Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTA)

Patients of all ages are increasingly seeking treatment for long-term disabilities and illnesses in their homes, and care providers are looking for ways to keep patients out of hospitals and acute care facilities in order to decrease healthcare costs and improve care quality.  The need for occupational therapy assistants will increase as the baby-boomers age and look to occupational therapy to help them maintain their independence. 

Occupational therapy assistants help patients with treatments that are part of their rehabilitation services plans. Under the direction of an occupational therapist, OT assistants perform specific activities and exercises with patients to help them improve, develop, recover and maintain their ability to perform basic activities of all types.

Occupational therapy assistants:

  • Help people regain or improve abilities to help them stay in their homes or return to work
  • Support the whole person, with attention to physical, mental, and emotional progress
  • Work as part of a team to develop and implement treatment plans

 Employment opportunities can be found in:

Education and training requirements

Occupational therapy assistants must hold a two-year associate’s degree or a certificate in occupational therapy, and must also be licensed. More information about accredited programs and licensure can be found at the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and the Massachusetts division of professional licensure for occupational therapy.

Occupational therapy assistants are also expected to have:

  • Patience and understanding when dealing with patients, especially those who make slow progress or who have emotional or mental challenges
  • Good organization skills and attention to detail
  • A high comfort level working with the elderly, as most growing job opportunities will be related to or include geriatric care

Western MA Fast Facts

  • Workers in Pioneer Valley: 260
  • Education Requirements: Associates degree
  • Entry Level Salary: $20/hour
  • Experienced Salary: $29/hour
  • Learn more at VCN.org

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