Research Summary. Some key points about hiring a occupational therapy aides in the United States include:

  • HR departments typically spend 15% of their expenses on recruitment.
  • It usually takes about 12 weeks for a new employee to reach full productivity levels.
  • It typically takes 36-42 days to fill a job opening.
  • The median cost to hire an occupational therapy aide is $1,633.
  • Small businesses spend an average of $1,105 per occupational therapy aide on training each year, while large companies spend $658.
  • There are currently 35,104 occupational therapy aides in the US and 68,832 job openings.
  • Belvedere, CA, has the highest demand for occupational therapy aides, with 3 job openings.
  • New York, NY has the highest concentration of occupational therapy aides.

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How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Occupational Therapy Aide

Recruiting occupational therapy aides involves both the one-time costs of hiring and the ongoing costs of adding a new employee to your team. Your spending during the hiring process will mostly be on things like promoting the job on job boards, reviewing and interviewing candidates, and onboarding the new hire. Ongoing costs will obviously involve the employee's salary, but also may include things like benefits.

You can expect to pay around $31,070 per year for an occupational therapy aide, as this is the median yearly salary nationally. This can vary depending on what state or city you're hiring in. If you're hiring for contract work or on a per-project basis, hourly rates for occupational therapy aides in the US typically range between $7 and $28 an hour.

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How to hire an Occupational Therapy Aide, step by step

To hire an occupational therapy aide, you should clearly understand the skills and experience you are looking for in a candidate, and allocate a budget for the position. You will also need to post and promote the job opening to reach potential candidates. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to hire an occupational therapy aide:

  • Step 1: Identify your needs
  • Step 2: Create an ideal candidate profile
  • Step 3: Make a budget
  • Step 4: Writing an occupational therapy aide job description
  • Step 5: Post the job
  • Step 6: Interview process
  • Step 7: Send a job offer and onboard your new occupational therapy aide
  • Step 8: Go through the checklist for the hiring process

Identify Your Needs

Before you post your occupational therapy aide job, you should take the time to determine what type of worker your business need. While certain jobs definitely require a full-time employee, it's sometimes better to find an occupational therapy aide for hire on a part-time basis or as a contractor.

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An occupational therapy aide's background is also an important factor in determining whether they'll be a good fit for the position. For example, occupational therapy aides from different industries or fields will have radically different experiences and will bring different viewpoints to the role. You also need to consider the candidate's previous level of experience to make sure they'll be comfortable with the job's level of seniority.

The list breaks down common occupational therapy aide roles and compares their salaries.

Type Of Occupational Therapy AideDescriptionHourly Rate
Occupational Therapy AideOccupational therapy assistants and aides help patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. Occupational therapy assistants are directly involved in providing therapy to patients; occupational therapy aides typically perform support activities... Show More$7-28
Rehab TechnicianA rehab technician's role is to assist physical therapists and patients in a hospital or similar facility. Typically, their responsibilities revolve around gathering a patient's personal information and medical history, escorting them to corresponding rooms, and conducting initial tests and assessments... Show More$10-17
Rehabilitation AideA rehabilitation aide is responsible for assisting patients with injuries, mental disorders, and illnesses in their treatment plans and medications. Rehabilitation aides monitor the patients' progress and update attending physicians regarding their conditions... Show More$10-16

Create An Ideal Candidate Profile

Before you start to recruit occupational therapy aides, imagine the ideal employee for this position and begin creating a profile and job description. What skills do they have, and what responsibilities do they have to be proficient in?

Occupational therapy aides typically have the following skills:

Common Skills:
  • Patients
  • Rehabilitation
  • Patient Care
  • CPR
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Home Health
  • Occupational Therapy Treatments
  • COTA
  • IEP
  • ADL
  • Treatment Programs
  • Treatment Sessions
  • Patient Treatment
Check All Skills

Here is a list of common responsibilities that occupational therapy aides may be expected to fulfill:

  • Achieve advance clinical competency in UE splinting.
  • Observe occupational therapy sessions in inpatient dementia, pediatric, geriatric ward; outpatient ward; and senior rehabilitation center
  • Integrate theory into evaluation, intervention and discharge planning in outpatient rehabilitation for adults with orthopedic and neurological conditions.
  • Assist occupational and physical therapists with maximum assistance transfers, adaptive equipment use and prevent falls of patients during strenuous activities.
  • Plan and conduct individualized occupational therapy programs to help patients develop, regain, or maintain ability to perform daily activities.
  • Assist clients with their ADL's, strengthening, splinting and motor skills.
Check all Duties

Cultural fit is also an essential factor that you shouldn't overlook. Consider how your perfect occupational therapy aide will contribute to the team dynamic and help grow the team's culture in a positive way. If you can include a clear vision of this in your occupational therapy aide job description, it'll help attract candidates who are better suited for the position.

