Occupational Therapy Technician: Training and Career Facts

Occupational therapy technicians can complete training through an associate's degree program. Read on for details about typical duties of occupational therapists, what you'll learn in a training program and career prospects. Schools offering Occupational Therapy Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Occupational therapy technicians (OT techs) are also known as occupational therapy assistants. Training for this career typically requires that you complete a 2-year degree program. You can expect to find plenty of employment opportunities as an occupational therapy technician as there is much faster than average job growth in this industry.

Degree Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy
Training A minimum of 16 weeks of fieldwork is required to earn a degree
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 28%, much faster than average job growth

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Training Will I Need To Be an Occupational Therapy Technician?

Programs for OT techs are offered at the associate's degree level and take two years to complete. To be eligible for the certifying exam for occupational therapy assistants, you must attend a school that has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

Your first year of study will focus on general education and provide you with an introduction to the field. You will likely study subjects such as:

  • Anatomy
  • Psychology
  • Mathematics
  • Medical terminology

The second year of training will incorporate occupational therapy fundamentals in kinesiology, medical conditions, assessment techniques and implementation of treatment plans. Typically, coursework is supplemented with internship or fieldwork requirements so that you can gain experience in clinical settings.

What Can I Expect From a Career as an Occupational Therapy Technician?

OT techs work with clients who are living with an impairment, injury or disease, and struggling with the demands of everyday life. OT techs work under the direction of occupational therapists to help clients adapt to physical, emotional, cognitive or developmental needs. The work of an OT tech entails following clients' treatment plans to teach pertinent skills, while continually monitoring the progression of each client. This is accomplished by incorporating lessons and activities that address issues, such as stretching and caring for restricted parts of the body, adapting to lost motor skills, maneuvering a wheelchair, and improving living and social skills

What is the Career Outlook for the Field?

Occupational therapy services are in high demand, as schools, hospitals, mental health centers and numerous other facilities look to meet the needs of their clients. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for occupational therapy assistants will increase as the elderly, disabled and limited functioning populations continue to grow (www.bls.gov). Within the 2016 to 2026 decade, employment for occupational therapy assistants is projected to increase at a rate of 28%.

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