Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides


Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides


Occupational therapy assistants (also called OTAs) help people with mental, physical, developmental, or emotional limitations using a variety of activities to improve basic motor functions and reasoning abilities. They work under the direct supervision of an occupational therapist, and their duties include helping to plan, implement, and evaluate rehabilitation programs designed to regain patients' self-sufficiency and to restore their physical and mental functions. There are 44,990 occupational therapy assistants employed in the Un...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Some Postsecondary Training



On-the-job training



Coaching/Physical Training


Personality Traits

Hands On


According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median yearly income of occupational therapy assistants was $61,510 in 2019. Salaries ranged from less than $41,730 to $82,210 or more annually. Naturally, experience, location, and type of employer all factor into the salaries paid.

The importance of education, though, cannot be overlooked, as assistants tend to earn more than aides. Median...

Work Environment

Most occupational therapy assistants and aides work full time during the day, although depending on the place of employment, some evening or weekend work may be required. Most therapy is done in a hospital or clinic setting that is clean, well lighted, and generally comfortable.

Occupational therapy assistants often use everyday items, settings, and activities to help rehabilitate their ...


According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment for occupational therapy assistants will grow by 33 percent, much faster than the average, through 2028. Occupational therapy aides will also have much faster than average employment growth (19 percent) in that same time frame. However, only a small number of new jobs will actually be available due to the size of these occupati...