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Occupational therapy support worker

Alternative titles for this job include Occupational therapy (OT) assistant, OT technician, rehabilitation assistant, technical instructor

Occupational therapy support workers work with occupational therapists to help sick, injured or old people to be as independent as possible.

Average salary (a year)

£20,329 Starter

to

£24,881 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become an occupational therapy support worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

College

You could do a college course to get into this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 Diploma in Skills for Health and Social Care
  • Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care

Most health and social care courses include work placements so this could be a good way of getting experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information

Apprenticeship

You can do a health care support worker intermediate apprenticeship or a senior healthcare support worker advanced apprenticeship. 

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Work

You could start as a healthcare assistant and learn on the job. You could move into occupational therapy work through training and promotion.

Volunteering

You'll find it useful to get some voluntary experience in a health or care setting.

You can find volunteering opportunities through The National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Do IT.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you've got relevant skills and experience from work like care or health-related roles.

Employers may ask for a qualification in a health-related subject, and experience of working with people.

More Information

Career tips

When applying for courses and jobs, you'll be expected to have an understanding of how NHS values apply in your work.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming an occupational therapy support worker from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and Health Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role, you might:

  • encourage people with mental health issues to create a daily routine
  • assist children with physical disabilities to enjoy play activities
  • help people who have had a stroke or been in an accident to adjust to their disability
  • show people how to use equipment that helps them to live independently
  • check that equipment is in good working order and keep a record of items in stock

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital or at a client's home.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

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

There may be opportunities to learn on the job and gain further qualifications like a Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support or a Foundation degree in Health and Social Care. You could then move on to do a degree or degree apprenticeship to become an Occupational Therapist.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 5 Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £19,760.00 Annually
  • Location:

Apprentice Senior Healthcare Support Worker

  • Wage: £150.50 Weekly
  • Location: Doncaster

Courses In England

Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care

  • Provider: ST THOMAS MORE CATHOLIC SCHOOL
  • Start date: 05 September 2022
  • Location: Blaydon-On-Tyne

Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care

  • Provider: CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 05 September 2022
  • Location: Dunstable

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