What Do Occupational Therapy Assistants Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Job Description

Job Description

Occupational Therapy Assistants assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. 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. Generally requires formal training. They also select therapy activities to fit patients’ needs and capabilities.

Other tasks include:

  • Monitor patients’ performance in therapy activities, providing encouragement.
  • Instruct, or assist in instructing, patients and families in home programs, basic living skills, or the care and use of adaptive equipment.
  • Maintain and promote a positive attitude toward clients and their treatment programs.
  • Observe and record patients’ progress, attitudes, and behavior and maintain this information in client records.
  • Aid patients in dressing and grooming themselves.
  • Implement, or assist occupational therapists with implementing, treatment plans designed to help clients function independently.

We asked Occupational Therapy Assistants how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


81% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 86% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Occupational Therapy Assistants perform clerical duties, such as scheduling appointments, collecting data, or documenting health insurance billings. They evaluate the daily living skills or capacities of physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabled clients.

A typical day for an Occupational Therapy Assistant will also include:

  • Monitor patients’ performance in therapy activities, providing encouragement.
  • Work under the direction of occupational therapists to plan, implement, or administer educational, vocational, or recreational programs that restore or enhance performance in individuals with functional impairments.
  • Assemble, clean, or maintain equipment or materials for patient use.
  • Communicate and collaborate with other healthcare professionals involved with the care of a patient.
  • Implement, or assist occupational therapists with implementing, treatment plans designed to help clients function independently.

We asked some Occupational Therapy Assistants a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 11% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 83% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 78% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 54% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 36% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 72% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Occupational Therapy Assistants also order any needed educational or treatment supplies. They may also attend care plan meetings to review patient progress and update care plans.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Occupational Therapy Assistants Report to supervisors, verbally or in writing, on patients’ progress, attitudes, and behavior. They might also Assist educational specialists or clinical psychologists in administering situational or diagnostic tests to measure client’s abilities or progress.

In addition, they Design, fabricate, or repair assistive devices or make adaptive changes to equipment or environments.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Teach patients how to deal constructively with their emotions.

To some Occupational Therapy Assistants, it is also their responsibility to Demonstrate therapy techniques, such as manual or creative arts or games.

Working life

Working hours

Less than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, you can expect to work less than 40 hours per week.

Do Occupational Therapy Assistants work in an office-style work environment?

Every day


Do Occupational Therapy Assistants work outdoors?


Once a month

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Helpers and The Builders

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

You can read more about these career personality types here.

Learn more about Occupational Therapy Assistants

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Related to Occupational Therapy Assistants Job Description

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