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Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Assistants in Miramar, Florida

For those living in the Miramar, Florida area, there are many career and education opportunities for occupational therapy assistants. There are currently 1,170 jobs for occupational therapy assistants in Florida and this is projected to grow by 25% to about 1,450 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for occupational therapy assistants are expected to grow by about 29.8%. In general, occupational therapy assistants assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures.

The income of an occupational therapy assistant is about $27 per hour or $57,010 per year on average in Florida. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $23 hourly or $48,230 annually on average. Occupational therapy assistants earn more than people working in the category of Occupational Therapy generally in Florida and more than people in the Occupational Therapy category nationally. People working as occupational therapy assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: occupational therapist assistant, certified occupational therapist assistant , and licensed occupational therapy assistant.

There are seventy schools of higher education in the Miramar area, including one within twenty-five miles of Miramar where you can get a degree to start your career as an occupational therapy assistant. Occupational therapy assistants usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so 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

Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale, 1500 NW 49th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309. Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale is a large university located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,305 students and an admission rate of 41%. Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale has an associate's degree program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated fifty students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Miramar, Florida

Miramar, Florida
Miramar, Florida photo by Nathan Reed

Miramar is located in Broward County, Florida. It has a population of over 108,484, which has grown by 49.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Miramar, 117, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Miramar are priced at $239,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, one hundred ten new homes were constructed in Miramar, down from one hundred thirty-eight the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Miramar are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, public administration, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 32 minutes. More than 20.7% of Miramar residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Miramar is 9.7%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Miramar residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Pembroke Road Church, Saint Bartholomew Church and Saint Stephens Church are among the churches located in Miramar. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Miramar is home to the Parkway Plaza and the Miramar Country Club as well as Southwest Broward Junior Athletic Association and Calhoun Recreation Complex. Shopping centers in the area include Palmetto By Pass Shopping Center and Miramar Shopping Center.