Occupational Therapist Aide Jobs
Occupational Therapist Aide Job Description
Occupational therapist aides work under the supervision of occupational therapists, who help patients recover from injuries, illnesses, or disabilities.
Occupational therapist aides normally perform administrative and clerical tasks, and are not directly involved in patient care. If you want work directly with patients, then you should consider going back to school and getting the certifications you need to practice as an occupational therapist assistant instead.
Common responsibilities for occupational therapist aides include answering phones, setting up the equipment needed for therapy sessions, scheduling appointments, and helping patients fill out their insurance and billing forms.
It might not be the most glamorous work in the world, but it can give you a lot of great exposure and valuable experience working in a healthcare environment.
If you want to break into the medical field but don’t have any formal education beyond high school, getting a job in this occupation can be a good start.
Work Environment and Schedule
Most occupational therapist aides work the offices of occupational therapists, but there are also opportunities for employment in nursing homes, hospitals, and school systems.
Occupational therapist aides spend most of their shifts working on their feet, and the work can be physically demanding. They frequently have to lift or move heavy equipment, and sometimes need to help lift patients.
Remaining in good physical shape can help reduce the risk of injury on the job.
Depending on their exact work environment, working an irregular schedule may be required. For example, those who work in hospitals may need to work on nights and weekends, while those who work in offices and schools are often able to maintain a regular working schedule.
Most occupational therapist aides work full time, but there are part time positions available as well.
How to Become an Occupational Therapist Aide
Occupational therapist aides are trained on the job, and most employers prefer that candidates for these positions have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED.
However, if you’re considering a career in this field, you should strongly considering earning an associate’s degree. Without an associate’s degree, there are very few opportunities for advancement.
With an associate’s degree, you can earn the license necessary to qualify for a position as an occupational therapy assistant. These positions offer higher pay, as well as more advanced job responsibilities.
If you’re considering enrolling in earning an associate’s in occupational therapy, you should make sure that the program is accredited before you enroll. You can find a list of accredited programs on the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education website.
There are currently 7,500 occupational therapist aides in the United States, with 360 new occupational therapist aide job openings created each year.
Occupational Therapist Aide jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Occupational Therapist Aide Salaries
Occupational Therapist Aide salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most occupational therapist aides make between $22,200 – $37,500 per year, or $10.66 – $18.04 per hour.