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Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides

Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides
Quick Facts : Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides*
2010 Median Pay$47,490
Entry Level Education
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201236,000
Job Outlook41% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change14,800


Occupational therapy assistants and aides work under the direction of occupational therapists in treating patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. Occupational therapy assistants are typically more directly involved in giving therapy. Occupational therapy aides typically do support activities.

What Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides Do

  • Help patients do therapeutic activities, such as specific stretches and other exercises
  • Work with children who have development disabilities, leading them in play activities that promote coordination
  • Do clerical tasks, including scheduling appointments and answering telephones
  • Help patients move to and from treatment areas
  • Teach patients how to use special equipment

Work Environment

Occupational therapy assistants and aides work in occupational therapists' offices and in hospitals. Occupational therapy assistants and aides spend much of their time on their feet setting up equipment and, in the case of assistants, working with patients.
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Job Outlook

Employment of occupational therapy assistants is expected to increase 43 percent from 2010 to 2020, and an expected 33 percent increase for occupational therapy aides.
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Pay

The average salary of occupational therapy assistants was $51,010 in May 2010.
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Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides

47490

Healthcare Occupations

58203.2

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides*
Percent Change in Employment

Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides

41.1111

Healthcare Occupations

25.417691284418105

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides

Occupational therapy assistants generally have an associate's degree. Occupational therapy assistant programs are commonly found in community colleges and technical schools. These programs generally require two years of full-time study. Occupational therapy assistants also complete clinical fieldwork as part of their education to gain hands-on work experience.
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