Occupational Therapy Aide - How to Become an Occupational Therapy Aide

Occupational Therapy Aide

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Occupational Therapy Aide Job Description


Occupational Therapy Aides work under close supervision of an Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant to perform only delegated, selected, and routine tasks in specific situations. These duties include preparing patient and treatment room. An occupational therapy aide is typically responsible for preparing materials and assembling equipment used during treatments. They are also responsible for a wide variety of clerical duties.




Occupational Therapy Aides perform clerical duties along with tasks appointed to them by their supervisors. Their duties include:

  • Preparing patients

  • Preparing treatment areas

  • Appointment scheduling

  • Answering the telephone

  • Ordering depleted supplies

  • Restocking new supplies

  • Completing insurance forms and other paperwork

OT aides are not licensed so, by law, they are not allowed to perform a wide range of tasks that are open to occupational therapy assistants.




Physical Endurance

Must be able to be physical for many hours to help their supervisors as needed. They must be able to bend, twist, lift, crouch, kneel, push/pull.

Emotional Stability

Must be able to handle the emotional stress of working with impaired patients in need of compassionate health care.


The ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks simultaneously.


Must be able to interact with supervisors and other medical professionals to complete tasks in a timely and effective manner.


Must be able to clearly convey thoughts and ideas to interact with supervisors and patients to effectively complete tasks.


Must be compassionate and able to empathize with a patient's pain and other difficulties.


Must work well with your hands and be nimble.


Working Conditions


The typical variable work schedules of occupational therapy aides may include evening and weekend hours. This will depend on the facility in which they are employed and whether they are a full-time or part-time employee. Many health care facilities and outpatient therapy centers offer weekend and evening appointments to help accommodate patients’ personal schedules.



How to Become an Occupational Therapy Aide:


An occupational therapy aide must typically hold a high school diploma. Most of the training is done on-the-job while working with more experienced aides or occupational therapy assistants. To increase the potential for finding employment as an occupational therapy aide, previous health care experience, along with CPR and Basic Life Support certifications are helpful.


1. Earn Your High School Diploma or GED


You must complete high school or pass the GED test to qualify to get a Occupational Therapy Aide job. You also must be at least 18 years old and it would help if you took math and science course throughout high school. It would benefit you to participate in any medical field prep courses (some high schools have LPN coursework classes or something similar) or gain experience working in a hospital. 


2. Earn the CPR and Basic Life Support Certification


It would help your job search to become certified in Basic Life Support and CPR. You should do whatever it takes to make yourself valuable to your potential employer. These classes don't take a ton of time and can really set you apart from your competition. 


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