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Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Assistants in Springfield, Illinois

If you want to be an occupational therapy assistant, the Springfield, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for occupational therapy assistants 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 $26 hourly or $54,890 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $23 per hour or $48,230 per year. Occupational therapy assistants earn more than people working in the category of Occupational Therapy generally in Illinois and more than people in the Occupational Therapy category nationally. Occupational therapy assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: independent living specialist, licensed occupational therapy assistant, and physical therapist assistant .

There are nine schools of higher education in the Springfield area, including one within twenty-five miles of Springfield 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 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

Lincoln Land Community College - Springfield, IL

Lincoln Land Community College, 5250 Shepherd Rd, Springfield, IL 62794-9256. Lincoln Land Community College is a medium sized college located in Springfield, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,659 students. Lincoln Land Community College has an associate's degree program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated twelve students in 2008.

LICENSES

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT, CERTIFIED

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Address: 320 West Washington, Springfield, IL 62786

Phone: (217) 782-8556
Website: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

REHABILITATION AIDE, OCCUPATIONAL

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Public Aid Bureau of Long Term Care
Address: 201 South Grand Avenue - East, Springfield, IL 62763-0001

Phone: (217) 524-7244
Website: Illinois Department of Public Aid Bureau of Long Term Care

LOCATION INFORMATION: Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois photo by %C3%89ovart_Ca%C3%A7eir

Springfield is situated in Sangamon County, Illinois. It has a population of over 117,352, which has grown by 5.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Springfield, 75, is far less than the national average. New single-family homes in Springfield cost $245,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, ninety-seven new homes were built in Springfield, down from one hundred seventy-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Springfield are public administration, health care, and educational services. For men, it is public administration, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 30.6% of Springfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Springfield is 8.5%, which is less than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Springfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.9%, is more than both the national and state average. First Presbyterian Church and Christ Episcopal Church are all churches located in Springfield. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the United Methodist Church.

Springfield is home to the Oliver P Parks Telephone Museum and the Building I as well as Jaycee Park and Fairview Park. Shopping malls in the area include Capital City Shopping Center, Fairhills Shopping Center and Chatham Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Springfield can choose from Cottage Inn, Courtyard Springfield and Drury Inn and Suites Springfield IL for temporary stays in the area.