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Growing at 28% nationally the field of occupational therapy assisting has never looked better and becoming an occupational therapist assistant is a wonderful idea! It is perfect for those looking to get in to a growing medical field career that pays well and helps people. Occupational therapy does just that!

Though helping the elderly with arthritis pain and comfort is a core job but it has changed greatly in a few ways. The field is one of the great fast growing careers that is coming in to age more and more due to the rise in population. Helping the disabled have a better life is as rewarding as it gets! All ages and places becoming an occupational therapist will make you a better person and make you a great living!

What is the process to become an Occupational Therapist Assistant?

There is tremendous growth in the field and the future is very bright and with top level education a wonderful living can be had working in the field. Occupational therapists assistants most commonly earn their an associate’s degree in occupational therapy.

STEP 1 – Finish Accredited Occupational Therapy Assisting Program

Occupational therapy assistant programs are offered at local community colleges and even at local technical schools. In the year 2017, 200 occupational therapy assistant programs were accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, a part of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Click on the link below to find accredited OTA training near you from’s database.

AOTA Accredited Occupational Therapy Assisting Programs

Check the exam pass rates for previous students if possible

When you select your occupational therapy school, be sure to check the pass rates of prior students. This will help you see if the schools gets its students prepared for the career.

STEP 2 – Get an Occupational Therapy Assisting Certification in your State

It is mandatory to get certified as an OTA. Passing the exam as detailed below will get you on the doorstep of starting your career!

Step 3 – Pass Occupational Therapy Examination

Every state indeed requires all their occupational therapists to be licensed. Requirements for licensing vary state to state but everybody has to pass the national examination given by the (NBCOT) National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. All candidates have to have successfully earned their degree from an accredited occupational therapy assisting program and also completed all necessary requirements. “Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant” (COTA).

Step 5 – Finding a job as an Occupational Therapist Assistant/Aide

The overall outlook for employment of occupational therapy assistants is being predicted by to grow 29% over the next decade. Occupational therapy assistants that have some experience working in an occupational therapy office will have the best job opportunities for finding work. But that being said, occupational therapy aides may find that due to the small amount of requirements over qualified applicants will have the advantage.

What does an Occupational Therapist Assistant do?

As we shortly stated above, occupational therapists help injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They will also assist in the recovery process for any injures. Below we show you a detailed description of the field of occupational therapy and how the occupational therapy assistant fits in to it.

Occupational therapy assistants commonly have the job duties listed below:

Assist their patients with all therapeutic activities
Work with children with developmental disabilities in play activities for coordination/socialization
Work with patients to complete all their activities
Work with and also teach patients how to use any necessary special equipment
Note and record the progress of each individual patient and report that to occupational therapist
Administrative tasks

Being adaptive is a key part of being a successful occupational therapist Assistant. You may work in different environments with differing type of patients. According to occupational therapy is done in these settings most often.

Offices of physical, occupational and speech therapy – 42%
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) – 19%
Hospitals – 17%
Home healthcare services – 6%
Educational services – 5%

About Occupational Therapy salary

Occupational therapy assisting is one of the fastest growing fields within healthcare at 29%! And it is also one of the best paying as you can see below.

What is the average salary for an Occupational Therapist Assistant?

The median annual wage for occupational therapist assistant is $56,690. Below for all the salary and hourly wage details from top to bottom.

Nursing care facilities – $36,900
Educational services – $35,750
Hospitals – $29,310
Social assistance – $26,270
Offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists – $26,190

OTA salary by state

State NameHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
New Hampshire28.2758800
New Jersey28.6859650
New Mexico29.5561470
New York22.8247460
North Carolina28.4559170
North Dakota29.7761920
Rhode Island18.9939490
South Carolina29.4061160
South Dakota35.0072800
West Virginia24.3650680

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