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Career Facts - Occupational Therapy Assistant

What does an Occupational Therapy Assistant do?

Occupational therapy uses everyday activities as the means to help people achieve independence. Under the supervision of registered occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants (OTA) help people of all ages to lead productive satisfying lives by providing client-centered therapy in a variety of settings. The OTA is instrumental in helping clients become more independent in self care, functional mobility, home management, participation in play/leisure/work activities, success with social participation, environmental modification, adaptive equipment design, splint fabrication and client/caregiver education.

Individuals who are licensed Occupational Therapy Assistants are eligible to work in hospitals, schools, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, mental health facilities, home health agencies, assisted living centers, and community programs. Occupational therapy clinics operate primarily in the day hours, but evening and weekend hours are available in some settings. There are opportunities for full and part time work.

What is the average salary range for an Occupational Therapy Assistant?

Salary ranges for Occupational Therapy Assistants will vary according to experience and the type of employment setting. A new graduate Occupational Therapist Assistant will make approximately $42,000 per year. Experienced Occupational Therapist Assistants will make up to $60,000 per year.

What type of training is required to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant?

Occupational therapy assistants are required to graduate from a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) to be able to apply for certification and licensure. The individual who successfully completes these courses at CCRI earns an Associate in Applied Science (A. A. S.) degree and is eligible to sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapy assistants which is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). An individual must successfully pass the certification examination in order to apply for licensure to practice as a certified occupational therapy assistant in the state of Rhode Island. State licensure requirements may vary from state to state.