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Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Assistants in Laredo, Texas

For those living in the Laredo, Texas area, there are many career and education opportunities for occupational therapy assistants. There are currently 1,770 working occupational therapy assistants in Texas; this should grow 42% to about 2,510 working occupational therapy assistants in the state 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. Occupational therapy assistants generally assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures.

The income of an occupational therapy assistant is about $26 hourly or $55,470 annually on average in Texas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $23 hourly or $48,230 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Occupational Therapy, people working as occupational therapy assistants in Texas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Occupational Therapy nationally. People working as occupational therapy assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: behavior specialist, licensed occupational therapy assistant, and certified occupational therapy assistant-licensed .

There are five schools of higher education in the Laredo area, including one within twenty-five miles of Laredo where you can get a degree to start your career as an occupational therapy assistant. 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 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

Laredo Community College - Laredo, TX

Laredo Community College, West End Washington St, Laredo, TX 78040-4395. Laredo Community College is a medium sized college located in Laredo, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,196 students. Laredo Community College has an associate's degree program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated eight students in 2008.


Laredo, Texas
Laredo, Texas photo by Billy_Hathorn

Laredo is situated in Webb County, Texas. It has a population of over 221,659, which has grown by 25.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Laredo, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Laredo cost $137,000 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred sixty-eight new homes were constructed in Laredo, down from 1,257 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Laredo are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, other transportation, and support activities, and couriers, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 14.7% of Laredo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Laredo is 8.1%, which is the same as Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Laredo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. El Buen Pastor Assembly of God Church, El Mesias United Methodist Church and Heights Baptist Church are among the churches located in Laredo. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Laredo is home to the Webb County Courthouse and the Dolores Ranch as well as Shirley Field and Laredo Entertainment Center. Visitors to Laredo can choose from Blue Caribbean Ventures, Motel 9 and Bender Hotel for temporary stays in the area.