We're building a new service – your feedback will help us to improve it.

Occupational therapy support worker OT assistant, OT technician, rehabilitation assistant, technical instructor

Occupational therapy support workers work with occupational therapists to help people live as independently as possible after illness, accident or with the ageing process.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,250 to £22,500 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37.5 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but some employers may ask for:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs (A* to C)
  • voluntary or paid work experience in a caring role with older people, children, or people with physical disabilities, mental health problems or learning difficulties
You may find it useful to have a qualification in health and social care, but this isn’t essential.

You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication and listening skills
  • confidence and enthusiasm, for times when work with clients doesn’t have a positive result
  • time management skills and the ability to help clients organise their time
  • practical skills in areas like cookery, woodwork or pottery
  • teamworking skills, and the ability to work alone
  • the ability to keep clear, accurate records

3. What you'll do

You’ll help clients with their rehabilitation by:

  • encouraging them to think positively and work towards agreed goals set by an occupational therapist
  • monitoring and recording progress
  • giving regular feedback to therapists

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • encouraging people with mental health issues to create a daily routine
  • assisting children with physical disabilities to enjoy play activities
  • helping people who’ve had a stroke or been in an accident to adjust to their disability
  • showing an older person how to use equipment to help them remain living independently.
  • checking that equipment is in good working order and keeping a record of items in stock

4. Salary

Starter: £15,250 to £19,000

Experienced: £19,250 to £22,500

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work around 37.5 hours a week. You could be based in a hospital, day centre, residential home, or a client’s own home.

A driving licence may be helpful if you’re working in the community.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a team leader and supervise other occupational therapy support workers.

You could also train as an assistant practitioner and study for a foundation degree. You could then go on to train as an occupational therapist.

Related careers

You may be interested in:

Last updated: 21 December 2016