What is an Occupational Therapy Assistant?
Occupational Therapy Assistant Definition Assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments. Generally requires formal training.
Life As an Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Select therapy activities to fit patients' needs and capabilities.
- Teach patients how to deal constructively with their emotions.
- Assist educational specialists or clinical psychologists in administering situational or diagnostic tests to measure client’s abilities or progress.
- Evaluate the daily living skills or capacities of physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabled clients.
- Demonstrate therapy techniques, such as manual or creative arts or games.
- Implement, or assist occupational therapists with implementing, treatment plans designed to help clients function independently.
Skills Needed to be an Occupational Therapy Assistant
When polled, Occupational Therapy Assistants say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Licensed Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant/Licensed (COTA/L)
- Staff Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant/Licensed (Staff COTA/L)
- Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant-Licensed (COTA-L)
- Occupational Therapy Technician
Job Demand for Occupational Therapy Assistants
There were about 39,300 jobs for Occupational Therapy Assistant in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 29% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 11,400 new jobs for Occupational Therapy Assistant by 2026. There will be an estimated 6,600 positions for Occupational Therapy Assistant per year.
The states with the most job growth for Occupational Therapy Assistant are Arizona, Georgia, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Delaware, Wisconsin, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Salary for an Occupational Therapy Assistant
The salary for Occupational Therapy Assistants ranges between about $39,620 and $80,980 a year.
Occupational Therapy Assistants who work in Texas, New Jersey, or California, make the highest salaries.
How much do Occupational Therapy Assistants make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$56,330|
What Tools do Occupational Therapy Assistants Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Occupational Therapy Assistants may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Email software
- Word processing software
- Microsoft Windows
- Spreadsheet software
- Database software
- FileMaker Pro
- Scheduling software
- Graphics software
- Billing software
- Accounting software
- Bookkeeping software
- Laboratory information system LIS
How to Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant
Education needed to be an Occupational Therapy Assistant:
How Long Does it Take to Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant?
Where Occupational Therapy Assistants Work
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
Those thinking about becoming an Occupational Therapy Assistant might also be interested in the following careers:
Career changers with experience as an Occupational Therapy Assistant sometimes find work in one of the following fields:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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