Occupational therapy assistants work in conjunction with and under the supervision of registered occupational therapists. OTAs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, residential care facilities, schools, nursing facilities, mental health facilities, and home health care contexts. Job responsibilities typically include helping patients recover and regain physical skills after injuries and illnesses.
Occupational therapy assistant programs in Illinois typically are two years in duration, and graduates of the programs generally earn an Associate of Applied Science degree. The programs have as a goal the preparation of students for the national certification exam, and they train students in the particular skills they'll need on the job as an occupational therapy assistant.
Occupational therapy assistant programs in Illinois prepare students to work in professional settings. Coursework, laboratory experience and hands-on clinical experience trains students to provide treatments that restore physical function, procedures for modifying environments to assist patients, conduct prevention programs to avoid re-injury, and help patients to redesign their lifestyles.
Students in OTA programs should expect both classroom and lab experience in a wide range of subjects, including:
To work as an occupational therapy assistant in Illinois, graduates of these programs must be certified. Upon graduation for an accredited program, candidates may sit for the Occupational Therapy Assistant national examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Successful completion of the exam results in the candidate being credentialed as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Illinois. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.
Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Occupational Therapist Assistants relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 22.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org
Annual Median Salary