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Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Assistants in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

There are many career and education opportunities for occupational therapy assistants in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. About 1,850 people are currently employed as occupational therapy assistants in Pennsylvania. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 25% to 2,300 people employed. 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 $20 hourly or $42,020 annually on average in Pennsylvania and about $23 hourly or $48,230 per year on average nationally. Occupational therapy assistants earn more than people working in the category of Occupational Therapy generally in Pennsylvania and more than people in the Occupational Therapy category nationally. People working as occupational therapy assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: certified occupational therapist assistant , independent living specialist, and occupational therapist assistant.

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including three within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree to start your career 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

Kent State University East Liverpool Campus - East Liverpool, OH

Kent State University East Liverpool Campus, 400 E 4th St, East Liverpool, OH 43920. Kent State University East Liverpool Campus is a small university located in East Liverpool, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 965 students. Kent State University East Liverpool Campus has an associate's degree program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated twenty-six students in 2008.

Kaplan Career Institute-ICM Campus - Pittsburgh, PA

Kaplan Career Institute-ICM Campus, 10-14 Wood St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Kaplan Career Institute-ICM Campus is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 893 students. Kaplan Career Institute-ICM Campus has an associate's degree program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA

Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895. Community College of Allegheny County is a large college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,366 students. Community College of Allegheny County has an associate's degree program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

LICENSES

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Licensing agency: Department of State
Address: Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, State Board of Occupational Therapy Ed & Licensure, 116 Pine Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101

Phone: (717) 783-1389
Website: Department of State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs State Board of Occupational Therapy Ed & Licensure

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.