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Occupational therapy support worker

Alternative titles for this job include 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)

£23,000 Starter

to

£35,000 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 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. Courses 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 could do a Healthcare Support Worker Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship or a Senior Healthcare Support Worker Level 3 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 then do training to move into occupational therapy work.

Volunteering

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

You can find volunteering opportunities through the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Do IT.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for occupational therapy support worker roles if you've got skills and experience from working in a care or healthcare role.

Employers might want you to have a qualification in a subject related to health, 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 the 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

As an occupational therapy support worker, you could:

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

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
  • learn on the job and gain further qualifications such as a foundation degree in health and social care
  • 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

The Royal Navy - Medical Assistant Senior Healthcare Support Worker Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £20,400 a year Annually
  • Location: The Admiral Sir Henry Leach Building, Portsmouth, Hampshire

Senior Healthcare Support Worker Apprenticeship (Trustwide)

  • Wage: £22,816 a year Annually
  • Location: Cobalt Business Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear

Courses In England

Health & Social Care (Diploma)

  • Provider: THE COTSWOLD ACADEMY
  • Start date: 04 September 2024
  • Location: Cheltenham

Health and Social Care

  • Provider: HULL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 03 September 2024
  • Location: Hull

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