An occupational therapy assistant is primarily responsible for assisting an occupational therapist when handling patients at a clinic or similar setting. Their duties revolve around gathering patient information and medical history, treating patients using the therapist's care plan, monitoring a patient's progress, and maintaining an accurate and extensive record. There are also instances when an assistant must discuss the conditions and extent of treatment to patients and families, as well as monitor supplies and inventory.

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Occupational Therapy Assistant Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real occupational therapy assistant resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage a high-volume caseload and organize the daily schedules of occupational therapy assistants and patients.
  • Supervise COTA and conduct weekly meetings on each student treatment caseload, and any additional OT concerns.
  • Provide all occupational therapy services to facility patients, including charting their progress, developing and maintaining treatment plans.
  • Carry out the treatment plan formulate by the OTR.
  • Assist patients with CVA and multiple chronic diagnoses, including COPD and asthma.
  • Complete multiple evaluations, screenings and discharges as well as supervised a COTA.
  • Provide quarterly progress notes for teachers, parent's, school districts, and Medicaid.
  • Perform therapy to patients with hip replacements, knee replacements, CVA, and multiple disorders.
  • Observe and assist CTRS and co-lead individual and group sessions for adults in long-term care setting.
  • Contribute input to IEP s, quarterly progress notes, daily notes and complete monthly Medicaid billing.
  • Lead or co-lead supportive groups focusing on problem solving, coping skills, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • Develop forms for PPS tracking, evaluation, daily progress notes, monthly statistics, and scheduling.
  • Encourage and assist patient performance with the use of resistive tunnels, supine flexes, swing hooks, vestibular pulleys.
  • Help clients to improve their quality of life by training them in work simplification, energy conservation, and compensatory techniques.
  • Instruct patients in the care and use of wheel chairs, braces, crutches, canes, prosthetic and orthotic devices.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Description

When it comes to understanding what an Occupational Therapy Assistant does, you may be wondering, "should I become an Occupational Therapy Assistant?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, Occupational Therapy Assistants have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 31% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of Occupational Therapy Assistant opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 16,000.

Occupational Therapy Assistants average about $23.04 an hour, which makes the Occupational Therapy Assistant annual salary $47,932. Additionally, Occupational Therapy Assistants are known to earn anywhere from $36,000 to $62,000 a year. This means that the top-earning Occupational Therapy Assistants make $26,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

Once you've become an Occupational Therapy Assistant, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a Rehab Technician, Rehabilitation Aide, Student Assistant Technician, and Music Therapy Internship.

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12 Occupational Therapy Assistant Resume Examples

Occupational Therapy Assistant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 22% of Occupational Therapy Assistants are proficient in Rehab, Patient Care, and Facility. They’re also known for soft skills such as Detail oriented, Physical strength, and Adaptability.

We break down the percentage of Occupational Therapy Assistants that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Rehab, 22%

    Completed Occupational Therapy Assistant program with extensive clinical experience in orthopedic, psychiatric, outpatient and acute rehab within hospital setting.

  • Patient Care, 21%

    Provide direct patient care to geriatric population with orthopedic, neurological, degenerative diseases, amputations and medical complications.

  • Facility, 10%

    Planned and implemented therapeutic interventions to clients in a Skilled Nursing Facility and completed the necessary documentation on each assigned client.

  • Group Therapy, 10%

    Assisted pediatric occupational therapists in the provision of group therapy services.

  • Physical Therapy Services, 8%

    Developed, implemented and assisted in new program/techniques to enhance physical therapy services as directed.

  • Treatment Plans, 5%

    Provide customized treatment plans for residents in long term and sub-acute units for residents with Neurological, Orthopedic and Muscular-skeletal disorders.

Most Occupational Therapy Assistants list "Rehab," "Patient Care," and "Facility" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important Occupational Therapy Assistant responsibilities here:

  • Detail oriented can be considered to be the most important personality trait for an Occupational Therapy Assistant to have. According to a Occupational Therapy Assistant resume, "Occupational therapy assistants and aides must quickly and accurately follow the instructions, both written and spoken, of an occupational therapist" Occupational Therapy Assistants are able to use Detail oriented in the following example we gathered from a resume: "Educated/trained patients with adaptive equipment/assistive device use during goal oriented tasks to promote safety and independence. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling Occupational Therapy Assistant duties is Physical strength. According to a Occupational Therapy Assistant resume, "Assistants and aides need to have a moderate degree of strength because of the physical exertion required to assist patients." Here's an example of how Occupational Therapy Assistants are able to utilize Physical strength: "Assisted patients with physical movements to help restore function and lessen pain and disability within home setting"
  • Adaptability is also an important skill for Occupational Therapy Assistants to have. This example of how Occupational Therapy Assistants use this skill comes from a Occupational Therapy Assistant resume, "Assistants must be flexible when treating patients" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "Established rapport with staff and adapted to the needs of the facility by demonstrating flexibility and adaptability. "
  • An Occupational Therapy Assistant responsibilities sometimes require "Compassion." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "Occupational therapy assistants and aides frequently work with patients who struggle with many of life’s basic activities" This resume example shows how this skill is used by Occupational Therapy Assistants: "Provide high quality, compassionate and ethical outpatient mental health therapy to clients as scheduled. "
  • Yet another important skill that an Occupational Therapy Assistant must demonstrate is "Interpersonal skills." Occupational therapy assistants and aides spend much of their time interacting with patients and therefore should be friendly and courteous This is clearly demonstrated in this example from an Occupational Therapy Assistant who stated: "Provided staff and caregiver education, utilized documentation skills, as well as organizational and interpersonal skills. "
  • See the full list of Occupational Therapy Assistant skills.

