Career Path Forecast
occupational therapy assistants is projected to grow 43 percent from 2014
to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.
occupational therapy aides is projected to grow 31 percent from 2014 to
2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it
is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 2,700 new
jobs over the 10-year period.
occupational therapy is likely to grow over the coming decade in response
to the health needs of the aging baby-boom generation and a growing elderly
population. Older adults are more prone than younger people to conditions
and ailments such as arthritis and stroke. These conditions can affect
one’s ability to perform a variety of everyday activities. Occupational
therapy assistants and aides will be needed to help occupational therapists
in caring for these patients. Occupational therapy will also continue to be
used to treat children and young adults with developmental disabilities,
such as autism.
demand for occupational therapy assistants is likely to stem from
healthcare providers (especially long-term care facilities, such as nursing
homes) employing more assistants to reduce the cost of occupational therapy
services. After the therapist has evaluated a patient and designed a
treatment plan, the occupational therapy assistant can provide many aspects
of the treatment that the therapist prescribed.
occupational therapy services is related to the ability of patients to pay,
either directly or through health insurance. The number of individuals who
have access to health insurance is expected to continue to increase because
of federal health insurance reform. Both rehabilitation and habilitation
services are included among essential health benefits to be covered by
insurers; however, coverage may vary by state. Occupational therapy
assistants and aides will be needed to help therapists treat additional
patients and to ensure that treatment facility operations run smoothly.
Occupational therapy assistants and aides with experience
working in an occupational therapy office or other healthcare setting
should have the best job opportunities. However, occupational therapy aides
may face strong competition from the large pool of qualified people,
because requirements for entry are low.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor