Healthcare & Medical

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational therapy assistants help patients develop, recover, and improve the skills they need for everyday living and activities.

  • Entry-level education

    VET qualification

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does an Occupational Therapy Assistant do?

Occupational therapy assistants help patients develop, recover, and improve the skills they need for everyday living and activities.

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Work activities

As an occupational therapy assistant, you would:

  • follow treatment plans developed by occupational therapists
  • select appropriate therapy activities to fit patients' needs and capabilities
  • monitor patients' performance and development
  • instruct, or assist in instructing, patients and families in self-care and everyday living skills
  • show patients and their families how to use adaptive equipment
  • maintain and promote a positive attitude toward clients and their treatment programs
  • record patients' progress in client records
  • help clients to live as independently as possible.
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Key skills and interests

To become an occupational therapy assistant, you would need:

  • good communication skills
  • good listening skills
  • sensitivity to the needs and concerns of patients
  • to be flexible and adaptable
  • good organisational skills
  • patience and empathy
  • a positive and encouraging attitude.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

In a full-time job you would work a standard number of hours per week, Monday to Friday. Part-time or flexible work should be readily available.

Conditions

Occupational therapy assistants spend much of their time on their feet, setting up equipment and working with patients, They work under the guidance of occupational therapists.

You could work in hospitals, health centres, residential care or aged care homes, and in the client's own home. A drivers' licence may be needed if you are working in clients' homes.

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How to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant?

Entry Level Education

Occupational therapy assistants would generally need at least a VET qualification in an appropriate health or allied health area. To get into these courses, you would generally need to have gained your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of occupational therapy assistants is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations.

Occupational therapy will continue to be an important part of treatment for people with various illnesses and disabilities, and more occupational therapy assistants will be needed to help treat people with a growing rate of chronic conditions, and the large, aging baby-boom population.

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