As an occupational therapist, you might have already heard of the AOTA. If not, the AOTA is the American Occupational Therapy Association. It is an organization of and for occupational therapists. The AOTA raises awareness of occupational therapy and advocates for occupational therapists. Also, the organization publishes the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. There are around 60,000 current members. Now that you know what the AOTA is, you might be interested in joining! We have compiled a list of AOTA benefits and how you can take advantage of them! Read up on why you should join.
Advocacy for Occupational Therapists
The AOTA spends a lot of time and resources advocating for occupational therapists. The organization’s biggest emphasis is on public policy. Their focus is on grassroots advocacy. This means that not only are board members and employees of AOTA advocating, but you are too! They will give you the resources and tips to advocate for yourself. This can include calling congress members and writing letters or emails. Additionally, you can even have a chance to speak directly to congress members! The AOTA’s biggest advocacy push is “Hill Day.” On Hill Day members are invited to go to Washington D.C. and tell their stories to congress members. The AOTA organizes the entire event and makes sure you will have face-to-face time with lawmakers.
Discounts for Members
The biggest discount that the AOTA offers its members is for continuing education. This can be in the form of board certification or specialty certification. These certifications will provide you with more knowledge and recognition from those in the industry. The certifications show that you have gone above the normal education level for your position. You can save up to 50% on course catalogs, resource books, and other learning materials. These can help you earn your certifications. You can also buy resource books at a discounted price and learn on your own! AOTA membership gives you access to online community forums. This is helpful in gaining information from other occupational therapists around the country. Also, you will have access to AOTA newsletters and past archives that are chock-full of information.
Conferences and Appreciation Events
Do you ever feel under-appreciated as an occupational therapist? Well, the AOTA recognizes the difficulty and stress that come with being an OT. One of the many AOTC benefits is the access to member appreciation events. There are two appreciation programs for members. There is a week-long appreciation celebration in November and a monthly one-day webinar. Along with these appreciation events are informational conferences. The AOTA offers conferences in specialties ranging from children and youth to mental health. The conferences offer professional development to attendees and the chance to network with other occupational therapists. Though the conferences are open to non-AOTA members, only members receive great discounts.
How to Join
Now you are familiar with the AOTA benefits! Before you join, we have some information regarding membership fees and requirements. Annual membership fees range from $95 to $387. The lowest membership fees are for occupational therapy assistants and students. The highest membership fees are for organizational associates and individual associates. However, all OT and OTA members are also eligible for a payment plan. Almost every membership option includes full member benefits. You can read more about your specific certification and subsequent membership at the AOTA website.
AOTA membership will help you become more confident in your OT skills and knowledge! As a confident occupational therapist, you can explore exciting occupational therapy travel jobs. Browse our list of OT travel jobs and start applying!