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Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Assistants in Fullerton, California

Fullerton, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for occupational therapy assistants. Currently, 1,300 people work as occupational therapy assistants in California. This is expected to grow 39% to about 1,800 people by 2016. 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. In general, occupational therapy assistants assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures.

Occupational therapy assistants earn approximately $27 hourly or $56,910 yearly on average in California. Nationally they average about $23 hourly or $48,230 yearly. Earnings for occupational therapy assistants are better than earnings in the general category of Occupational Therapy in California and better than general Occupational Therapy category earnings nationally. People working as occupational therapy assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: rehabilitation assistant, physical therapist assistant , and occupational therapist assistant.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Fullerton where you can study to be an occupational therapy assistant, among ninety-two schools of higher education total in the Fullerton area. 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 studying to be 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

Santa Ana College - Santa Ana, CA

Santa Ana College, 1530 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706-3398. Santa Ana College is a large college located in Santa Ana, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,464 students. Santa Ana College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated thirty and zero students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fullerton, California

Fullerton, California
Fullerton, California photo by Geographer

Fullerton is located in Orange County, California. It has a population of over 131,868, which has grown by 4.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fullerton, 140, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Fullerton are valued at $177,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, thirty-one new homes were built in Fullerton, down from thirty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Fullerton are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 31.3% of Fullerton residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fullerton is 10.8%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Fullerton residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Fullerton is home to the Fullerton Public Library and the Muckenthaler Cultural Center as well as Hermosa School Park and Woodcrest Park. Shopping centers in the area include Fullerton Town Center Shopping Center, Fullerton University Shopping Center and West Fullerton Shopping Center. Visitors to Fullerton can choose from AKUA Motor Inn, Ambassador Inn and Anaheim Park Hotel for temporary stays in the area.