Occupational Therapy Assistant

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Job Shadow - Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational therapy assistants play a vital role in the healthcare system, helping patients heal and develop the skills they need for daily living. The demand for professionals in this field is higher than ever before. If you are compassionate and have a desire to help patients succeed, you should consider a career as an occupational therapy assistant.

Day in the Life

Occupational therapy assistants work under the direction of occupational therapists and spend their days helping people recover and improve the skills necessary to work successfully in society. Occupational therapy assistants typically work in an occupational therapist’s office, hospitals or in nursing care facilities with most
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Therapy can range from helping patients complete therapeutic stretches and exercises, leading children with developmental disabilities through play activities, to teaching patients with Parkinson’s disease how to use specialized equipment. An occupational therapy assistant works directly with an occupational therapist to create treatment plans, carries out the treatment and reports patient progress back to the occupational therapist.

This profession is typically full time and may require nights or weekends depending on the facility.


This field requires the completion of an associates degree in occupational therapy and in most states occupational therapy assistants must be licensed. Occupational therapy assistant programs typically take two years to complete. Classes cover subjects such as psychology, biology and pediatric health. In addition to coursework, students must complete at least 16 weeks of hands-on fieldwork.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an occupational therapy assistant was $54,530 in 2015 or $26.21 per hour. The field is expected to grow 43 percent over the next decade, making it the second fastest growing job in the
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