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Occupational Therapist Aides

Occupational therapist aides are part of a team that provides treatments for physical, emotional, mental and developmental impairments and disabilities. The objective of the treatments is to enhance the patients' quality of life and their ability to perform daily activities.

Some common job titles include rehabilitation aide, occupational therapy aide, OT aide, rehab aide, rehabilitation services aide, occupational rehabilitation aide and certified occupational rehabilitation aide.

Occupational therapist aides prepare patients and the treatment room. They assemble equipment and prepare materials that are utilized during treatment sessions. Occupational therapy aides also perform a variety of clerical tasks. Occupational therapist aides are not licensed, thus by law they are not allowed to perform a wide array of tasks performed by occupational therapist assistants.

Responsibilities

  • Prepare patients and treatment rooms
  • Manage intradepartmental infection control and equipment security
  • Schedule appointments
  • Attend to patients' physical needs
  • Prepare materials for use during therapy
  • Process insurance paperwork
  • Assemble equipment
  • Report the progress, attendance, accomplishments and attitudes of patients to therapists or supervisors
  • Order and restock supplies
  • Maintain client records

Job Characteristics

Occupational therapy aides should be compassionate and have the desire to help people. They need patience and good interpersonal skills. They also need to be able to lift patients.

Work schedules vary by facility and whether they're full-time or part-time employees. Many outpatient therapy clinics and offices provide therapy during the evenings and weekends in order to accommodate their clients' schedules.

Employment Outlook

The employment of occupational therapist aides is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow by 31 percent between 2008 and 2018 which is much faster than average for all occupations. The growing elderly population will increase the demand for occupational therapy and occupational therapy aides. In addition, the median annual income in 2008 for occupational therapist aides was $26,950.

In 2008 there were approximately 7,800 occupational therapist aide positions. Occupational therapist aides can become occupational therapist assistants after completing the appropriate formal education.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Occupational therapist aides typically get most of their training on the job and usually need a high school diploma. Those that volunteer their services improve their chances of acquiring a job.

Resources

Major Employers

The primary job providers are hospitals, inpatient clinics, outpatient clinics, elementary and secondary schools, nursing care facilities and rehabilitation centers.

Schools for Occupational Therapist Aides are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Occupational Therapist Aides Skills

Below are the skills needed to be occupational therapist aides according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Skill NameImportanceCompetence
Active Listening3.623.5
Service Orientation3.623.62
Speaking3.623.5
Social Perceptiveness3.53.38
Critical Thinking3.253.5

Occupational Therapist Aides Abilities

Below are the abilities needed to be occupational therapist aides according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Ability NameImportanceCompetence
Oral Comprehension3.883.88
Oral Expression3.883.75
Problem Sensitivity3.883.5
Speech Clarity3.53.12
Written Expression3.383.25

Occupational Therapist Aides Knowledge

Below are the knowledge areas needed to be occupational therapist aides according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Knowledge AreaImportanceCompetence
Customer and Personal Service3.794.57
English Language3.713.11
Psychology3.574.19
Therapy and Counseling3.523.55
Public Safety and Security3.362.89

Occupational Therapist Aides Work activities

Below are the work activities involved in being occupational therapist aides according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work ActivityImportanceCompetence
Assisting and Caring for Others4.545.36
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates4.464.66
Getting Information4.344.54
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships4.154.79
Documenting/Recording Information4.094.22

Occupational Therapist Aides Work styles

Below are the work styles involved in being occupational therapist aides according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work StyleImportance
Integrity4.66
Concern for Others4.53
Dependability4.53
Self Control4.53
Cooperation4.51

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Occupational Therapist Aides

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Occupational Therapist Aides jobs , as of 2017

   
Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim210 $39,270
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington180 $32,980
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell110 $31,080
Salt Lake City100 $28,700
Pittsburgh70 $26,370
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson70 $35,400
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land60 $32,020
Peoria50 $27,430
Harrisburg-Carlisle40 $30,040
York-Hanover40 $32,250

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Occupational Therapist Aides

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Employment
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Total employment and salary for professions similar to occupational therapist aides

Source : 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 23.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Occupational Therapist Aides.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.