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Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Assistants in Little Rock, Arkansas

If you want to be an occupational therapy assistant, the Little Rock, Arkansas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 120 people are currently employed as occupational therapy assistants in Arkansas. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 39% to about 160 people employed. This is better than the national trend for occupational therapy assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 29.8% over the next eight years. Occupational therapy assistants generally assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures.

Income for occupational therapy assistants is about $25 per hour or $52,500 yearly on average in Arkansas. Nationally, their income is about $23 per hour or $48,230 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Occupational Therapy, people working as occupational therapy assistants in Arkansas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Occupational Therapy nationally. Jobs in this field include: licensed occupational therapy assistant, rehabilitation assistant, and independent living specialist.

There are twenty-five schools of higher education in the Little Rock area, including two within twenty-five miles of Little Rock where you can get a degree to start your career as an occupational therapy assistant. The most common level of education for occupational therapy assistants is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years training to become an occupational therapy assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, occupational therapy assistants assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. They also may, in accordance with State laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments.

Occupational therapy assistants observe and record patients' progress and behavior, and maintain this data in client archives. They also report to supervisors, verbally or in writing, on patients' progress, attitudes and behavior. Equally important, occupational therapy assistants have to monitor patients' performance in therapy efforts, providing encouragement. They are often called upon to maintain and promote a positive attitude toward clients and their treatment programs. They are expected to teach patients how to deal constructively with their emotions. Finally, occupational therapy assistants layout and repair assistive devices and make adaptive changes to apparatus and environments.

Every day, occupational therapy assistants are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for occupational therapy assistants to order any needed educational or treatment supplies. They are often called upon to aid patients in dressing and grooming themselves. They also execute clerical duties such as scheduling appointments and documenting health insurance billings. They are sometimes expected to assist educational specialists or clinical psychologists in administering situational or diagnostic tests to measure client's abilities or progress. Somewhat less frequently, occupational therapy assistants are also expected to maintain and promote a positive attitude toward clients and their treatment programs.

Occupational therapy assistants sometimes are asked to implement, or assist occupational therapists with implementing, treatment plans designed to help clients function independently. and evaluate the daily living skills and capacities of physically, developmentally or emotionally disabled clients. And finally, they sometimes have to report to supervisors, verbally or in writing, on patients' progress, attitudes and behavior.

Like many other jobs, occupational therapy assistants must believe in cooperation and coordination and have exceptional integrity.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Occupational Therapy Assistant Training

Pulaski Technical College - North Little Rock, AR

Pulaski Technical College, 3000 W Scenic Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72118-3347. Pulaski Technical College is a medium sized college located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,092 students. Pulaski Technical College has an associate's degree program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Baptist Health Schools-Little Rock - Little Rock, AR

Baptist Health Schools-Little Rock, 11900 Col Glenn Rd Ste 1000, Little Rock, AR 72210-2820. Baptist Health Schools-Little Rock is a small school located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 851 students and an admission rate of 38%. Baptist Health Schools-Little Rock has a two to four year program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

LICENSES

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Licensing agency: Arkansas State Medical Board
Address: 2100 Riverfront Drive, Little Rock, AR 72202-1793

Phone: (501) 296-1802
Website: Arkansas State Medical Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas photo by Broooooooce

Little Rock is located in Pulaski County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 189,515, which has grown by 3.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Little Rock, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Little Rock cost $236,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-one new homes were built in Little Rock, down from seven hundred thirty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Little Rock are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 35.5% of Little Rock residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Little Rock is 6.1%, which is less than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Little Rock residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 59.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Macedonia Spiritual Church, Baseline Christian Church and Baseline Missionary Baptist Church are all churches located in Little Rock. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Little Rock is home to the Rock Creek Golf Course and the Barton Coliseum as well as McArthur Park Historic District and Meriwether Park. Shopping malls in the area include Mainstreet Market Shopping Center, Market Street Plaza Shopping Center and Markham Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Little Rock can choose from LA Quinta - Inns- Medical Center Area, Hampton Inn & Suites and Acme Motel for temporary stays in the area.