Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant – Our FAQ

Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant – Our FAQ image

Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant – Our FAQ

Interested in becoming an occupational therapy assistant?  Great!  We’ve put together a list of the most frequently asked questions with answers that should start your gears turning. If you’re even just considering this rewarding field – read on!

Q: What does a occupational therapy assistant do?

A: Occupational therapy assistant careers involve working under the direct supervision of certified occupational therapists to teach injured and disabled patients how to complete everyday tasks, including physical, social, vocational and academic pursuits.

Q: Why should I become an occupational therapy assistant?

A: Occupational therapy can be an incredibly rewarding field! However, students must spend years in school before they can enter the industry as licensed therapists. Those who desire to get started in the field as soon as possible can benefit from an OTA program, which can provide students the knowledge and skills they need to successfully launch rewarding careers as occupational therapy assistants.

Q: What occupational therapy assistant degrees are available?

A: Occupational therapy assistant programs can feature several degree types. The Associate in Applied Science program features a valuable mix of classroom lectures, clinical experience, and laboratory work, all of which prepare future healthcare workers for success in occupational therapy. Some schools also offer a Bachelor Degree. Just make sure that your OTA programs are accredited with the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

Q: How long is the occupational therapy assistant program?

A: Time can vary based on your school and degree type. For example, those enrolled in the Brown Mackie College  occupational therapy assistant programs can be ready to enter the field in as little as two years. The flexible program is good for those with little spare time; busy students love the popular one course per month schedule.

Q: What is the occupational therapy assistant career outlook?

A: The career outlook for occupational therapy assistants is very promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a 40 percent growth rate between 2014 and 2024, compared to a job outlook of just 7 percent across all industries. OTA's career outlook can be attributed, in part, to an expected need for greater assistance as the Baby Boomer population ages and as senior housing and assisted living facilities become more prevalent.

Q: What are the job duties of occupational therapy assistants?

A: Occupational therapy assistants abide by treatment plans created by supervising occupational therapists. OTA professionals teach clients how to complete everyday functions, including everything from dressing themselves to eating with utensils. Occupational therapy assistant jobs may also involve teaching recovering individuals exercises they can use to improve their strength, flexibility, and overall mobility. Although they spend much of their time working directly with clients, many occupational therapy assistants are also tasked with interviewing clients and reviewing their medical records.

Q: Where do occupational therapy assistants work?

A: Occupational therapy assistants work in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, assisted living facilities, daycare facilities, schools and community centers. Others provide home-based care, traveling throughout the community to assist those with limited mobility.

Q: What is difference between occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant?

A: Occupational therapists must obtain a much higher level of academic achievement than occupational therapy assistants. A graduate degree is the absolute minimal educational level required for entry in occupational therapy, whereas occupational therapy assistants can begin to make a difference after obtaining an AS or AAS degree. There are also several differences in job responsibilities; while occupational therapy assistants set up equipment, maintain records, and work directly with clients, occupational therapists spend much of their time assessing patients' progress and using that information to create detailed treatment plans.

To learn more about our Regulatory Information: Brown Mackie College does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to Brown Mackie College.