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Occupational Therapy Assistants

Assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments. Generally requires formal training.   (O'Net 31-2011.00)

 
Reported job titles:   Acute Care Occupational Therapy Assistant, Behavior Specialist, Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant (COTA), Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant/Licensed (COTA/L), Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA), Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant-Licensed (COTA-L), Health Service Worker, Independent Living Specialist, Licensed Occupational Therapy Assistant, Occupational Therapist, Occupational Therapist Assistant, Occupational Therapist Assistants, Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA), Occupational Therapy Technician, Rehabilitation Assistant, School Based Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, Staff Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant/Licensed (Staff COTA/L)
 
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    Wages
    for Occupational Therapy Assistants
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     Location Pay
    Period
    2016
    Percentile Wages Average
    Wage
    10% 25% 50%
    Median
    75% 90%
     Vermont Hourly $ 20.95   $ 23.92   $ 27.49   $ 30.96   $ 38.38   $ 28.27  
    Yearly $43,580   $49,760   $57,180   $64,400   $79,830   $58,790  
     
     Southern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 20.49   $ 23.68   $ 26.81   $ 29.87   $ 33.80   $ 26.63  
    Yearly $42,610   $49,240   $55,750   $62,120   $70,300   $55,380  
     
     Northern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 22.29   $ 25.70   $ 28.00   $ 30.30   $ 40.32   $ 28.71  
    Yearly $46,370   $53,450   $58,240   $63,030   $83,860   $59,720  
     
    What are Percentile Wages?
    source: Occupational Employment Statistics, Vermont Labor Market Information, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released April 2017.
     


    Employment Trends
    for Occupational Therapy Assistants
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    Location Employment Annual % change
    (compounded)
    Annual job openings
    (due to growth and
    net replacements)
    2014 2024
    Vermont 35 42 1.8% 2
    source: Employment Projections, Vermont Economic & Labor Market Information, in cooperation with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, statewide estimates released July 2016.
     


    Industries of Employment
    for Occupational Therapy Assistants
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    Industry Percent of Total
    2014
    Ambulatory healthcare services 49.9%
    Nursing and residential care facilities 21.0%
    Hospitals; state, local, and private 16.7%
    Educational services; state, local, and private 5.3%
    Social assistance 2.8%
    source: Employment Projections, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, released July 2016.
     


    Tasks
    for Occupational Therapy Assistants
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  • Select therapy activities to fit patients' needs and capabilities.
     
  • Observe and record patients' progress, attitudes, and behavior and maintain this information in client records.
     
  • Communicate and collaborate with other healthcare professionals involved with the care of a patient.
     
  • Maintain and promote a positive attitude toward clients and their treatment programs.
     
  • Monitor patients' performance in therapy activities, providing encouragement.
     
  • Instruct, or assist in instructing, patients and families in home programs, basic living skills, or the care and use of adaptive equipment.
     
  • Implement, or assist occupational therapists with implementing, treatment plans designed to help clients function independently.
     
  • Evaluate the daily living skills or capacities of physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabled clients.
     
  • Aid patients in dressing and grooming themselves.
     
  • Report to supervisors, verbally or in writing, on patients' progress, attitudes, and behavior.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Occupational Therapy Assistants  updated June 2010
     


    Knowledge
    for Occupational Therapy Assistants
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  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
     
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
     
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
     
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
     
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
     
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
     
  • Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
     
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Occupational Therapy Assistants  updated June 2010
     


    Skills
    for Occupational Therapy Assistants
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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
     
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
     
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
     
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
     
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
     
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
     
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
     
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
     
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
     
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Occupational Therapy Assistants  updated June 2010
     


    Abilities
    for Occupational Therapy Assistants
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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
     
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
     
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
     
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
     
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
     
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
     
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
     
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
     
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
     
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Occupational Therapy Assistants  updated June 2010
     


    Work Activities
    for Occupational Therapy Assistants
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  • Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
     
  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
     
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
     
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
     
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
     
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
     
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
     
  • Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
     
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
     
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Occupational Therapy Assistants  updated June 2010
     


    Interests
    for Occupational Therapy Assistants
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  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
     
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Occupational Therapy Assistants  updated June 2008
     


    Work Styles
    for Occupational Therapy Assistants
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  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
     
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
     
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
     
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
     
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
     
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
     
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
     
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
     
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
     
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Occupational Therapy Assistants  updated June 2010
     


    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Occupational Therapy Assistants
    Back to Top
     
    License Name Licensing Agency
    Occupational Therapy Assistant Vermont Secretary of State
    Office of Professional Regulation
    Occupational Therapist Licensing
     
    source: Vermont Department of Labor, Licensed & Certified Occupations in Vermont, 2015.
     


    Education and Training Requirements
    for Occupational Therapy Assistants
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  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  •  
  • Education: Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  •  
  • Training: Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  •  
  • Experience: Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Occupational Therapy Assistants  updated June 2010
     


    Schools
    offering instructional programs related to Occupational Therapy Assistants
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      Related Instructional Programs
     
    • Occupational Therapist Assistant.
     
     Search for schools offering these programs at
     
     
     
    source: National Center for Education Statistics 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs .
     


    Other Resources
    for Occupational Therapy Assistants
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  • Health Care Careers
  • A resource of the University of Vermont, the Area Health Education Centers Program (AHEC) has four regional centers where you can learn about careers in healthcare and the college programs, finanical aide and other resoures needed to pursue that career.
     
  • Labor Exchange Information
  • A source for occupational characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and years of education and an alternative source for occupational wage rates. Limited to people looking for jobs and the jobs advertised through VDOL Vermont Job Link.
  • Look for statewide information over the latest 12 months for Occupational Therapy Assistants.
  •  
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
    Go to Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Handbook occupations related to Occupational Therapy Assistants :
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides
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    Related Occupations
    Occupations with skill requirements similar to Occupational Therapy Assistants
    Back to Top
     
     
  • Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
  •  
  • Medical Assistants
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  • Occupational Therapy Aides
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  • Physical Therapist Assistants
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  • Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education
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  • Psychiatric Aides
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  • Psychiatric Technicians
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  • Respiratory Therapy Technicians
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  • Social and Human Service Assistants
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Occupational Therapy Assistants 
     

     
     
     
    Vermont.gov State of Vermont Department of Labor