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Occupational Therapy Assistant Jobs

How do I know if becoming an occupational therapy assistant is the right choice for me?

If you’re thinking about a career in occupational therapy, you’ve probably already found yourself inspired by the thought of helping people maximize their occupational capabilities so as to experience the freedom that comes with a greater level of mobility and independence. If the idea of being able to help facilitate someone’s recovery from debilitating limitations is compelling to you, and if you have the patient and caring spirit that is required of those who dedicate tireless hours to the service of others, than you’re cut out for a career as an occupational therapy assistant.

Before applying to an OTA program, do some research. First, try to volunteer or do an observation at a local hospital, clinic or

Where do occupational therapy assistants work?

Occupational therapy assistants work in hospitals, rehabilitation units, home health agencies, outpatient clinics or skilled nursing facilities. OTAs who work with children might work in early outreach programs, public schools, pediatric hospitals or rehabilitation units. Occupational therapy professionals are also very involved in the successful treatment of people with mental health challenges, so OTAs often find themselves working in psychiatric hospitals or clinics.

There are additional employment opportunities in less clinical environments such as teaching positions in OTA programs, or even rehabilitation based administrative roles.

Who kinds of clients do occupational therapy assistants work with?

An OTA can work with just about anyone. From the child with cerebral palsy who needs therapy to develop a functional neuromuscular system, to the elderly woman who has broken a hip, to the adult man who sustained an injury on the job. Each of these people is in need of therapeutic intervention to help them achieve optimal function, and facilitating this is the very definition of an occupational therapist assistant’s job. An OTA may work with fragile and delicate patients in an acute care setting within a hospital, or with men and women recovering from injuries so that they can get back to work. An OTA may work with soldiers and veterans returning from war with debilitating injuries, or they may work with infants showing signs of neuromuscular disorders. Because the variety of patients in need of recuperative therapy is almost endless, occupational therapy assistant jobs are uniquely dynamic, as well as fun and challenging.

What is the job outlook for an occupational therapy assistant?

According to the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth for OTAs is much higher than average, with anticipated growth of 30 percent by 2018. Increased access to health care, an aging population, and a large number of veterans returning from war means that the number of people seeking the rehabilitative services of occupational therapy assistants will be increasing steadily in the years to come.

Are occupational therapy assistants satisfied with their careers?

Occupational therapy professionals, along with physical therapy professionals, consistently rate their careers as very satisfying. Good earning potential and job security combined with a strong sense of accomplishment and contribution makes a career in occupational therapy rewarding and satisfying.

Do occupational therapy assistants have opportunities for career growth?

Occupational therapy assistants may find opportunities in personnel management within departments and organizations where they supervise other OTAs or provide administrative support for rehabilitation managers. An OTA may become the senior therapist for fieldwork placement students from local OTA departments or colleges. An OTA can also decide to get further formal education and training to become an occupational therapist.

Are there professional organizations that support the careers of an OTA?

The American Occupational Therapy Association is the best-known national organization that supports the profession of occupational therapy. AOTA assumes a role of centralizing information for the profession, advocating for the profession when discussing national health care policy, and making efforts to improve access to health care and rehabilitation services for the nation’s population. Members of the occupational therapy profession can choose to join AOTA to connect with other professionals so as to better maintain an awareness of changes in the profession including legislation that improves the public’s access to the services of occupational therapists and their assistants.

Learn more about occupational therapy assistant programs.

Occupational Therapist Assistant Schools

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1 Programs in
Online
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Programs
1 Programs in
Campus
  • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
  • Teaches in an environment that promotes learning and encourages empathetic and compassionate therapists.
  • Career service professionals work directly with students from the start of their program, and help them pursue employment in day spas, luxury hotels, cruise ships, and other locations.
  • Students can work in the SOCHI Massage Clinic to gain experience and build their career skills.
  • Financial aid representatives help students develop a personalized financial plan to finance their tuition.
Show more [+]
  • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
  • Teaches in an environment that promotes learning and encourages empathetic and compassionate therapists.
  • Career service professionals work directly with students from the start of their program, and help them pursue employment in day spas, luxury hotels, cruise ships, and other locations.
  • Students can work in the SOCHI Massage Clinic to gain experience and build their career skills.
  • Financial aid representatives help students develop a personalized financial plan to finance their tuition.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
2 Programs in
Online
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report.
  • 94% of students in the 2014-2015 academic year received some form of financial aid.
  • Student to faculty ratio is 13:1, with an average class size of 15.
  • 104 full-time faculty members, and more than 71% of them hold the highest degree in their field.
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
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  • Ranked among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report.
  • 94% of students in the 2014-2015 academic year received some form of financial aid.
  • Student to faculty ratio is 13:1, with an average class size of 15.
  • 104 full-time faculty members, and more than 71% of them hold the highest degree in their field.
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Show more [+]
  • Online Programs
2 Programs in
Campus
  • Programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), and the American Veterinary Association (AVMA).
  • Programs include an externship, allowing students to gain field experience.
  • Morning, day, and evening class options are available, as well as year-round start dates.
  • 13 campuses located across Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington, with online options.
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  • Programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), and the American Veterinary Association (AVMA).
  • Programs include an externship, allowing students to gain field experience.
  • Morning, day, and evening class options are available, as well as year-round start dates.
  • 13 campuses located across Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington, with online options.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
2 Programs in
Campus
  • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 11:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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  • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 11:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
Show more [+]