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How Much Is The Salary Of An Occupational Therapy Assistant?
There are many reasons why a patient may need occupational therapy rehabilitation services. Birth defects, motor vehicle accidents, heart disease, mental health issues, mental disabilities, sports injuries, falls, and spinal cord injuries are some of the conditions.
Occupational therapy assistants are also known as OTAs. They provide care for children and adults of all ages with disabilities, injuries and illnesses under the supervision of health therapists. Initially, assistants work with occupational therapists to develop a treatment regimen for the patient. They then provide direct hands-on assistance by guiding patients through the treatment plan step by step. They rely on the therapeutic use of daily routine work in the treatment of patients; for example, an occupational therapy assistant may teach a patient, who has lost motor skills due to an accident, how to eat, dress, tidy up and may bring them to the occupational therapy facility and to come back. They can sometimes teach patients to use special equipment to facilitate certain daily activities.
Proper documentation and evaluation of a patient’s progress is essential in the treatment process. Observing and noting details of patients’ progress and redistributing this information to therapists is the duty of an OT assistant. Periodically, the therapist will review these reports, assess the patient’s condition at this point, and adjust treatment as necessary. OTAs often also handle administrative and clerical duties, but depending on their work environment, these duties may be performed by professional therapy aides. They typically answer phone calls, maintain equipment, schedule appointments and file insurance claims. OTAs usually work in hospitals, nursing homes, medical clinics, professional workshops and specialized schools.
Education, training and certification
A student must attend an accredited community college or technical school that offers the OTA program in order to become a vocational therapy assistant. The program lasts 2 years and graduates are considered to have obtained an associate degree. 2-year Occupational Therapy Assistant programs include both classroom work and clinical field work. The hands-on training component provides them with hands-on experiences. Occupational therapy bridge training programs are available for qualified occupational therapy assistants to advance in their careers.
Occupational therapy assistants are required in most states to be licensed before they can practice. One must complete the 2-year associate degree program and pass an exam to obtain a license.
Occupational therapy assistants do not need any certification to practice. However, the COTA (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant) designation can only be awarded to someone who has passed the written exam administered by the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy. For those who want to take this exam, they must follow the accredited programs.
Factors That Affect Occupational Therapy Assistant Salary
– Experience – this is one of the most crucial factors that affect the salary of the assistant. More experienced therapists generally receive a higher salary than those new to the profession. Newcomers will start with an average salary of $30,000 per year, but as they gain experience, an annual salary in excess of $50,000 is not uncommon.
– Education – although certification is not required in all states, however, many employers are looking for certified OTAs. There are currently over 300 accredited programs in the United States, graduates of these programs will often start with a higher salary.
– Location – this is also very important in determining the salary of an occupational therapy assistant. Salaries may differ from state to state. Nevada is the highest paying state for an OTA due to higher demand due to the booming casino industry.
– Employer – working for different employers will result in different salaries. Home care services, employment services, nursing facilities, offices of other health professionals and specialty hospitals are the highest paid employers in this occupation.
Average annual salary of an occupational therapy assistant
The average annual salary for a therapist is $52,150. This is calculated by adding up all salaries within the profession and dividing this value by the total number of employees. The lowest 10% in this occupation earn less than $33,750 and the highest 10% earn more than $71,960. Their average hourly wage is $25.07. The bottom 10% earn $16.22 while the top 10% earn $71,960.
Highest paying cities:
1. El Paso, TX: $72,690
2. San Diego, CA: $70,100
3. Arlington, TX: $68,530
4. Las Vegas, NV: $68,430
5. New Brunswick, New Jersey: $67,550
Highest paying states:
1. Nevada: $68,240
2. Texas: $64,090
3. New Jersey: $62,560
4. California: $61,010
5. Maryland: $59,560
State with highest employment level:
4. New York
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