Occupational Therapy Assistant  What They Do

Just the Facts


Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides Career Video



Assists occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. In accordance with State laws, may assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments. Generally requires formal training.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Selects therapy activities to fit patients' needs and capabilities.
  • Monitors patients' performance in therapy activities, providing encouragement.
  • Observes and records patients' progress, attitudes, and behavior and maintains this information in client records.
  • Maintains and promotes a positive attitude toward clients and their treatment programs.
  • Instructs, or assists in instructing, patients and families in home programs, basic living skills, or the care and use of adaptive equipment.
  • Aids patients in dressing and grooming themselves.
  • Implements, or assists occupational therapists with implementing, treatment plans designed to help clients function independently.
  • Communicates and collaborates with other healthcare professionals involved with the care of a patient.
  • Evaluates the daily living skills or capacities of physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabled clients.
  • Attends continuing education classes.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Related Careers


Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves keeping or regaining your balance more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves kneeling, crouching, stooping, and/or crawling more than one-third of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects

Work Hours and Travel

  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Occupational Therapy Aide -- Assists OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST (medical ser.) 076.121-010 or OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT (medical ser.) 076.364-010 in occupational therapy program in hospital or similar institution.
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant and Aide --