Allied Health
Occupational Therapy Assistant

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Salary: $31,290 - $52,456
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Hourly: $20.47 - $37.29
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Outlook: 4 Stars
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Length of Training: 2 years
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Occupational therapy assistants and aides work under the supervision of a certified occupational therapist and provide rehabilitation training to people with physical, mental, emotional or development disabilities. They may assist the patient with exercises, skill practice with artificial limbs, or perform other activities as directed by the occupational therapist.

Occupational therapy aides typically prepare materials and assemble equipment used during treatments. They are responsible for the clerical tasks typically found in the front office environment (answering phones, filing paperwork, etc.) but since occupational therapy aides are not licensed, they are not legally permitted to perform as wide a range of tasks as occupational therapist assistants.

Areas of Specialization
Occupational therapy assistants and aides may specialize in certain populations (e.g. children or seniors) or areas such as physical rehabilitation or mental health. They may also specialize in specific body parts such as the hands or the upper extremities. However, the areas of specialization are dependant upon the needs of the supervisory occupational therapist.

Work Environment

Most occupational therapist assistants and aides work in hospitals, but they also work in clinics, community health centers, home health agencies, nursing homes, business and industrial organizations, schools, private homes, and laboratories. Occupational therapy assistants and aides spend a lot of time on their feet.

Advancement:
For occupational therapist assistants and aides, advancement will most likely depend on completing future training through an accredited program. Occupational therapist assistants need to be licensed through the state. Occupational therapist aides can be trained on the job. A high school diploma is recommended for entry into the field.