Most Common States For Occupational Therapy Aides In The US

Rank #State# Of Jobs% of PopulationAvg. Salary

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Make A Budget

Including a salary range in your job description is a great way to entice the best and brightest candidates. An occupational therapy aide salary can vary based on several factors:

  • Location. For example, occupational therapy aides' average salary in texas is 57% less than in hawaii.
  • Seniority. Entry-level occupational therapy aides earn 73% less than senior-level occupational therapy aides.
  • Certifications. An occupational therapy aide with a few certifications under their belt will likely demand a higher salary.
  • Company. Working for a prestigious company or an exciting start-up can make a huge difference in an occupational therapy aide's salary.

Updated March 16, 2023

Occupational Therapy Aide Salary Estimate


$31,070 yearly

Entry level Salary
$16,000 yearly

Occupational Therapy Aide Average Salary By Location

RankStateAvg. SalaryHourly RateJob Count

Occupational Therapy Aide Average Salary By Company

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Sutter Health$35,791$17.2169
2LifePoint Health$34,689$16.68414
3Mercy Corps$31,825$15.3068
4Mission Regional Medical Center$31,326$15.0625
5Professional Physical Therapy$28,807$13.8517
6State Of Idaho$28,614$13.766
7Mercy Health$25,427$12.2294

Writing an Occupational Therapy Aide Job Description

An occupational therapy aide job description should include a summary of the role, required skills, and a list of responsibilities. It's also good to include a salary range and the first name of the hiring manager. Below, you can find an example of an occupational therapy aide job description:

Example of Full Job Description

CPMC-California Pacific Med Center Davies

**Position Overview:**

Responsible for assessing, planning, organizing, and participating in rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to persons with upper extremity injuries or dysfunction. Design and fabricate custom orthoses for various upper extremity conditions to protect affected structures, to prevent development of contractures, and to improve function. Gains confidence and cooperation from the patient, their family/support group, and other healthcare providers through competent patient assessment, attentive monitoring and care, and effective communication. Adheres to all local/state/federal regulations, codes, policies and procedures to ensure privacy and safety while delivering optimal patient care. Provides clinical supervision of assistants and aides, and serves as clinical instructor for assigned students.

**Job Description** :


Other: Graduate of accredited occupational therapy program.


OT-Occupational Therapist

BLS-Basic Life Support Healthcare Provider

California Advanced Certification in Hand Therapy and Physical Agent Modalities


2 years experience as Occupational Therapist.


Critical thinking, complex problems solving, decisive judgement and ability to work independently.

Knowledge and application of professional practice and regulatory requirements.

Must be able to work in demanding work environment, organize multiple priorities completing work duties within expected timelines and requirements.

Computer and required technology proficiency/competencies.

Demonstrates effective and efficient professional communication (verbal & written) skills as well as interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, teamwork/collaboration, customer service and community relations abilities.

Able to retain and apply new knowledge & skills.

Keeps abreast of professional practice development and advancement.

Custom orthosis fabrication skills.


BLS-Basic Life Support Healthcare Provider - American Heart Association, OT-Occupational Therapist - California Department of Consumer Affairs


Bachelor's: Occupational Therapy

**Job Shift:**



Per Diem/Casual

**Shift Hours:**


**Days of the Week:**


**Weekend Requirements:**






**Position Status:**


**Weekly Hours:**


**Employee Status:**

Per Diem/Casual

**Number of Openings:**


Sutter Health Affiliates are equal opportunity employers EOE/M/F/Disability/Veterans.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, registered domestic partner status, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, ancestry, national origin (including possession of a driver's license issued to individuals who did not present proof of authorized presence in the U.S.), age, medical condition, physical or mental disability, military or protected veteran status, political affiliation, pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical condition, genetic information or any other characteristic made unlawful by local, state, or federal law, ordinance or regulation. External hires must pass a background check/drug screening. Qualified applicants with arrest and/or conviction records will be considered for employment in a manner consistent with Federal, state, and local laws, including but not limited to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance.

