Occupational TherapistOccupational therapists help patients, who have mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling conditions, improve their ability to perform tasks in their daily living and working environments. They develop treatment plans for their patients. To become an occupational therapist one must first earn a master's degree or a doctorate degree from an accredited occupational therapist program and then pass a licensing exam. Median earnings for occupational therapists were $69,630 in 2009.
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Occupational Therapist AssistantOccupational therapist assistants implement treatment plans developed by occupational therapists and make sure clients are correctly performing activities. They keep track of patients' progress for occupational therapists. To become an occupational therapist assistant one must earn an associate degree or a certificate from an accredited community college or technical school. Training also includes clinical fieldwork. Most states require that occupational therapist assistants pass a national certification examination. Occupational therapist assistants earned a median salary of $50,250 in 2009.
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Occupational Therapist AideOccupational therapist aides prepare equipment and materials that occupational therapists and occupational therapist assistants use during treatment. They also perform clerical duties. An occupational therapist aide receives on-the-job training after earning a high school diploma or GED. Occupational therapist aides earned a median salary of $25,730 in 2009.
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Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ and
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, on the Internet at http://online.onetcenter.org/ (visited March 14, 2011).
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|Comparing Careers in Occupational Therapy|
|Occupational Therapist||Master's or Doctorate Degree||Required in all states||$69,630|
|Occupational Therapist Assistant||Associate Degree or Certificate||National certification in most states||$50,250|
|Occupational Therapist Aide||HS Diploma and On-the-Job Training||None||$25,730|