Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides

Occupational therapy assistants (also called OTAs) help people with mental, physical, developmental, or emotional limitations using a variety of activities to improve basic motor functions and reasoning abilities. They work under the direct supervision of an occupational therapist, and their duties include helping to plan, implement, and evaluate rehabilitation programs designed to regain patients' self-sufficiency and to restore their physical and mental functions. There are 30,450 occupational therapy assistants employed in the United States.

Occupational therapy aides help OTAs and occupational therapists by doing such things as clerical work, preparing therapy equipment for a client's use, and keeping track of supplies. Approximately 8,710 occupational therapy aides are employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Help patients in doing activities; assist children with developmental disabilities to become more coordinated; teach patients how to use special equipment; report patients' progress; help clients with paperwork, schedule appointments and answer telephones; prepare treatment areas and help patients move to and from treatment areas
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Nationwide
Minimum Education Level
  • Some Postsecondary Training
  • Associate's Degree
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • English
  • Health
Experience On-the-job training
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Helpful
  • Technical
Skills
  • Coaching/Physical Training
  • Interpersonal
  • Teaching
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook Much Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Lead Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Occupational Therapy Aide
  • Volunteer Occupational Therapy Aide

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