What are the pros and cons of being an Occupational Therapy Assistant?

Pros and Cons: Some pros of being an Occupational Therapy Assistant are that you have the opportunity to help people and you can work in a variety of settings. Some cons may be that the work can be physically demanding and it may be difficult to find employment in certain areas.

The work environment for an Occupational Therapy Assistant can be very rewarding.

COTAs (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants) have the opportunity to help people regain their ability to participate in everyday activities that they may take for granted.

OTAs work in a variety of settings, which can offer job security. The work can be physically demanding at times; however, this is balanced by the satisfaction of helping others.

Who is called an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)?

An Occupational Therapy Assistant is a person who assists in providing occupational therapy treatments and services to patients.

OTAs work under the direction and supervision of an occupational therapist. They help patients with activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating; they may also help patients regain motor skills or manage chronic conditions.

The job requires good communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to work independently.

The typical duties of an OTA include –

  • Assisting patients with activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, and grooming
  • Helping patients to regain motor skills or manage chronic conditions
  • Recording patient progress and providing feedback to the occupational therapist
  • Providing support and assistance to patients in a therapeutic setting.

The job outlook for OTAs is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for OTAs will grow by 34 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is attributed to the increasing demand for healthcare services.

The work environment for OTAs can vary depending on their place of employment. They may work in a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or school setting. Some OTAs may also be self-employed and work out of their own private practice.

Occupational therapy assistants get a salary of $48,781 on average annually in the United States. They may also receive benefits, such as health insurance and paid vacation time.

In order to become an OTA, one must complete an accredited OTA program and pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam.

Pros and cons of being an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)

One of the biggest advantages of being an Occupational Therapy Assistant is that you can work in a variety of settings, such as schools, hospitals, and clinics.

Additionally, OTAs have the opportunity to help people of all ages improve their quality of life.

There are also several disadvantages to being an OTA. One is that you may not make as much money as other healthcare professionals.

Additionally, you may have to work long hours and deal with difficult patients.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Pros

Some important pros of being an OTA include –

Job Outlook

One of the biggest pros of being an occupational therapy assistant is the positive job outlook.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, OTAs can expect a 34% increase in employment opportunities from 2020 to 2030.

This growth is largely due to the increasing elderly population and their need for rehabilitative services.

Variety of Settings

Another great advantage of being an OTA is the variety of settings you can work in.

OTAs can find employment in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, outpatient clinics, and private practices.

This allows you to explore different environments and find the perfect fit for your personality and interests.

Helping Others

One of the major pros of being an OTA is the opportunity to help others.

OTAs provide important rehabilitative services that improve the quality of life for their clients. This can be very rewarding and satisfying work.

Work Environment

The main advantage of being an OTA is the work environment. OTAs generally enjoy a positive and supportive work environment with flexible hours.

This allows you to balance your work and personal life in a way that works best for you. It’s also a great career for those who want to work with people and make a difference in their lives.

Educational Requirements

OTAs typically have a shorter educational requirement than occupational therapists. This makes it a more accessible career for those who want to work in the field of rehabilitation.

However, it should be noted that OTAs must complete an accredited OTA program and pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.


The salary for OTAs is also a major pro. OTAs can expect to earn a median wage of $49,000 per year. This is a competitive salary compared to other healthcare professions.

However, at the start of their career, salaries may be lower. Gaining experience and advanced certification can lead to higher pay of up to $64,000.

Professional Development

OTAs also have the opportunity for professional development.

There are many continuing education courses and workshops available to help you expand your knowledge and skills in the field of occupational therapy.

This allows you to stay current on the latest trends and practices, which can be beneficial for your career.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Cons

Some important cons of being an OTA include –

Health Risks

One of the biggest disadvantages of being an OTA is that you are at risk of developing certain health problems.

These can include musculoskeletal injuries, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other conditions that can be caused or exacerbated by repetitive movements.

Emotional Stress

Another major disadvantage of being an OTA is the emotional stress that comes with the job. OTAs often deal with patients who are in pain or who are struggling to cope with a disability.

This can be emotionally draining, and it can be difficult to maintain a positive attitude on a daily basis.

Physically Demanding

OTA work can also be physically demanding. OTAs may need to lift and move patients, as well as assist them with exercises or other therapies.

This can be tiring, and it can also lead to injuries if you are not careful. So, it is important to stay in the good physical condition and to take steps to prevent injuries.

Limited Career Paths

One of the biggest cons of being an Occupational Therapy Assistant is that there are limited career paths available to you.

You may be able to become a registered nurse or work in another healthcare field, but you will likely need to pursue additional education and training if you want to do so.

Poor Job Security

Another downside of being an OTA is that your job security is relatively poor.

The demand for OTAs tends to fluctuate with the economy, so you may find it difficult to find a job during tough times.

Additionally, many OTAs work on a contract basis, which means they can be laid off without warning.

However, there are also many opportunities for OTAs, so it is important to be flexible when looking for work.

Limited Salary Potential

Another disadvantage of being an OTA is that your salary potential is relatively limited.

The average salary for OTAs is around $50,000 per year, and it is unlikely to exceed $60,000 per year.

So, if you are looking to make a lot of money, this may not be the right career for you.

But, if you are interested in helping people and making a difference in their lives, being an OTA can be very rewarding.


What is the role of an occupational therapy assistant?

The role of an occupational therapy assistant is to help clients regain their independence by assisting with activities of daily living.

They work under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist and may help patients with tasks such as dressing, bathing, and cooking.

OT assistants must have good interpersonal skills and be able to work effectively with clients of all ages. They must also be able to keep accurate records of the patients’ progress.

Is it better to be an OT or OTA?

Occupational therapy is a better career than occupational therapy assistant because it has more job opportunities, higher pay, and more respect in the medical field.

It’s highly recommended to become an OT if you want a successful and rewarding career in the medical field.

However, in order to gain the necessary education and experience, it may require more years of schooling and training.

Is OTA a stressful job?

The level of stress experienced by an OTA may vary depending on their specific role and organization.

However, some of the duties of an OTA can be challenging and demanding, so it is important that they have strong problem-solving and organizational skills.

Is occupational therapy a good career choice?

The field of occupational therapy offers a variety of specialties and settings in which you might work.

That said, many people find satisfaction in their work as occupational therapists because they are able to help others improve their quality of life.

A good way to determine if occupational therapy is the right career for you is to speak with practicing occupational therapists.

They can give you an idea of what a typical day looks like and what sorts of tasks and challenges you might encounter in this profession.