Occupational Therapy Aide

Certified Occupational Rehabilitation Aide (CORA), Direct Service Professional   More Names
Direct Support Professional, Direct Support Staff, Independent Living Specialist, Occupational Rehabilitation Aide, Occupational Therapist Aide (OT Aide), Occupational Therapy Aide (OT Aide), Occupational Therapy Aides, Occupational Therapy Technician (OT Tech), Program Trainer, Rehabilitation Aide (Rehab Aide), Rehabilitation Aide/Scheduler, Rehabilitation Services Aide, Rehabilitation Tech, Rehabilitation Technician (Rehab Tech), Restorative Aide, Restorative Coordinator, Restorative, Rehab Aide, Therapy Tech
Description

Perform delegated or routine rehabilitative service tasks under close supervision of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant for persons with work-related injuries or mental, physical, emotional or developmental disabilities. Duties typically include preparing and maintaining patient and treatment rooms, assembling equipment used during treatment, and obtaining needed supplies. Responsibilities also include a wide range of clerical tasks.

Occupational therapy aides work under the close supervision of one or more occupational therapists or occupational therapist assistants. They mainly are employed in clinics and outpatient therapy offices, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, hospitals and at large multi-purpose medical centers. Others work for local, state, or federal government agencies.

Working as part of a team that includes occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, occupational therapy aides work to improve patients' overall quality of life and ability to perform daily activities. They have a primary responsibility to prepare and maintain treatment work areas, materials, equipment, and supplies; and to maintain a safe, clean, and sanitary work environment at all times. They also perform clerical and administrative duties, such as answering phones, scheduling appointments, and filling out routine forms.

Occupational therapy aides need to be well-organized, detail-oriented, and caring. They also need to be able to take directions and work well in teams. They require at least a moderate degree of strength in order to assist and transport patients to therapy areas. As directed, they may also aid occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants in providing treatments.

Occupational therapy aide is an entry-level, first step position on the occupational therapy career ladder. With formal education and training, they may progress to become an occupational therapy assistant. Alternatively, they may choose to cross-train to become either a physical therapist aide and later a physical therapist assistant or a medical assistant - thereby continuing their occupational development following a different career pathway.

Credentials Needed: State licensing is not required to practice as an occupational therapy aide. There are no voluntary industry-based certifications specifically for this occupation. However, an occupational therapy aide may choose to receive training and credentials in such areas as basic First Aid offered by the Red Cross and CPR lifesaving offered by both the Red Cross and American Heart Association.

Some Key Things to Remember: Occupational therapy aides work under the close supervision of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant to provide rehabilitative services for persons with work-related injuries or mental, physical, emotional, or developmental disabilities. They need to be well-organized, detail-oriented, and caring. They also need to be able to take directions, work well in teams, and have at least a moderate degree of strength. Occupational therapy aides usually learn their tasks and duties through on-the-job training. This occupation is an entry-level, first step on the occupational therapy career ladder.

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Job Growth and Wages
Percent Job Growth:  
31% - Much faster than average
Typical Wages (National):  
Annual: $23,260 - $35,800    Hourly: $11 - $17
Physical/Medical/Health Requirements

Occupational therapist aides need to have a moderate degree of strength because of the physical exertion required to assist patients. For example, they may need to lift patients and equipment. Constant kneeling, stooping, and standing for long periods also are part of the job.

Legal Requirements
General/Nationwide
State-Specific
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(Data Drawn from O*NET)
 
      

Career Snapshot

Typical Education:

Associate's Degree (High School + 2 or more Years)
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Percent Job Growth:

31% - Much faster than average
Find Jobs

Typical Wages:

Annual: $23,260 - $35,800

Hourly: $11 - $17