Post A Job

There are a few common ways to find occupational therapy aides for your business:

  • Promoting internally or recruiting from your existing workforce.
  • Ask for referrals from friends, family members, and current employees.
  • Attend job fairs at local colleges to meet candidates with the right educational background.
  • Use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to recruit passive job-seekers.

Post your job online:

  • Post your occupational therapy aide job on Zippia to find and recruit occupational therapy aide candidates who meet your exact specifications.
  • Use field-specific websites such as healthcarejobsite, health jobs nationwide, hospitalcareers,
  • Post a job on free websites.

Interview Process

Your first interview with occupational therapy aide candidates should focus on their interest in the role and their specific background experience. As the hiring process goes on, you can learn more about how they'd fit into the company culture in later rounds of interviews.

Don't forget to include a few questions that give a candidate chance to expand on their strengths in their own words. Asking about their special skills might reveal things you'd miss otherwise. At this point, candidates who are good enough can move on to the technical interview.

The right interview questions can help you assess a candidate's hard skills, behavioral intelligence, and soft skills.

Send A Job Offer And Onboard Your New Occupational Therapy Aide

Once you've selected the best occupational therapy aide candidate for the job, it's time to write an offer letter. In addition to salary, this letter should include details about the benefits and perks that you're offering the candidate. It's essential to ensure that your offer is competitive, as qualified candidates may be considering other job opportunities. The candidate may wish to negotiate the terms of the offer, and it's important to be open to discussion. After you reach an agreement, the final step is formalizing the agreement with a contract.

It's also good etiquette to follow up with applicants who don't get the job by sending them an email letting them know that the position has been filled.

Once that's done, you can draft an onboarding schedule for the new occupational therapy aide. Human Resources should complete Employee Action Forms and ensure that onboarding paperwork is completed, including I-9s, benefits enrollment, federal and state tax forms, etc. They should also ensure that new employee files are created for internal recordkeeping.

Go Through The Checklist For The Hiring Process

  • Determine employee type (full-time, part-time, contractor, etc.)
  • Submit a job requisition form to the HR department
  • Define job responsibilities and requirements
  • Establish budget and timeline
  • Determine hiring decision makers for the role
  • Write job description
  • Post job on job boards, company website, etc.
  • Promote the job internally
  • Process applications through applicant tracking system
  • Review resumes and cover letters
  • Shortlist candidates for screening
  • Hold phone/virtual interview screening with first round of candidates
  • Conduct in-person interviews with top candidates from first round
  • Score candidates based on weighted criteria (e.g., experience, education, background, cultural fit, skill set, etc.)
  • Conduct background checks on top candidates
  • Check references of top candidates
  • Consult with HR and hiring decision makers on job offer specifics
  • Extend offer to top candidate(s)
  • Receive formal job offer acceptance and signed employment contract
  • Inform other candidates that the position has been filled
  • Set and communicate onboarding schedule to new hire(s)
  • Complete new hire paperwork (i9, benefits enrollment, tax forms, etc.)
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Hiring Occupational Therapy Aides FAQs

How Much Does A Good Occupational Therapy Aide Cost?

A good occupational therapy aide costs $14.94 an hour in the US. However, it can vary based on factors such as the occupational therapy aide experience, abilities, industry, and the specific requirements of your business.

What Are The Duties Of An Occupational Therapy Aide?

The duties of an occupational therapy aide are:
  • Achieve advance clinical competency in UE splinting.
  • Observe occupational therapy sessions in inpatient dementia, pediatric, geriatric ward; outpatient ward; and senior rehabilitation center
  • Integrate theory into evaluation, intervention and discharge planning in outpatient rehabilitation for adults with orthopedic and neurological conditions.

Should I Hire An Occupational Therapy Aide With No Experience?

Yes, you should hire an occupational therapy aide with no experience. Hiring an entry-level occupational therapy aide with no experience offers versatility for your team. They may lack some qualifications, but are adaptable and have not yet formed problematic habits. However, more training may be required compared to experienced.

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