    We've found that 19.3% of Occupational Therapy Assistants have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 4.0% earned their master's degrees before becoming an Occupational Therapy Assistant. While it's true that some Occupational Therapy Assistants have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every two Occupational Therapy Assistants did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those Occupational Therapy Assistants who do attend college, typically earn either Occupational Therapy degrees or Psychology degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for Occupational Therapy Assistants include Business degrees or Health Sciences And Services degrees.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant. We've found that most Occupational Therapy Assistant resumes include experience from Genesis HealthCare, Reliant Rehabilitation, and Therapy Resources Management. Of recent, Genesis HealthCare had 533 positions open for Occupational Therapy Assistants. Meanwhile, there are 292 job openings at Reliant Rehabilitation and 145 at Therapy Resources Management.

    If you're interested in companies where Occupational Therapy Assistants make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Amedisys, Liberty HomeCare and Hospice, and HCA Healthcare. We found that at Amedisys, the average Occupational Therapy Assistant salary is $76,387. Whereas at Liberty HomeCare and Hospice, Occupational Therapy Assistants earn roughly $75,970. And at HCA Healthcare, they make an average salary of $58,299.

    View more details on Occupational Therapy Assistant salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious occupational therapy assistants are:

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      What Rehab Technicians Do

      A 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. It is also essential to maintain records of all transactions, updating medical accounts promptly and accurately. Furthermore, a rehab technician may also perform basic treatments under the supervision of a physical therapist. There are also instances when they have to sanitize and clean therapy equipment, all in adherence to the facility's safety regulations and policies.

      In this section, we compare the average Occupational Therapy Assistant annual salary with that of a Rehab Technician. Typically, Rehab Technicians earn a $22,942 lower salary than Occupational Therapy Assistants earn annually.

      Even though Occupational Therapy Assistants and Rehab Technicians have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require Rehab, Patient Care, and Group Therapy in the day-to-day roles.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, an Occupational Therapy Assistant responsibilities require skills like "Facility," "Special Equipment," "SNF," and "Self Care." Meanwhile a typical Rehab Technician has skills in areas such as "Customer Service," "CPR," "CNA," and "Treatment Areas." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Rehab Technicians receive the highest salaries in the Health Care industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $28,048. But Occupational Therapy Assistants are paid more in the Education industry with an average salary of $47,161.

      On average, Rehab Technicians reach similar levels of education than Occupational Therapy Assistants. Rehab Technicians are 0.2% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 1.5% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Rehabilitation Aide?

      A 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. They also prepare treatment rooms, including the materials and equipment for the medical procedures, and discuss the process with the patients. A rehabilitation aide must be highly organizational, especially in attending to different patients' needs and ensuring the safety and security of all facilities and assets.

      Now we're going to look at the Rehabilitation Aide profession. On average, Rehabilitation Aides earn a $25,439 lower salary than Occupational Therapy Assistants a year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Occupational Therapy Assistants and Rehabilitation Aides both include similar skills like "Patient Care," "Group Therapy," and "Physical Therapy Services" on their resumes.

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real Occupational Therapy Assistant resumes. While Occupational Therapy Assistant responsibilities can utilize skills like "Rehab," "Facility," "Acute Care," and "Crisis Intervention," some Rehabilitation Aides use skills like "CPR," "Treatment Areas," "Data Entry," and "Clinical Staff."

      On average, Rehabilitation Aides earn a lower salary than Occupational Therapy Assistants. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, Rehabilitation Aides earn the most pay in the Non Profits industry with an average salary of $28,025. Whereas, Occupational Therapy Assistants have higher paychecks in the Education industry where they earn an average of $47,161.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, Rehabilitation Aides tend to reach similar levels of education than Occupational Therapy Assistants. In fact, they're 3.6% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.5% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Student Assistant Technician Compares

      Let's now take a look at the Student Assistant Technician profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than Occupational Therapy Assistants with a $1,456 difference per year.

      While looking through the resumes of several Occupational Therapy Assistants and Student Assistant Technicians we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "Patient Care," "Facility," and "Group Therapy," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from Occupational Therapy Assistants resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "Rehab," "Special Equipment," "Self Care," and "Medicare." But a Student Assistant Technician might have skills like "Assistant Student," "Iadl," "Adaptive Equipment," and "Mental Health."

      When it comes to education, Student Assistant Technicians tend to earn similar education levels than Occupational Therapy Assistants. In fact, they're 0.9% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.5% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Music Therapy Internship

      In a music therapy internship, an intern's duties primarily depend on the directives of a manager or supervising staff. Typically, they are responsible for gaining industry insights and practical experience while performing support tasks such as answering calls and correspondence, preparing and processing documents, conducting research and analysis, setting-up instruments and other devices, and running errands as needed. They may also assist and work with clients under the supervision of a therapist. Moreover, they must understand and adhere to the facility's policies and regulations, including its vision and mission.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than Occupational Therapy Assistants. On average, Music Therapy Interns earn a difference of $5,145 lower per year.

      While their salaries may vary, Occupational Therapy Assistants and Music Therapy Interns both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "Patient Care," "Group Therapy," and "Physical Therapy Services. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "Rehab," "Facility," "Acute Care," and "Special Equipment" are skills that have shown up on Occupational Therapy Assistants resumes. Additionally, Music Therapy Internship uses skills like Mental Health, Music Therapy, Spinal Cord Injury, and Substance Abuse on their resumes.

      Music Therapy Interns reach higher levels of education when compared to Occupational Therapy Assistants. The difference is that they're 35.3% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 3.5% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.