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Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Careers

Certified occupational therapy assistants work under licensed occupational therapists' direction to help the clients by providing rehabilitative services to those with any form of impairment. They treat the clients by using therapeutic and self-care activities designed to improve function. Certified occupational therapy assistants earn an average sum of $51,000 annually or $25 per hour.

Certified occupational therapy assistants primarily help patients perform daily living activities and perform exercises as specified in a treatment plan. They monitor the patient's activities to ensure that they are performing the exercises correctly while offering encouragement. They also document patient's weekly progress in appropriate records while maintaining the office treatment areas.

Certified occupational therapy assistants typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent and current licensure as occupational therapy assistants in practicing state or nationally certified. It will be best to earn an associate degree, which usually takes two years to complete. Additionally, certified occupational therapy assistants typically combine classroom study with clinical fieldwork.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a certified occupational therapy assistant. For example, did you know that they make an average of $23.14 an hour? That's $48,137 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 31% and produce 16,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Do

There are certain skills that many certified occupational therapy assistants have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed detail oriented, physical strength and adaptability.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a certified occupational therapy assistant, we found that a lot of resumes listed 18.5% of certified occupational therapy assistants included facility, while 16.9% of resumes included treatment plans, and 16.8% of resumes included rehab. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the certified occupational therapy assistant job title. But what industry to start with? Most certified occupational therapy assistants actually find jobs in the health care and non profits industries.

How To Become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

If you're interested in becoming a certified occupational therapy assistant, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 10.5% of certified occupational therapy assistants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.2% of certified occupational therapy assistants have master's degrees. Even though some certified occupational therapy assistants have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a certified occupational therapy assistant. When we researched the most common majors for a certified occupational therapy assistant, we found that they most commonly earn associate degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on certified occupational therapy assistant resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a certified occupational therapy assistant. In fact, many certified occupational therapy assistant jobs require experience in a role such as occupational therapy assistant. Meanwhile, many certified occupational therapy assistants also have previous career experience in roles such as senior technician specialist or certified nursing assistant.

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Average Salary
$48,137
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
31%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
36,199
Job Openings

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Career Paths

Top Careers Before Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

Top Careers After Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants in America make an average salary of $48,137 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $62,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $37,000 per year.
Average Salary
$48,137

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Stockton, CA
Salary Range46k - 72k$58k$58,044
Paradise, NV
Salary Range41k - 62k$51k$51,069
Long Beach, NY
Salary Range40k - 60k$50k$49,630
Gaithersburg, MD
Salary Range40k - 59k$49k$49,285
Oak Lawn, IL
Salary Range39k - 58k$48k$48,131
Middletown, OH
Salary Range39k - 57k$48k$47,806
$33k
$72k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant-Cota-Skilled Nursing Facility
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant-Cota-Skilled Nursing Facility
Careerstaff Unlimited
Careerstaff Unlimited
03/26/2021
03/26/2021
$18,78303/26/2021
$18,783
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant-Cota-Skilled Nursing Facility
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant-Cota-Skilled Nursing Facility
Careerstaff Unlimited
Careerstaff Unlimited
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$18,78301/30/2021
$18,783
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (Cota)-Work Therapy
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (Cota)-Work Therapy
Wisconsin Government
Wisconsin Government
12/16/2020
12/16/2020
$40,63412/16/2020
$40,634
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (Cota)-PRN
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (Cota)-PRN
Good Samaritan Society
Good Samaritan Society
12/14/2020
12/14/2020
$39,65312/14/2020
$39,653
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant-Cota-School-Fmla Coverage
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant-Cota-School-Fmla Coverage
Careerstaff Unlimited
Careerstaff Unlimited
11/24/2020
11/24/2020
$40,43611/24/2020
$40,436
See More Recent Salaries

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Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Demographics

Gender

female

82.6 %

male

15.6 %

unknown

1.8 %

Ethnicity

White

73.2 %

Black or African American

10.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

9.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

81.0 %

French

5.2 %

Portuguese

1.7 %
See More Demographics

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Education

Degrees

Associate

78.3 %

Bachelors

9.5 %

Certificate

9.4 %

Top Colleges for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Public

In-State Tuition
$17,653
Enrollment
16,405

3. Emory University

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,306
Enrollment
6,975

4. Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,042
Enrollment
5,131

5. Kettering College

Kettering, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,960
Enrollment
610

6. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,595
Enrollment
30,184

7. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

8. University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,730
Enrollment
18,830

9. Clarkson College

Omaha, NE • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,392
Enrollment
646

10. Maria College of Albany

Albany, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,140
Enrollment
876
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 18.5% of certified occupational therapy assistants listed facility on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and physical strength are important as well.

Best States For a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a certified occupational therapy assistant. The best states for people in this position are California, Nevada, Hawaii, and New Mexico. Certified occupational therapy assistants make the most in California with an average salary of $56,427. Whereas in Nevada and Hawaii, they would average $51,561 and $51,358, respectively. While certified occupational therapy assistants would only make an average of $50,053 in New Mexico, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Texas

Total Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Jobs:
3,170
Highest 10% Earn:
$71,000
Location Quotient:
1.34
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Nevada

Total Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Jobs:
251
Highest 10% Earn:
$76,000
Location Quotient:
1.03
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Arkansas

Total Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Jobs:
330
Highest 10% Earn:
$70,000
Location Quotient:
1.08
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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How Do Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Rate Their Jobs?

What do you like the most about working as Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant?

I absolutely loved working with the elderly and veteran populations in skilled nursing facilities and at the VA hospital. I thoroughly enjoy empowering people to live their best lives and I'm heart broken that I will no longer be able to find employment in this field. Show More

What do you NOT like?

I absolutely loved working as a COTA these past seven years but it has been filled with ups and downs. Working at skilled nursing facilities is difficult due to high productivity demands impacting therapist ability to give patient centered care. Now with the new patient driven payment model change to medicare laws, therapists are being laid off left and right. These therapists, like myself, will have the impossible task of trying to find work in the Seattle area - which has been flooded with newly graduated COTAs due to several OTA schools opening in this area. The jobs in pediatrics and at hospitals that are left will see in increase in competition as the displaces/laid off COTAs rush to those jobs. Show More

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Top Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Employers

1. HCR ManorCare
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$38,268
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants Hired: 
76+
2. Encore Rehabilitation Services
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$46,495
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants Hired: 
61+
3. Life Care Centers of America
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$40,142
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants Hired: 
54+
4. Genesis HealthCare
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$46,409
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants Hired: 
51+
5. Kindred Healthcare
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$48,949
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants Hired: 
40+
6. Supplemental Health Care
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$53,590
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants Hired: 
35+
Updated October 2, 2020