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Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Assistants in Elizabeth, New Jersey

Occupational therapy assistants can find many career and educational opportunities in the Elizabeth, New Jersey area. There are currently 600 working occupational therapy assistants in New Jersey; this should grow 17% to 700 working occupational therapy assistants in the state 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.

Occupational therapy assistants earn about $25 hourly or $53,740 per year on average in New Jersey and about $23 hourly or $48,230 per year on average nationally. Incomes for occupational therapy assistants are better than in the overall category of Occupational Therapy in New Jersey, and better than the overall Occupational Therapy category nationally. Occupational therapy assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: licensed occupational therapy assistant, health service worker, and independent living specialist.

The Elizabeth area is home to 298 schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Elizabeth where you can get a degree as an occupational therapy assistant. Given that the most common education level for occupational therapy assistants is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, it will take about two years to learn 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

Mercy College - Dobbs Ferry, NY

Mercy College, 555 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522. Mercy College is a medium sized college located in Dobbs Ferry, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,792 students and an admission rate of 35%. Mercy College has an associate's degree program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Touro College - New York, NY

Touro College, 27-33 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10010. Touro College is a large college located in New York, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,247 students and an admission rate of 57%. Touro College has an associate's degree program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

CUNY LaGuardia Community College - Long Island City, NY

CUNY LaGuardia Community College, 31-10 Thomson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101. CUNY LaGuardia Community College is a large college located in Long Island City, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,285 students. CUNY LaGuardia Community College has an associate's degree program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated thirty-eight students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elizabeth, New Jersey

Elizabeth, New Jersey
Elizabeth, New Jersey photo by Cobber17

Elizabeth is situated in Union County, New Jersey. It has a population of over 124,755, which has grown by 3.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elizabeth, 140, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Elizabeth are valued at $321,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Elizabeth, up from six the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Elizabeth are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and other transportation, and support activities, and couriers. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 12.1% of Elizabeth residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elizabeth is 12.4%, which is greater than New Jersey's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Elizabeth residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 65.5%, is more than both the national and state average. First Pentecostal Church, Christ Episcopal Church and Alliance International Fellowship Church are some of the churches located in Elizabeth. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the American Baptist Churches in the USA.

Elizabeth is home to the North Elizabeth Station and the Julian Station as well as Kellogg Park and Jackson Park. Visitors to Elizabeth can choose from Hampton Inn Newark-Airport, Centro America Express and Hilton Newark Airport for temporary stays in the area.