Occupational Therapy Assistants

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About the Job

Assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments. Generally requires formal training.

It is also Called

  • Staff Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant/Licensed (Staff COTA/L)
  • School Based Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Rehabilitation Assistant
  • Occupational Therapy Technician
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)
  • Occupational Therapist Assistants
  • Occupational Therapist Assistant
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Licensed Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Independent Living Specialist
View All

What They Do

  • Assist educational specialists or clinical psychologists in administering situational or diagnostic tests to measure client's abilities or progress.
  • Design, fabricate, or repair assistive devices or make adaptive changes to equipment or environments.
  • Transport patients to and from the occupational therapy work area.
  • Order any needed educational or treatment supplies.
  • Attend care plan meetings to review patient progress and update care plans.
  • Assemble, clean, or maintain equipment or materials for patient use.
  • Perform clerical duties, such as scheduling appointments, collecting data, or documenting health insurance billings.
  • Demonstrate therapy techniques, such as manual or creative arts or games.
  • Teach patients how to deal constructively with their emotions.
  • Work under the direction of occupational therapists to plan, implement, or administer educational, vocational, or recreational programs that restore or enhance performance in individuals with functional impairments.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Achievement and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $48,940 with most people making between $31,870 and $65,700

Outlook

3.33%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 2,520 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 3,360 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 84 openings due to growth and about 76 replacement openings for approximately 160 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education