn about MTC.

“It was perfect! It was close to home so I could still work and go to school,” Graham exclaimed.

Graham was nervous about going back to school as a 30-something, but her professors encouraged her.

“Dr. Chad [Schneider, director of the OTA program] really helped me and pushed me. He gave me the confidence that I could go through with it,” Graham stated.

Graham worked two jobs and raised her family while taking classes. It took her three years to complete the program. Her children helped her study – and learned an important lesson from watching their mom work so hard.

“I think it was a good inspiration for my kids because they are both now talking about going to college – but before they have kids, so they don’t have to feed them mac & cheese every night because they are too tired to cook!” Graham laughed.

Graham liked the one-on-one attention from MTC faculty. “The professors really made sure you understood the material,” she said. “You felt like you were important, no matter how big or small the class.” Graham remembered standing in the hallway outside the Anatomy & Physiology class, ready to cry, unsure if she would pass a test. “The teachers told you that you will make it through – and I did!”

The job market for OTA is very hot right now! Career Coach estimates that the field will grow 25% in the next decade. It pays well – with an average salary of more than $50,000 a year in our area.

“ The demand for this occupation is high. The last time I looked for work, I started looking online and sent out my resume. Two hours later I had a job and in a month I had my ideal job,” Graham said. “It is comforting to have that kind of stability, to know there is a job out there if you want one.”

MTC’s OTA graduates have a 98% pass rate on a national licensing exam. “I think it’s a wonderful program,” Graham stated. “I felt confident and ready when I entered the workforce. Everyone I know who has gone through the program has had good success with it.”

Is OTA right for you? A good fit, according to Dr. Chad Schneider, is someone who is patient, who likes to help people and who is good at communicating and motivating people.

“Whether you’ve suffered a stroke or pneumonia, OTAs are here to help you get your life back!” Graham said.

OTAs may work in a variety of settings:

• schools with children of all disabilities to help them be more independent

• outpatient settings to help adults recover from injuries

• factories to prevent injuries from repetitive motion

• skilled nursing homes, where people come in for a short period of time and you help them with rehab so they can go home

For more details, contact MTC Admissions at 740.389.4636,, or on Twitter @Go2MTC. You can also contact us on MTC ’s Facebook page or drop by the beautiful Marion campus. Details on the OTA program are on


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Marion Technical College
1467 Mt. Vernon Ave.
Marion, Oh. 43302


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