Salaries For School-Based Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational therapy involves helping people who are recovering from injury or those dealing with one or more chronic medical conditions. It also involves helping such people develop and maintain the skills, strength, and abilities that are needed for their daily tasks or living. A school-based Occupational Therapy Assistant (which is also known as a SOTA), works under the supervision or instructions of an Occupational Therapist to help students recover from injury and also improve their physical health to go about their daily activities and studies effectively. One of the therapeutic activities a school-based certified Occupational Therapy Assistant provides for his students is a treatment plan. For example, As of the year 2020, the average salary of a school-based certified occupational therapy assistant is $63,420. The salary ranges from $53,640 to $74,770. As of August 2022, the salary range of a school-based certified occupational therapy assistant is $56,808 to $69,068 and the average salary earned is $63,050. From the analysis, there is no notable significant difference in the salary range of an occupational Therapy Assistant from the year 2020 to 2022. Among the states in the United States of America, California emerged as the State that paid more for occupational therapy assistants, while Sacramento paid higher. let us know about that the Salaries For School-Based Occupational Therapy Assistant.

Salaries For School-Based Occupational Therapy Assistant

The table below shows the average salary of a certified occupational therapy assistant in some cities: 

CITY NAME                                       AVERAGE SALARY
San Francisco, CA  $82, 370
Washington, DC$73, 355
Miami, FL$64, 150
Chicago, IL$69, 908
Boston, MA$74, 245
Dallas, TX$65, 468
New York, NY$79, 273

According to the BLS breakdown of wages per workplace, the salary of a certified occupational therapy assistant varies from one workplace setting to another. This breakdown is as follows: home health care environment pays $75, 070, nursing care facilities pay $64,670, Private local, and state hospitals pay $61,570, Therapy (occupational, physical, speech) and audiologists offices pay $61,320 Private, local, and state educational services pays $49,920. 

Factors that influenced the salary structure of occupational therapy assistants


For anyone to get a paying job as an occupational therapy assistant, such a person must be educated in line with his interest, and obtain appropriate training as this will determine his salary, or how much he would earn as a certified occupational therapy assistant. 


After obtaining appropriate education, it is expedient for an occupational therapy assistant to get certified with National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and get his license which will present him as a certified member of the body. 

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Years of experience is also important for the salary scale. More years of experience in a particular work will attract higher pay, whereas low or no years of experience will result in low pay. The year of experience can be from 1 to 20 years and more. The Occupational Therapy Assistant with more years of experience will be paid with a higher salary scale. 


The environment where an occupational therapy assistant is based will also determine his salary. In the United States, the salary earned by Occupational Therapy assistants differs from other states and cities. California pays a higher salary compared to other states, and even within California, Sacramento pays higher than other cities.

Qualifications Needed by an Occupational Therapy Assistant 

Becoming a certified occupational therapy assistant requires a four-step process that involves earning an accredited degree, getting hands-on experience, passing a certification exam, and getting licensed by your state body. 

Complete an occupational therapy assistant program

To become a certified occupational therapy assistant it is expedient for such an individual to enroll in an institution for the accredited program which on completion Will qualify such individual for licensing examination. This associate degree in occupational therapy must be recognized by the American Occupational Therapy Association or the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) (AOTA). 

Finalize all Fieldwork

Occupational therapy assistants benefit greatly from gaining clinical experience through fieldwork, in which they patiently do tasks under the supervision of an occupational therapist. The required amount of time in the field varies from two months to a year, depending on the state of residence and the educational institution attended. After finishing your fieldwork, you must sit for the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) exam administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). This credential is a qualification for a candidate to work throughout the US. 

Apply for your state license

There needs to be a license in the state where one plans to work because there is variation in state licensing requirements therefore, there is a need to check with the resident state licensing board for its Occupational Therapy Assistant license requirements. 

Primary Duties and Responsibilities of a School-Based Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

The primary duties and responsibilities of a school based certified occupational therapy assistant is :

To create, carry out and administer treatment programs for disabled students. Provide direct, consultative, and indirect service in schools and community settings that will support the educational and developmental motor needs of children (from birth to 21years) with disabilities, their families, and their educational teams.  Effectively communicate with hospital therapists about issues with students. Proving one’s mettle by working with patients and using the tools and resources of one’s chosen field of therapy. 

Through working together with general education instructors, special education teachers, and other relevant service providers, he can better determine what kinds of instructional strategies and accommodations/modifications will help our students succeed in the general education setting. To provide individual or group in-service experience for staff and parents by participating in the development, and improvement of opportunities for disabled students. To screen, assess, and evaluate students using appropriate tests and assessment instruments.


The salary of a school-based certified occupational therapy assistant varies from city to city because the salary earned depends on the cost of living in a particular city. Also the level of education, certification, work experience region, and other factors

determines the salary of a school-based certified occupational therapy assistant.


1.Is the Occupational therapy assistant job school based alone?

Occupational Therapy assistants can work in hospitals, nursing care facilities,assisted living home, and rehabilitation facilities

2.Can occupational therapy assistants work alone?

Occupational therapy assistant does not work solely but works with a team, under the supervisor of the occupational therapist who oversees the work.

Salaries For School-Based Occupational Therapy Assistant

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