Occupational Therapy Aide Career Diploma | Penn Foster Career School

Occupational Therapy Aide School

Why Penn Foster Career School?

  • Regionally & Nationally Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Enroll in Penn Foster Career School’s Online Occupational Therapy Aide program and complete your training in as little as one month. Occupational Therapy Aides are in high demand. In fact, this is one of the fastest growing occupations, with jobs expected to increase 36% in the coming years!¹ Occupational therapy aides help patients improve their movement and ability to perform everyday tasks, as well as assist therapists and other personnel with office procedures.

As part of our Occupational Therapy Aide Program, you will receive resources such as the Wisc-Online® Medical Terminology Jukebox. Plus, this program includes a Work Experience Option, which allows you to gain field experience relative to your program and career goals.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The program goal for Penn Foster’s Occupational Therapy Aide program is to develop the skills and knowledge to obtain an entry-level position as a professional occupational therapy aide.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify typical personal qualities held by successful occupational therapy aides, including empathy, knowledge of good customer service, and effective communication.
  • Identify typical professional responsibilities of occupational therapy aides, including assisting with activities of daily living, administrative duties, inventory control, and telephone etiquette.
  • Use appropriate medical terminology related to the body in order to communicate accurately with clients and supervisors.
  • Show understanding of the importance of a safe health care environment, including potential hazards and fall prevention, and the aide’s role in maintaining a clean, safe workplace.

Unit 1

Introduction to Occupational Therapy

In this course, you’ll learn what the practice of occupational therapy is all about.


  • Explore the history of physical therapy.
  • Understand the roles of the members of a rehabilitation team.
The Physical/Occupational Therapy Aide

Occupational therapy aides are skilled health-care workers who are important parts of the rehabilitative team.


  • Understand the role of the occupational therapy aide, which includes administering treatments to patients, performing administrative duties, and helping the facility run smoothly and efficiently.

Unit 2

Introduction to Medical Terminology

Become familiar with the medical terms that you will hear on a daily basis in your new career.


  • Expand your understanding of medical terminology to include the anatomy, pathology, procedures, and abbreviations associated with the nervous, sensory, circulatory, and respiratory systems.
Body Systems Terminology

A body system is composed of organs that are designed to work together so that a particular function—such as breathing—can be performed.


  • Understand terminology associated with musculoskeletal, nervous, sensory, circulatory, and respiratory systems.
Additional Unit Materials

Online Resources: Access to MedlinePlus/Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, mobile apps, Wisc-Online® Medical Terminology Jukebox, and abbreviations guides

Unit 3

Activities of Daily Living

Injury, disease, and illness can affect our ability to perform many of the activities we take for granted. The goal of occupational therapy is to enable the patient to perform these daily activities, called activities of daily living, at the highest level of independence possible.


  • Determine which activities a patient needs or wants to participate in.
  • Understand how every human being develops over a lifetime—and how an injury, disability, or disease can affect normal development.
Adaptive Equipment

Adaptive equipment is the term used for the devices an ill or injured person uses to help achieve functional independence.


  • Identify and utilize some of the most common adaptive equipment used in occupational.
  • Understand how adaptive equipment can help patients to become more independent.

Unit 4

Clinical Work Experience Option

This program includes an optional work experience component. Looking to your future, we’re providing you with this Work Experience Option Supplement that can be used to help you find a position as a trainee in a medical facility.

Therapeutic Treatment

Learn about many of the common therapeutic treatments used in occupational therapy.


  • Describe the role that you’ll play in treatments designed for patients with many different kinds of injuries and diseases.
Customer Service

Rehabilitation clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and other providers of therapy have cut costs by hiring aides to assist therapists in the delivery of care to patients.


  • Understand an aide’s role as a customer service provider and how to provide high-quality care.
  • Describe and apply important customer service skills.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft, Windows, and Windows XP are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view an Occupational Therapy Aide sample lesson, click here.

Occupational Therapy Aide Course Details

In the Penn Foster Career School Occupational Therapy Aide online program you’ll cover topics such as:

State Licensing Information

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Occupational Therapy Aide Career

Occupational therapy aides can work for schools, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and in sports medicine. Here are a few qualities that effective occupational therapy aides have in common:

  • Sociable: Spending time with others is fun and rewarding.
  • Compassionate: You care about the health and well-being of others.
  • Cooperative: You are pleasant and a good communicator.
  • Patient: Helping others recover from injuries is a step-by-step process that can take time.

It was great acquiring a new skill from Penn Foster. I would recommend any of my friends to enroll at Penn Foster.

- Kate A., Occupational Therapy Aide Graduate

My overall experience with Penn Foster was great. You are allowed to go at your own speed, and the school gives encouragement to keep you going. I would recommend Penn Foster.

- James R., Penn Foster Graduate

I am so happy that I made a career change with the help of Penn Foster. Penn Foster makes it easy, and they are always supportive and encouraging to you. Whenever I had a question, I just gave my instructors a call, and they were very helpful and easy to talk with. The online testing made it convenient, and my shipments always arrived right on time.

-Christina R., Penn Foster Graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Learning aids such as Wisc-Online® Medical Terminology Jukebox, and more
  • Goal-setting and progress-tracking tools
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online community, plus immediate membership in the Occupational Therapy Aide academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Are there any internship opportunities with the Penn Foster Career School Occupational Therapy Aide Career Diploma Program?

Yes, this program includes an optional independent work experience component that can be used to help you find a position as a trainee in a medical facility.

More FAQs >

Aide duties are closely regulated by the American Occupational Therapy Association, by individual states, and by the supervising occupational therapist. Duties in each state vary. The aide position is an unregulated, unlicensed, uncertified, unregistered profession. There are no requirements for an aide in any state. The program is not sufficient for assistant status in any state. Assistants require specific educational training, certification, and licensure examinations in every state.

¹ Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook," 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides, on the Internet here. Statements found in the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook are not a guarantee of any post-graduation salary, in part because the data used to create the Occupational Outlook Handbook includes workers from differing educational backgrounds, levels of experience, and geographic areas of the country.

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