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 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

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 link below to find accredited OTA training near you.

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.

School cost

Depending on if you take online courses are traditional classes there can be a cost difference. But in home health aide training the overall school costs is minimal in comparison to other allied health fields.

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

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 bls.gov 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 28%! 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 NameEmploymentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wageEmployment per 1K jobs
Alabama48027.22566100.247
Alaska57029.85620900.210
Arizona26026.93560200.213
Arkansas201030.25629200.121
California57026.29546900.225
Colorado51030.81640800.305
Connecticut-29.5061370-
Delaware270029.79619600.321
Florida89029.72618100.208
Georgia6027.37569400.091
Hawaii11029.37611000.158
Idaho235029.74618600.397
Illinois152028.80599100.504
Indiana42027.61574300.272
Iowa57027.52572500.414
Kansas43027.52572400.231
Kentucky70027.55573100.365
Louisiana14024.72514100.242
Maine56030.90642800.208
Maryland138027.96581600.390
Massachusetts114025.65533600.267
Michigan65023.18482100.230
Minnesota34027.61574400.304
Mississippi93027.82578500.332
Missouri14027.87579700.143
Montana11032.66679200.083
Nebraska16026.66554400.246
Nevada57033.36693900.142
New Hampshire16028.27588000.199
New Jersey265028.68596500.288
New Mexico137029.55614700.318
New York11022.82474600.257
North Carolina348028.45591700.648
North Dakota54029.77619200.343
Ohio31029.43612100.171
Oklahoma285024.41507800.494
Oregon22030.83641300.464
Pennsylvania34029.41611700.167
Rhode Island12018.99394900.277
South Carolina91029.40611600.313
South Dakota404035.00728000.340
Tennessee28025.79536400.199
Texas10028.70596900.321
Utah95031.15647900.251
Vermont46029.09605000.145
Virginia34027.15564700.490
Washington179017.86371400.632
West Virginia10024.36506800.363
Wisconsin10024.36506800.363
Wyoming

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