Occupational therapy assistants and aides help patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. Occupational therapy assistants are directly involved in providing therapy to patients; occupational therapy aides typically perform support activities. Both assistants and aides work under the direction of occupational therapists.
Occupational therapy assistants and aides work primarily in occupational therapists' offices, in hospitals, and in nursing care facilities. Occupational therapy assistants and aides spend much of their time on their feet, setting up equipment and, in the case of assistants, working with patients.
Occupational therapy assistants need an associate's degree from an accredited occupational therapy assistant program. In most states, occupational therapy assistants must be licensed. Occupational therapy aides typically have a high school diploma or equivalent.
The median annual wage for occupational therapy assistants and aides was $54,520 in May 2015.
Employment of occupational therapy assistants and aides is projected to grow 40 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Occupational therapy will continue to be an important part of treatment for people with various illnesses and disabilities.
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Learn more about occupational therapy assistants and aides by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.