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Occupational Therapy Assistant

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What is an Occupational Therapy Assistant?

Occupation Description 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: What Do They Do?

  • Perform clerical duties, such as scheduling appointments, collecting data, or documenting health insurance billings.
  • Attend continuing education classes.
  • Order any needed educational or treatment supplies.
  • Alter treatment programs to obtain better results if treatment is not having the intended effect.
  • Aid patients in dressing and grooming themselves.
  • Assemble, clean, or maintain equipment or materials for patient use.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Required Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Occupational Therapy Assistants say are important on the job.

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.

Types of Occupational Therapy Assistant Jobs

  • Acute Care Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)
  • Rehabilitation Assistant
  • Occupational Therapist Assistants
  • Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant (COTA)

Job Outlook for Occupational Therapy Assistants

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 39,300 jobs in the United States for Occupational Therapy Assistant. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 6,600 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Occupational Therapy Assistants in U.S.

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.

What is the Average Salary of an Occupational Therapy Assistant

The typical yearly salary for Occupational Therapy Assistants is somewhere between $39,620 and $80,980.

Salary Ranges for Occupational Therapy Assistants

Occupational Therapy Assistants who work in Texas, New Jersey, or California, make the highest salaries.

How much do Occupational Therapy Assistants make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $58,700
Arizona $59,090
Arkansas $58,580
California $67,470
Colorado $57,230
Connecticut $65,150
Delaware $59,130
District of Columbia $56,330
Florida $61,340
Georgia $64,630
Hawaii $58,440
Idaho $56,100
Illinois $60,200
Indiana $56,070
Iowa $56,020
Kansas $58,970
Kentucky $55,080
Louisiana $60,730
Maine $50,490
Maryland $62,950
Massachusetts $62,530
Michigan $52,410
Minnesota $50,470
Mississippi $57,050
Missouri $57,310
Nebraska $58,250
Nevada $68,200
New Hampshire $56,160
New Jersey $69,530
New Mexico $57,810
New York $60,890
North Carolina $62,880
North Dakota $48,670
Ohio $59,910
Oklahoma $60,830
Oregon $62,580
Pennsylvania $54,580
Rhode Island $61,640
South Carolina $64,060
South Dakota $41,050
Tennessee $60,640
Texas $74,650
Utah $56,460
Vermont $60,710
Virginia $66,240
Washington $63,570
West Virginia $59,090
Wisconsin $38,650
Wyoming $52,200

Tools & Technologies Used by Occupational Therapy Assistants

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
  • Facebook
  • FileMaker Pro
  • Scheduling software
  • Graphics software
  • Billing software
  • Accounting software
  • Bookkeeping software
  • Laboratory information system LIS

How to Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant

What education or degrees do I need to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant?

Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant?

Occupational Therapy Assistant Work Experience

Occupational Therapy Assistants Sector

Occupational Therapy Assistant Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Occupational Therapy Assistants work:

Occupational Therapy Assistant Industries

Those thinking about becoming an Occupational Therapy Assistant might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Occupational Therapy Assistant in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: Ryan Conroy via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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